Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beauty and the Bootcamp

I get bored easily. This is true in so many facets of my life and even more so when it comes to working out. The two exceptions to this have been running, because I can vary my location, and Zumba, because there's a lot of variety within each class. The repetitiveness of lifting weights has forever bored the daylights out of me so for the most part I have avoided it like the plague. When I injured my foot back in November and was told I couldn't run for a few weeks, I had a lot of time to think. What I realized was that cardio in itself is not giving me the results that I desire and it was up to me to figure out how to make strength training fun. I've previously completed some excellent at-home strength routines and bootcamps but I always had a hard time motivating myself to do it alone.

So with a bum foot, a restless mind, and a growing waistline, I decided to seek out a group strength-training environment. I thought back to my experiences at Fitbloggin last summer and remembered two workouts that I really enjoyed: bootcamp and CrossFit. I took to google and found that a local CrossFit box was offering a bootcamp class specifically designed for those of us wanting to lose weight. Could that be any more perfect?! I made the decision to sign up on Christmas Day and gifted myself two months of beastmode.

Saturday was our bootcamp orientation and I showed up excited and nervous and unsure of what to expect. After signing waivers and introducing ourselves, we began with a 400m run. A run! It was my first time running since my foot injury so I was tentative in my steps but did not have any pain at all. We then began a workshop to learn some of the integral moves of bootcamp: push-ups, sit-ups, air squats, slam balls and burpees. I was grateful for my previous experiences with CrossFit because I was already accustomed to this stuff. I should mention that bootcamp tends to incorporate more body-weight exercises than weighted lifts, and it is not at ALL a drill-instructor environment. In fact I have never received anything other than encouragement in any of the CrossFit boxes I've set foot in. We concluded the class with a mini-WOD to tie everything together and I left with a smile on my face.

Yesterday was my first official day of bootcamp and it was assessment night. It was somewhat repetitive of what we did on Saturday, except last night our coach recorded the number of exercises we were able to complete in a certain amount of time. The point of this is to create a benchmark to compare our end results to and I'm super excited for the progress I know I'm going to make. I woke up this morning with burpee-bruises on my knees and oddly, this made me smile.

Despite wishing for more out of the workout itself (I know, I'm already crazy), there are some things I was really pleased with. My bootcamp class meets three times a week and as mentioned, it is specifically geared toward weight loss. As a result, my classmates represent all shapes, sizes and abilities. I really love this because some of the people I saw working out with the weighted equipment were ripped (I may have drooled) and a little intimidating. There were people in my class who could do 30 burpees and others who could do 3 and no one was shamed or put down. It was a very positive environment and there were modifications available for every exercise.

When we were asked to go around the circle and introduce ourselves, people started sharing why they decided to join bootcamp. The beautiful and healthy-looking girl beside me said that she wanted to lose weight and get to a place where she is happy with what she sees in the mirror. That made me pause and think for a moment. So that girl, who I consider beautiful, has the same thoughts as me? It reminded me of something I realized at Fitbloggin last year: you can't judge someone's history or happiness by their outward appearance. The most important thing I learned yesterday is that when it comes to our bodies, what we see as "needs improvement" someone else sees as beautiful.