Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Bootcamper's Story

Hi.  My name is Kelly.

I am one of the least athletic people you'll ever meet.  I was picked last in gym class in high school for four grueling years and can't hit a barn with a ball from 10 feet.  Also, I'm clumsy.  I can trip over a crack in the sidewalk, fall up steps, and am generally so clumsy that I have knocked my glasses off my own face.

I was overweight and deeply insecure about it, wasn't sleeping well, couldn't fit into any of my clothes, was grumpy to my kids, and wondered often about who that chubby woman was who stared back at me from the mirror.

So taking an exercise bootcamp seemed like a very daunting idea.  My friend called me and asked me to go with her.  I gritted my teeth and said, "Okay, I'll do it." It's 8 weeks, I decided.  That isn't a lifetime.  I can try it for 8 weeks.   I called LaBet and asked her what kind of skill level I needed.  "I'm really out of shape" I told her, wondering when it was--if ever--that I was 'in shape'.

As it turns out, she wanted me to push myself, to be successful, to get my rear end off the floor ("you grew it, you LIFT IT!") but she didn't try to kill me.  She was 180 pounds in high school, so she knows what it's like to be uncomfortable in her own skin and what it takes to change that--so you aren't taking this class from someone who hasn't been there.  She gets it.  She's compassionate and genuine, and while she urges you to do just ONE MORE LUNGE, she also urges you to listen to your body and not hurt yourself either.  She encourages you to go at your pace, and can provide alternate exercises for your level of fitness right there on the fly.  There is no judging because you're not up to the fitness level of others. Let me say this again:  she wants you to succeed.

So, what do you do now? You show up. It's only 8 weeks of your life.  Eight weeks is something we can all do, right?  It's only 2 months.  In two months time, you can fit into your clothes better, sleep better, be nicer to your kids, and get some confidence, because you're doing something good for your body.  All you have to do is SHOW UP.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Boot Camp Begins!

The summer session of Boot Camp got started this morning, bright and early at 6:30 am. I have to say, 6:30 am doesn't feel nearly as early in June as it does in January, when you're trekking out into frigid blackness. This morning, the sun was well up, and the birds were singing their good morning songs by the time I made my way over to the Grove Park Inn Sports Complex. On the way in, I even passed a group of baby turkeys with their mothers, busily working on finding breakfast in a neighbor's yard. It's impossible not to smile at the sight of baby turkeys, no matter how messy and irritating you know they'll become as adults!

On Day 1, LaBet gets us started by outlining the plan for the coming weeks, and explaining how the workouts will be structured. We weigh in, and take benchmark measurements including percentage of body fat and lean muscle. LaBet also records how fast we can run the mile, the number of situps in one minute, and the number of pushups we can do without stopping. Then we work on setting goals. Motivation is high. We've got 8 weeks. We can accomplish all kinds of progress in eight weeks. Off we go!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Results Are In!

Seven of the 15 Bootcampers were tracking their weight and trying to achieve specific goals by the end of this session. These steadfast 7 lost a total of 34 pounds and 18 inches, and an impressive 13.3% body fat! That's a lot less flab for the coming swimsuit season, better health, and better energy. Way to go Bootcampers, and keep up the good work!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bootcampers Learn Yoga!

LaBet was feeling ambitious this morning - 
she decided to introduce us to yoga!

We didn't too bad for beginners!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

While Everyone Else Is Sleeping

Do you see how dark it is outside those windows?
Oh yeah, we're bad.
Goooooooo Bootcampers!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Who Invented These Things?

These innocent looking stretchy bands are surprisingly evil!! 
I'm going to be sore for days!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bootcampers Go Hiking!

Well after a brief parking lot duel about whether to take the Rim of the Gap trail or the Ivestor Gap/Art Loeb Trail, we opted for the latter and took off for the Parkway and Black Balsam parking area with 5 bootcampers, one stray hiker and my Lab, Lyla.  It was a glorious day after we rose out of the clouds and took off. 

The Ivestor Gap trail is a high elevation hike that makes you feel as if you're on the "top of the world!" As hardy bootcampers and Type A personalities, we finished the hike in record time, enjoying a quick lunch and photo shots along the way. What a fun way to work out!

