I jammed my hand this morning while experimenting with new exercises. Since typing is out, I asked one of my boot camp clients to write about her experiences with bootcamp!
Deirdre was a marine for 8 years and went through Marine Boot Camp. (She always says mine works much better and is wayyyyy more fun!)
Here’s what she wrote: (I get called a “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed puppy)
Keep the Work Out, Change the Name
Full Metal Jacket, NOT
When I was first contemplating signing up for boot camp sessions, I admit I had a tinge of nervousness. ‘What if the instructor is one of those all-brawn-no-brain-heavy-weight-lifter-dudes who feels he missed his opportunity to join the armed forces and is now taking his regret out on me?’ Or worse, having some younger, hot, trainer guy pick apart my every fatty flaw and wonder how many pints of Haagen Dazs it took to make my thighs look like that? What if all the participants are young hard bodies who will leave me panting behind them during 8 mile formation run? Yelling? Oh no, don’t like yelling.
Wait…but I’ve already gone through a real military boot camp. The United States Marine Corps boot camp. Paris Island, SC in August. Sand fleas. Heat and humidity that enable drinking two canteens of water in one sitting. The meanest women (and best drill instructors around) who referred to me as a “nasty thang” and had total control over what I said, did, ate, and wore. I was a typical boot recruit; tired, dazed, confused, and homesick. Three months of this experience was enough for a lifetime. I am still honored that I was able to complete the training, earn the right to wear the uniform and serve my time in the most awesome branch of the military. How could this civilian “boot camp” possibly live up to the title? I mean really, what an unfortunate name. It probably scares people away because they think it is a Full Metal Jacket experience. It almost scared me off because I didn’t want someone’s distorted interpretation of what I already knew.
Realistic Work Out for Realistic Fitness Goals
But still, it had been 20 years, and 2 pregnancies later. I had been running, doing sit-ups and push-ups like they taught me in the Corps to maintain some kind of a workout routine. My body was staying smaller but not in the best shape/proportion that I wanted. I knew I need something more. Someone who knew what exercises would work for me, especially after that dreaded full body analyzation I just knew was on the first day. (It couldn’t be worse than the bra and panties routine every evening in the squad bay when we had to inform our drill instructors of any of the day’s health problems.)
First day of boot camp was nothing like I ever thought or had experienced 20 years ago with that first step off the bus onto the yellow foot prints. My fitness boot camp instructor was young and in great shape but more like a bright-eyed bushy tailed puppy and not a condescending muscle bound ogre ready to terrorize us into a state of subordinate fear. He was motivating, eager and willing to help us all achieve our goals and to make it through the first day. We all received individual attention unlike military boot camp where you must reach the same fitness goals simultaneously with your platoon. No yelling here, just encouragement and pure entertainment as he distracted me from those first grueling planks with funny stories and corny jokes. No demeaning ego hits here either. My fellow campers were 30 or 40 something moms just like me. We all were relieved that we did not have to keep up with a room full of fitness models.
As I followed along, he taught us why the exercises he planned for us were working better than what we had been using before. (Smart guy and he had muscles.) He cheerfully explained, not yelling and spitting in our faces, why our previous work outs were not only ineffective but possibly dangerous. (Slippery knees? Wonky stride and hunched over running posture?) We were in a nice, big, indoor, air conditioned facility, without sand fleas, listening to fun upbeat music. Then before I knew it, the hour was up, I felt tired but relaxed and able to go…home. Not three months of seclusion from the real world with a new bruise or blister everyday.
Quicker Results that Last
I was really sore, all over again, after the first days. The exercises seemed so simple and easy but they shaped up my body more quickly than the long, hot mid-day lunch runs I had been enduring. I noticed I did not have the joint pains like I had before and my knees were stronger. No sand flea bites or sunburn. NO RUNNING while chanting in formation! My body started looking curvier and firmer in the right places. I love my abs and arms. I look forward to bathing suit season to show off how hard I work out. Bikini abs was not the goal in the military and we were all going to be wearing baggy camouflage anyway. This boot camp offers 10 sessions a week so I can make a work out fit easily into my constantly changing schedule as a mom of two daughters who play sports. I have been attending for over two years now. It has become a part of my normal routine.
It’s so Good, Give it a New Name
Don’t let the name of the training scare you. It is not in any way comparable to a military boot camp where the goal is preparing you to be a soldier, airman, sailor or the best, a Marine. After military boot camp you owe the military all of you for 4 years, minimum. How much are you worth? The time and budgeted expense are infinitesimal compared to the benefits of a healthier body and life style. This is a great metabolic workout where you will be encouraged by the instructor and your peers, reach your fitness goals faster without injury, you can go home after an hour, and you get to wear cute work out gear. So give it another name. 60 Minutes with a Fairy Gym Brother? Your Mama Wore Combat Boots So You Don’t Have Too? Boot Camp without the Boots or Camping? Out of This Wo(r)ld Fitness Hour?
60 Minutes With A Fairy Gym Brother? Really?
But Deirdre is right, I need a new name for my bootcamp. I mean, Wold Fitness Boot Camp is pretty bog-standard.
What do you think? What should I call it?
Leave a comment below and let me know!