Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Day, Another Ache

I was assured by our instructor that Day 3 of boot camp would be more “laid back” than the previous two workouts, and I guess you could say it was. Maybe it’s because I’m so sore; maybe it’s because it’s just the first week and I’m not into a routine yet; maybe it’s because I hate exercise, will never like exercise, and am not destined to get fit again in this lifetime. I hope it’s not the latter, but I’d have to say that Day 3 was still pretty tough.

We got a bit of a late start, and we also got a new "boot camper" who was recruited by his boss at work (boy does she feel terrible right about now). This was his “trial” workout, and I do hope he will be back (though I believe it’s iffy at this point). More on that later. So we started a bit late, and we began by doing some “simple” lunges to warm up. Oh, I warmed up alright. My legs were on fire! For every 20 lunges my instructor did, I think I did eight. The warm-up made me feel completely inadequate, and we hadn’t even starting “working out” yet!

Next our instructor set out a series of "stations" and placed each of us at one. Each station was assigned a specific workout, and we were to do two minutes at each station and then move. I’d say the weight and cardio stations were split up pretty evenly. I began at a weight station, which I was happy with because working out my arms really isn’t too hard for me. Must be because I’m a mom and haul around about 30 pounds of gear and a 30-pound kid everywhere I go (“Hode me, Mommy, hode me!!). So while I was on weights, I watched everyone else perform.

Some of these workouts, though fabulous for getting into shape, really don’t make the person performing them look very “fabulous” while doing them. (Nor do they leave much to the imagination, if you get my drift.) Case in point: the mountain climber. You get into the push-up position and then pull your knees up to your elbows back and forth as fast as you can, kind of like trying to run in the push-up position. At least most people faced their backsides toward the fence, but those with lower-cut shirts were out of luck! And the bounce-bounce-bounce-jump, where you spread your feet about shoulder-width apart, do three bouncing squats as low as you can go, then bounce your legs together and jump with your hands pointing straight above your head: I think it was the three dipping squats that made this one interesting. Then there’s the old favorite from Day 2: the praying-position-bounce-to-squat-with-your-arms-out-like-you’re-about-to-attack move. This one’s great if you’re looking for interesting interpretations of a move. Everyone did something different here.

So for the first few stations, I was on weights, breathing normally, and enjoying my surroundings (i.e. making fun of everyone in my head). But then I hit the first cardio station, the praying-position-bounce-to-squat-with-your-arms-out-like-you’re-about-to-attack move. Now, as I’ve said before, I danced for much of my life, so when I do “moves,” I usually figure I can at least look somewhat graceful compared with those who do not have that background. However, it became obvious in this first week of boot camp that grace is nonexistent. But the next move, the sideways-step-hop-over-the-ball-then-squat move, I was sure I would nail being it was much like a step aerobics move (I was a step aerobics queen in the 90s). The apparatus was step-like, but it was topped with a bouncy ball, not just a rubber step. So basically, you sideways stepped, bounced on top of the ball, then landed in a low squat. Not only did I lose my balance and fall off a couple of times, it was so exhausting that I had to actually cease movement completely a time or two! Next was the jump station (are you noticing a pattern here, that all cardio seems to be clumped together, therefore destined to cause as much pain as is humanly possible?), where you basically just jump as high as you can with your arms pointing straight above your head. Seems easy enough, right? After about three jumps, I had to take a break. You just can’t realize how hard this stuff is unless you’re actually doing it (and performing while completely out of shape, as I am right now). The next few stations were also cardio, and by the time I got back around to my original station, sweat was pouring off my brow and I was having to wipe it about every 10 seconds just to see, and my workout clothes were completely soaked and stuck to my skin. But it was over (I thought).

Nope, not done just yet! We still had abs, which was a welcomed relief and much easier than cardio. (I’m starting to see a pattern in myself at this point. Strength training, not so rough; cardio, an ass-kicker.)

So, toward the end of our station exercises, I looked over near the entrance gate and noticed the new “boot camper” sitting slumped over and holding his head. Our instructor had gone over to check on him and proceeded to run about looking for water, a towel, and a mat. It was getting dark at this point and hard to see, but I’m pretty sure he thought he was going to pass out or throw up (and so did everyone watching). Finally, he laid out on a yoga mat with his legs propped up on the bench for the rest of the session. One of the boot-camp members is a physical therapist, and she took over from there.

So we did our abs (not too bad, though the body lifts added in for good measure about took me down), and we were done. Our instructor informed us that we’d have one more week of being sore (to use the word lightly), and then we’d “love it!” So I’ve decided to take her word for it and keep on keepin’ on. It’s tough, I dread it every day, and I’m thrilled today to have a day off. But after each session, I feel so much better about myself and so much closer to my goal: to be as fit and healthy as I can possibly be, and to have completely changed my bad habits into good ones. If this boot camp can get me to that point, then all the pain and suffering (OK, suffering might be a bit harsh, but pain is not) will be totally worth it. Good job Helena Boot Campers (and I hope we see you next week new guy)!

Single Mommylogues Note: I will begin posting blog entries (including photos, so that should be fun) specifically about Extreme Fit Training Boot Camp next week in the blog section of their site, Check it out!