Two weeks before I started bootcamp (left), 54 weeks later (right).
A little over a year ago, my friend Deb said, "You should come to bootcamp!"
We were sitting in her kitchen talking about this and that, and the conversation eventually came around to weight loss and exercise. At that point, I had lost around 70 lbs and was in the middle of the Couch to 5K program.
Deb had been going to bootcamp for 2 years and raved about it. "It's hard," she said, "but it's worth it."
I greatly valued her opinion because neither one of us were jocks. Plus, I knew she had a bad back. If she could do it, enjoy it and keep going back for more, maybe I could, too.
I had been watching Biggest Loser and I was intrigued by the bootcamp/trainer idea. I didn't want to get yelled at, but I wanted the results and expertise, and I knew I had to start toning up.
I hated (and still do hate) free weights and I knew I could not self-motivate in the gym to regularly get through a Nautilus circuit. Plus, you know, I didn't know what the hell I was doing.
I really started to think about joining her at bootcamp. I told myself that if I could make classes in my very limited availability, then it was meant to be and I would give it a go. Well, what do you know, I could actually make the classes. Maybe this would work after all.
"The only thing is," Deb cautioned, "you get addicted."
Pffft, as if.
I contacted Paul, the owner and lead trainer (right), about signing up and the rest is, seriously, the very best thing I have ever done for myself.
I distinctly remember walking into my first class. It was Friday, April 1 - fittingly, April Fool's Day - and it was snowing. A lot. So much so I wondered if class was on.
I was super nervous about my first class. I was an overweight world-class gym class hater in high school and here I was, still overweight and paying money to attend what was like an adult gym class. What was I thinking?
I was so tempted to bail due to the weather and my rampaging nerves, but I sucked it up and just kept thinking, OK, Deb does this. She would not set me up for something bad.
So I walked in, made it through class and never stopped coming back.
I have written about bootcamp - a lot - so I won't revisit everything, but feel free to peruse, it's all pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself.
I will say it took me about a month to get over being nervous before every class. But every class I did, I got a little more confident. There was no yelling, just encouragement and quiet form correction, and no other campers were paying attention to me because they were just trying to get through the circuit themselves.
One great thing about bootcamp is there is still so much to learn, so much more at which I can get better, faster and stronger. Just when I think I'm awesome, I'll get some crazy upper body circuit that leaves me so sore that I wince when I put on my bra the next morning. Or intervals, like this morning, when I started sucking wind after the first exercise and didn't stop until after cool down.
Or the humbling times, like two days ago when I was slamming the medicine ball repeatedly in the ground, took my eyes off it and it bounced straight up and hit me in the business. Eight pounds, right to the groin. Thankfully (or not), only Paul and I witnessed it. Too bad he wasn't taping it, we could have made some cash on America's Funniest Home Videos.
Or this morning, when I went to do rows with tubing that is secured to the wall. Except instead of going to the secure tubing I went to the wall where it hangs unsecured and just kept ripping tubing after tubing off the rack, wondering how the hell I all of a sudden was as strong as the Hulk. I may be smaller, but still occasionally just as dim.
When I was overweight, I lived in a world of self-imposed can't.
I can't do that because:
I am too fat.
I will look silly.
I will fail.
I will embarrass myself.
Bootcamp has shown me through sweat (no blood or tears) that I can.
The leaps and bounds I have made in my physical development have been exceeded only by my gains in self-confidence and self-esteem.
I could then and I can now. All you've got to do is try. It's a lesson that took me 40 years to learn, and one I want to pass onto my children much, much sooner.