Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Operation Boot Camp

Before I sign off for the day, just wanted to give a quick outline of the program I'm using, Operation Boot Camp (www.operationbootcamp.com). OBC provides a 30 day INTENSE kick your butt fitness and nutrition regimen. The camp I'm attending is in Candler Park (it just started there).

Day 1
Met the group at the park at 5:30 am. It was dark, very dark. We got about a 20 minute orientation to our logbook and the program in general. The logbook is a small (purse size) red spiral bound book in which to record all sorts of info. There is a section for goals (mine are: 1. Show up every day. 2. Feel better. 3. Lose some inches), a little pre boot camp survey which asks questions about your energy level etc., your PT test results (more on that below) and the bulk of it consists of places to log everything you eat, your workouts and how you felt about them for each day.

Every morning the instructors review the previous day's entries and provide support, encouragement, redirection and/or punishment (in the form of boot camp detention with extra drills when you've indulged too much). The nutrition guidelines are the same as the Body For Life program with which I am very familiar. Very common sense, more proteins than I'm used too, sensible carbs in moderate quantities etc. 6 small meals a day, no alcohol or junk, portion sizes dictated by the size of your palm (proteins), the size of your fist (carbs) or the cup of your hand (veggies).

On the first day we did a PT test. On the last day we will do a PT test. There should be improvement. Since my timed mile was over 17 minutes long, I think I have set my standards low enough to actually achieve that! Seriously, the last time I ran a mile was in October of 1991 when I had to do a PT test in college. I think I ran like 12 minutes that time which was a personal best then. And I haven't done it SINCE, and I'm a whole lot fatter and more out of shape now. So, after warmup (military jumping jacks, push ups, lunges etc.) I started off with a stout heart and no suprise that I quickly fell far behind the group. Jeff and Heidi, two of the instructors, became my personal support team and ran with me the whole way, even though the pace must have been excruciating for them. Their banter and encouragement really kept me going, I'm sure I would have started walking without them there. And, to be clear, I know that most people walk a mile faster than 17 minutes, I'm using the term "run" rather loosely, but I was jogging all the way, even if the last half was baby steps because my legs felt like lead balls on a chain. I can't believe I did it! I'm very proud of myself, even if the run up to the finish where everyone was waiting made me feel a bit like that Special Ed kid who makes the football team in an afterschool special.

After the run we did the rest of the PT test, which consisted of seeing how many push-ups, sit-ups and dips you could do in a minute. I managed 15 real push-ups and 13 facilitated (on my knees). 24 Sit ups and 23 facilitated tricep dips. Another instructor, Tim, and my counting partner Helen were instrumental in seeing me through the end. I spent the time everyone else was stretching fighting the urge to hurl in the bushes but I was still tickled with myself that I made it through without quitting.

Day 2
I was in pain when I woke up but it wasn't too too bad. I am pretty darned accustomed to pain in general now and I've learned to block it out for the most part so that is working in my favor. I got mildly admonished for having spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner the night before (its one of my favorite dishes and DH made it for me special cause he was proud of me.....couldn't turn that down!). Warmup was again extremely challenging for me but I looked forward to the stretching interlude at the end of warmup and made it through. Today was Ab-a-Rama day!! As instructor JoJo pointed out, any activity with the word "Rama" in it is BOUND to be fun! They had set up 4 stations in a big square (with flashing cones because it was still totally dark). We got divided into four groups, one per station. Each group had an instructor who stayed with you the whole workout. Each station had a different ab related activity. Then, when time was up there were different ways you had to travel to the next station: i.e. sprinting, squat shuffles, running backwards, or lunge walking. Once they yelled "JailBreak!" and we had to chase one of the instructors to the far side of the field and back and then pick up where we left off. All in all I think we made 4 circuits of the square, with different activities rotating at each station. It was kind of a whirlwind, but it was fun. There we were, rolling around in the very lush and very wet grass at Candler, enjoying the stars even as we groaned our way through countless ab exercises.

At the moment, after sitting in my office chair all day, it seems that the pain from Monday is catching up with me. I'm sure my abs are just waiting until tomorrow to catch me unawares. But I can handle it, suprise suprise. Maybe I can be one of those fit people after all......

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