Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boot Camp Graduate

Six weeks ago, I signed up for boot camp. My mom and I had “cash” to spend as a sort of signing bonus for joining our gym and had the option of using it for two personal training sessions or a 6-week boot camp. We wanted the boot camp.

I haven’t been exactly silent about my feelings of boot camp and six weeks later, I can firmly say I was not happy with my experience and will not do another boot camp through my gym. We went on Mondays and Wednesdays for an hour. Mondays was with a small group (the biggest group we had was 4 people, including my mom and me) and Wednesdays involved a much bigger group.

I hated Mondays. Hated them. They were more like a personal training session, but boot camp style which meant we were moving from exercise to exercise and all the focus and attention was on us. There were half-mile runs and never-ending burpees and lunges across the gym. There were a lot of “Come on, Stephany”’s if I tried to take a 10-second break and more push-ups than anyone should have to do in a one-hour window.

Wednesdays were my favorite, if I had to pick a favorite. The group was bigger, there was music blaring, and stations set up. The trainers focus was divided between everyone and it was a fun atmosphere. It was still incredibly hard, but the different stations made the hour fly by. That said, Wednesdays were also incredibly unorganized. The trainers were more focused on the more fit girls, making sure they were always together and always at the right station which meant my mom and I were pushed aside and ended up repeating stations a lot. I’m not trying to be whiney about it, but it was just very annoying how the “0% Body Fat” girls got special treatment.

I consider myself a somewhat fit individual. I can make it through a spin class without fainting. I can easily keep up in Body Pump (weight lifting) and Body Combat (karate-style) classes. I’m not a newbie to exercise. But boot camp is a completely different ball game. It made me cry. It made me almost pass out (mostly due to improper fueling, but still). It made me have deep respect for every Biggest Loser contestant. It showed me I was weak, but also showed me I was capable. I was capable of sticking to something I didn’t like. Capable of working hard, even when my lungs are screaming at me to stop. Capable of my breaking point. Capable of being willing to being pushed past my breaking point.

When all was said and done, I didn’t lose a lot of weight. (Just goes to show you that nutrition tells more of the story than does exercise.) But I did lose inches. The funny thing is, I was on cloud nine after doing my measurements and the minute I saw what my weight and body fat percentage was, I was so disappointed in myself. I quickly made myself snap out of it, because the scale does not tell the whole story. This little table proves that:


Inches Lost (from 8/8/11 to 9/12/11)

Neck -.5 inches
Chest -1 inch
Left Arm -.5 inches
Right Arm No change
Abs No change
Hips No change
Left Thigh -1.5 inches
Right Thigh -1.5 inches
So maybe I still have a ways to go with my major problem areas (darn abs!) but I am getting somewhere. Even when the scale isn’t budging, there are more pieces to the puzzle to look at. And you know what? Even if I hadn’t lost inches in almost every area of my body, at least I went out there and did it. I did something completely out of the my comfort zone and I let them push me. And since my word for 2011 is risk, I would say I’m living up to that.

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