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: