The things I pay money for. When I think about it, I have a bad habit of paying people to do hurtful things to my body, haha. But I jest. The first day of bootcamp was awesome++ despite moments of thinking "I paid money for this????"
Forgive me in advance, but this post will be long. There's a lot to report!
The night didn't start out too well. I was aiming to get there early except I got lost along the way. Thank goodness for cel-phones and map-saavy husbands. When I arrived at the school, I didn't know where to go. Fortunately, a bunch of gals showed up with yoga mats and exercise balls so I followed them and we got to where we needed to be which was a smallish sub-gym on the bottom floor. The school is still being built so it's very new and very nice!
When I initially registered, the receptionist told me that I didn't need to bring anything because they would supply it. Bzzt. Wrongo. I did need to bring things because the instructor did not have hardly anything to lend out. So I felt a little dumb being one of only a few people without a mat, exercise ball and weights. Fortunately, I was able to use one of the school's mats.
When I first saw the instructor, I thought "wow, what a short little woman!" I also thought she looked a tad overweight by the look of her legs. However, I was soon to find out that her legs are big because they are all muscle and that she kicks serious ass. Looks can be deceiving!
In the class itself there was about 17 other people who were mostly fit looking. I felt a little out of place, but there were a few people like me. And as I just mentioned, looks can be deceiving – there were more than a few "fit" people who had troubles with some of the things our powerhouse "little" instructor had us do!
First, we started off with some calisthenics to warm up. Jogging in place, arm movements, typical things like that. After that, we went outside and played tag. Yes, tag. Imagine a bunch of adults running around outside under the street lamps chasing each other. It was so unbelievably fun! Next, she wanted to see how well we did with running or walking. We had to run or power walk up to the next street and back four times. I power walked and I think I did pretty well.
Back into the gym we went for some upper body exercises with weights. As I was without weights and had arrived late, the only weights the instructor had left were five-pound balls of death. She took one look at my wimpy arms and told me that if I needed to drop them during the exercise, I could. Haha, I tried to prove her wrong and made a good go of it, but eventually had to give in and use only one. Good gravy it was hard!
Next, we had to pair up and do some exercises with resistance cords. I paired up with a girl like me (same height, same sort of body build) and as we both found out, it was a lot harder than it looked!
After that, it was onto the mats for crunches and leg work. This is where I found out that her legs are solid muscle and that some of the fit people couldn't come close to keeping up with her. This is also where I questioned my decision to pay money for pain. As we were all writhing on the floor in various stages of exhaustion and agony, she quipped, "Looks like we need to do some work on that!"
If that wasn't enough, she took us outside again with our weights and had us do some exercises using the concrete dividers. You had to stand on them with one leg and lift yourself up, weights and all. Because I'm so short, she kept saying that I needed to find a shorter piece of concrete. But there was none to be had because they were all taken. I eventually wound up at the curb like another girl and used that. Next time when she says "move it" I'm going to sprint up the stairs so I can get first pick!
The last exercise outside was a bit of cardio and coordination mixed into one. You had to step up and criss-cross along the edge of a half-completed median, balance your way across to the other side and criss-cross again. We did this, zigzagging our way along for about a block and then doing the same on the way back. Much fun!
By this time an hour had passed. If you think it sounds like we did a lot in an hour, you'd be right. It was very snappy and varied! Out of breath and flushed from outside, I was beginning to think that I couldn't keep going. Fortunately, the last fifteen minutes of the class was yoga and stretching.
Having never done yoga before, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought it would have to involve incense, new age music and caftans. But no, it was about interesting and gentle ways to stretch your body. When we first started, a lot of us were hard-pressed to keep steady. The instructor said it was natural because our nervous system was bouncing around because of all the work we had done. But as we did more, it helped to narrow our focus and it became easier. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt refreshed. There was some moves with the exercise balls, but having none, I had to pretend.
And that was that! Aside from feeling embarrassed being without gear and moments of just-let-me-pass-out-and/or-puke, I really honestly thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was hard, but the satisfaction and pride of being able to keep up made it more than worth it. I surprised myself that I had that much in me to give. I also never felt inadequate. The instructor said to push ourselves but that it wasn't a competition with your classmates. At no point did she belittle or berate any of us. And though she isn't what I'd call a personable person, she was fabulous and sharp as a tack. (That, and I secretly think she eats glass for breakfast because she's so tough.)
This morning I'm feeling sore but not too sore. My hurts from spinning are still there and now I have some bootcamp hurts layered on top of that. Today will be a day of water and gentle exercise. Tomorrow and beyond will be spent looking for a non-slip yoga mat and an exercise ball for short legs. Day 2 is the same time next week. Look for more bootcamp updates then!