Monday, April 25, 2011

The Boot Camp Diaries, Day 1 (aka What Was I Thinking?)

For quite some time I've contemplated signing up for a fitness boot camp. I've been working out pretty consistently at home and at work over the past few months, but I knew boot camp would really challenge me in new ways. When I saw a Groupon discount for 8 sessions of boot camp for half price, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up.

The boot camp that I'm going to meets most days at a park about 10 minutes away from my house, so that's the good news--pretty convenient. The bad news? It meets at 5:30 IN THE MORNING. Which means that I need to get up around 5:00 to give my sleepy self a few minutes to stagger into the bathroom and brush my teeth, get dressed, and get out the door.

I was pretty nervous on my first day of boot camp. Although I had a pretty good idea that it would be tough, I didn't exactly know what to expect. Would I be the slowest one there? Would I be the one in the worst shape? Would I pass out mid-push-up from exhaustion?

Before I headed off to my first day of camp, I prayed that a) I wouldn't be the only new person at boot camp and that b) I wouldn't be the slowest one there. As soon as I got out of my car at the park, the woman in the car next to me got out and introduced herself. It was her first boot camp, too, and she was quick to tell me that she would probably be the slowest one out there. Answered prayer right away! :)

Camp was, in a nutshell, TOUGH. We did a few warm-up exercises, then ran a "warm-up" lap around the park. We did about a million squat and jumps. We did shoulder presses and flyes. We ran suicides, which I don't think I've done since high school P.E. class. We did planks and push-ups. After an hour, my clothes were absolutely soaked with sweat. Proudly, I did not throw up or pass out during any of it, so I consider day one quite a success.

There were close to 20 campers there, most of whom seemed to be in fantastic shape already. Talk about intimidation! However, our instructor, Margaret, repeatedly told us to not worry about how we were doing compared to anyone else, but to focus on ourselves and doing the best that we could. Still, it's hard for me to squelch that competitive side of me, but for now, I'm content with being not the fastest one in the bunch but not the slowest one, either.

At lunchtime, I had my pre-boot camp evaluation with Margaret. (She normally does it the Sunday before camp starts but since it was Easter Sunday had moved it to Monday.) She took measurements, weighed me and conducted body fat analysis. It wasn't as bad as I expected. My weight and body fat are still in the "normal" range, but she thinks I can drop about 5% body fat during camp. Although I'd love to drop some actual pounds, I'm more focused on dropping inches and toning up all over, in addition to increased endurance and strength.

I'd originally planned on only using the 8 sessions I bought through Groupon, which would mean coming to boot camp twice a week. After day one, I decided to up it to three times a week and pay for extra sessions. There were times on this first day when my legs were shaky and my lungs felt like they were ready to explode, and yet here I am signing up for more sessions. No wonder people think I'm crazy when I tell them.

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