Having stayed up past my bed time for the Bruins’ disappointing exit from the Stanley Cup play-offs, I couldn’t help but groan when my alarm went off. I must have walked around like a zombie last season. Perhaps that’s one silver lining: more sleep for the fans? I think I would have preferred the win.
That’s what our high school French teacher used to say (in English, it doesn’t rhyme otherwise), when people forgot their homework. I find the expression oddly comforting.
While the B’s were on the losing end of Game 7, I was determined to come out with a W this morning. I was out the door bright and early to meet with Peter Lavelle, co-founder of Ultimate Bootcamp for a follow-up fitness test.
I arrived at the Common this morning just as Peter’s 6 AM group was finishing up their post-workout stretching. Is it weird to say that the group was radiating positive energy? I miss that about my South Boston group, and can’t wait until my schedule quiets down again so I can get back to bootcamping. In the meantime, I was very excited to find out how my fitness has progressed since my first meeting with Peter.
After some dynamic stretching, we got down to business. The first test was a timed sprint, with the goal of improving distance covered. Though I’ve felt like my speed and endurance have definitely improved, I was feeling a bit sluggish and winded this morning. Can I blame the Bruins? Or tree pollen? Probably not. Either way, I covered 46 additional yards (or one length between lamp posts) today.
After a bit more stretching, it was time for push-ups. Focusing on good form, I completed 23 consecutive push-ups, topping my initial test by 9. I also extended my plank time by 23 seconds. Not bad, eh?
Bench squats, though, were where I really knocked it out of the park. Having spent so much time running and climbing hills, and logging rep after rep of squats and squat-thrusts over the course of four weeks, I expected to see some improvement here. I also feel like less of a wimp, having worked my tail off in a way I didn’t think I could, so I am sure there is a mental aspect to all of this. What’s one more rep?
I demolished my first score of 37 bench squats in two minutes with a new count of 56. I am tempted to write BAM!, but I don’t want to scare anyone. Welp, you know what. BAM! I’m proud of myself.
While it’s extremely encouraging to see my progress in numbers, I’ve benefited from my four week session with Ultimate Bootcamp in so many other ways.
I am hooked on morning workouts. Not only do I feel like a member of a secret club that accomplishes who knows what before dawn, but I find the rest of my day is more productive when I’ve started with a workout. I have more energy, I make better food choices, and I have more time after leaving the office to spend with these guys.
I am sleeping better. By 9:00, I am ready for a full night’s sleep. I try to make it to 10:00, but that’s often like fighting a losing battle. The combination of getting up earlier and the challenging workouts will do that to a girl.
meaner tougher, faster, and stronger than when I started. I will be the first to admit that I was intimidated that first morning and in the days leading up to it. What if I can’t hang? What if it is too hard? What if I am the slowest, or least strong, or least experienced? Maybe I should back out.
Fear can be extremely limiting. I’m no expert, but I do know this: It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of that fear. And letting go is rarely something to regret. It has seen me across the finish line of two marathons. (I feel like dropping the ‘m’ word gives me instant credibility… maybe?) I was reminded off all of this leaving the Common today. Imagine what I would have missed out on, had I let myself back out. Oh, and if I can do it, I’d venture that you can, too.
As with anything new or challenging, the hardest part is starting. And that’s not to say the workouts get easier, but I am convinced that as my body gets stronger, my spirit gets tougher. And apparently, I become an even bigger cheeseball.
As for the personalized coaching, the encouragement from trainers and fellow bootcampers, the sense of accomplishment at the end of a workout, and those sixteen mornings worth of sunrises? I am grateful for all of those, too. Many thanks to Peter, Kim, Jeanine, Kristen and everyone at Ultimate Bootcamp for the chance to participate.
For daily recaps of the four week session, please check out my fitness On Tap page. Have questions? Thinking about checking out bootcamp? Holler at me.
Also On Tap for Today:
Your turn! What are you most proud of these days?