After the hike, one car raced back to Asheville to catch the Masters, and the other mosied down to Mile Marker 417 and a short hike to Skinny Dip Falls (with our clothes on!). Lyla had a refreshing swim and we soaked our feet.  Naps were taken on the ride home by all but me, the driver, who was still enjoying the views and thirteen tunnels!                                
post by LaBet Pritchard,
Instructor and Fearless Hike Leader


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Extra Credit Workouts

When I left my my house at 5:45 am, this is what it was doing:
Take away the umbrella, add cycle shorts, and this was me making my way across the parking lot into the Sports Complex this morning. I think you should get extra credit when you make it to class in a downpour. Yes, if I was the ruler of the universe, extra credit would be given out for hardship. The harder it's raining, or the earlier you have to wake up - the more calories you burn. Nice, huh?

Here we are, earning extra credit...

Go Bootcampers Go! Now it's time for a shower and cup of coffee as I bask in those post workout endorphins. What better way to start the day??

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Splish Splash!

I admit it – I was an aerobics/running/ cycle class snob. I thought pool workouts were for wussies. That is, until this Boot Camp class. Now I’m a believer. It’s different, no doubt, but if you work hard you can get a great workout. The last time we were in the pool, LaBet had us put on flotation belts and run large circular laps – first one direction, and then the other. The effect was essentially like jogging in a giant washing machine. Pity the poor man in the swimming lane who was trying to do traditional laps. The few times I happened to glance his way, he was alternately trying to make his way through the waves and clinging to the side of the pool like an oyster.

Yesterday the workout was a bit different. LaBet had us use paddles to increase the drag on our upper body, and we did some jumping and other plyometrics. As someone who struggles from time to time with knee and back issues, I LOVE doing plyometrics in the pool. I can actually do them without worrying about hurting myself, and even with the assist that the water provides, it still shoots my heart rate up into my target zone. Then some washing machine jogging as a grand finale. Not surprisingly, the swimmer left when we began jogging! :)
I love the pool workouts. I always leave the gym feeling refreshed and energized. And check this out - two bootcampers had enough energy left at the end of class for a quick race…

(Looks pretty close!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Boot Camp Is Off and Running!

The new session of Boot Camp started this week, along with renewed enthusiasm, commitment, and sore muscles. That’s right – LaBet didn’t even give us a week off! Guess she didn’t want laziness to settle in.  We each chose a goal for this eight week session, and there were three great workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It was the lunges and leap frogs on Wednesday that had all of us sharing stories about the effort involved in getting out of a chair yesterday. Ah well, as they say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body!” Here are a few photos from Wednesday morning’s workout.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Sweet Taste of Victory

Friday March 4th marked the final day of Winter Boot Camp. The final day of eight weeks of struggle and triumph, sweat, laughter, joy, and frustration. As I ran (well, ran/walked) my mile on the treadmill, my thoughts drifted back that first day. It was so hard to even walk into the Sports Compex. Heavier than I’d been in years, I felt awkward and out of place. What was I doing in a class called “Boot Camp??” I could barely survive basic aerobics. But something spurred me on. Desperation maybe. For two years, I’d tried time and time again to get myself back on track. I’d lose two pounds and then gain three. But as hard as it was, I got myself to the class. What a smart decision!!
The Boot Camp classes were challenging and fun. Each workout was different, so I never got bored. And the group support for getting fit and losing weight was terrific. It was obvious early on that the other group members were “ordinary” people like me. These were all folks that valued fitness and health, but weren’t beyond enjoying a piece of carrot cake or a cold beer. Being in class with superhuman beings who subsist on carrots and water never has been particularly motivating for me.  I just end up feeling like a loser and dropping out. But this Boot Camp was composed of real people, striving for the same goals as me – getting fit and losing weight. Some students just had a few pounds to lose, others (including me) a lot more than a few. But we were all in it together.
Fast forward 8 weeks. The day before our final weigh in and measurements was a family member’s birthday. I knew I had achieved my personal goals for the class when I was able to make a birthday cake and not dive headfirst into the mixing bowl. It didn’t matter if the scale showed a loss of 3 pounds or 8 the next day. I knew I was “on track.” Something had changed inside, and it felt great. I’ve never baked a cake in my entire life when I didn’t consume the equivalent of a slice or two just in the cleaning up process. I did allow myself to enjoy a small slice at the celebration, however. It was plenty, and I was satisfied. And check out the results the next day: