I thought it might be fun to switch things up by going to this class at my gym last night, called “Boot Camp.” I anticipated it would be challenging but at the same time I came into it like “Whatever, I’m an ironman. Bring it on!” I scoped out my competition, I mean classmates… They looked pretty normal. Just a bunch of people ranging from 20’s to 40’s looking to be in decent shape… until I spotted my nemesis. This ponytailed 30-something had legs of steel. Muscular and toned, her legs said “I can run forever and ever! Let’s go!” Then I did a double-take… She was wearing a “Long Beach Triathlon” t shirt. What!? I was supposed to be the triathlete of this class. Who did she think she was, prancing into this class with her little t-shirt. “I’m a triathlete too!!!” my inner child whined. Not to worry, I reassured myself that I would make sure I won.
The class began gently enough, with some jumping jacks and various forms of running in place to warm up. The scissor-leg jumping jack got me a little confused but I soldiered on. After all what did I care… there’s no time for that scissor-leg grapevine bs in the sport of triathlon.
We took a lap outside the Y. No problem. On to some agility exercises in ladders on the floor. Everything was good till we got to some shuffle move which I never quite understood, but I pushed through that one and pretended I knew what I was doing. Another lap around the building. Aaah, running in a straight line. I can do that. So far so good.
Then the trouble began… in the form of a cruel and unusual punishment also known as plyometrics. Exercises included but were not limited to: jumping onto and off of a step bench 3 (three!!!) blocks high, jumping laterally back and forth over a 8″ high step, getting into a low downward-dog type pose and lunging your legs forward, one at a time… it was HARD. My legs burned with fatigue. Sweat poured from my forehead and splashed on every mat, bench, and jumprope I encountered. I had to take breaks. In so doing, I snuck sideways glances at Miss Triathlete who seemed never to tire. She was perky and bright, doing these exercises like she’d been practicing them since she learned to walk.
I hated her. This was not fair! I was supposed to be winning. She probably did one sprint triathlon once or something. I was an ironman for god’s sake! Lucky for me, she didn’t know it. No one did in fact, as I had dressed incognito for the occasion. I sported my Sugoi cap sleeve brown wicking top sans triathlon logo. Why I thew that in my gym bag with my neon green running shorts I really don’t know. I guess it looked like it matched that morning before I’d had my coffee. Note to self: do not pair those 2 again.
I muddled through the last bit of the class, core work, silently suffering, again taking breaks liberally. And the next day I suffered some more. Did you know you use your abs to open the car door? To open the fridge? To get on and off the toilet? Well, you do.
They weren’t joking when they named this class Boot Camp. I got a great workout and a generous slice of humble pie.