I thought I might talk a little about a conversation I heard at a boot camp yesterday. In the midst of one agonising, ego-shattering set of push-ups while balancing one hand on a soccer ball, one woman remarked to another fellow sufferer and me that boot camp would be much better ‘if would could just do the exercises slower’.
“I could carry on for *hours*,” she proclaimed indignantly, “if they just slowed down a bit. I am fit enough to do that!”
The other woman eagerly agreed, asserting that THAT was the problem with boot camp. “It’s just too fast!”.
Now, I am under no illusions about my strength and exercise capabilities. I firmly WAS under the illusion that I was quite strong (hey, I beat all but two of the boys in a Standard 3/Grade 5 arm-wrestling competition) before I decided to try this thing called Adventure Boot Camp.
I was lying to myself… in the same way that I believed that eating 2 x 4-bar KitKats after a very moderate treadmill session would not affect my waistline. Nothing teaches you how weak and unfit you are quicker than boot camp. Of the 16-18 people who are regularly in my class, I fit somewhere between 12th and 14th place in terms of fitness.
It was devastating.
Never once, however, have I believed that the reason I can’t do all 5 billion sets of stomach crunches, plank exercises, push-ups and ‘sprints’ (if by ‘sprint’ I mean ‘run juuuuust fast enough to be disqualified in a walking marathon’) etc. is because the trainer is running the class at an unmanageable clip. I can’t do them because I am not yet fit enough. And neither are these two women who were moaning about being shown up for being less than pristinely conditioned.
That they even expressed such a ridiculous thought out loud was laughable. Boot camp *is* great because you aren’t allowed to ever think you are on top of an exercise. There is always a harder, more strenuous, more sweat-inducing version.
And that’s why people keep coming back, partly, I reckon. It’s nice to see you surprise yourself when you can do two more push-ups, or you can run that second lap instead of walking it, as you did two weeks ago.