I caught a case of Extreme-Boot-Campitis this week.
This bug runs its course for an hour every day. An hour in which nothing exists but exercise. Not hardcore, crazy intimidating exercise, but exercise tinged with the expectation that you will push yourself as if you were expecting Harrison Ford were grading your performance. Your daily symptoms bring forth a new set of body-crunching fitness, ranging from circuit training, running, weights, jump rope, obstacle courses, and core exercises. It’s kind of like the best illness you’ll ever have – no bedtime necessary! If, like me, you’re into that sort of thing.
Oh, and Extreme Boot Campitis starts promptly at 5:30 in the morning, so the best part is it tends to cause amnesia for all the pain you endured. Sorry, not pain. Work. Intense, flesh-flaming work. The amnesia does not hold over everything: still memorable two days later is the wall sit we did for a good two minutes—my thighs continue to tingle.
End extended metaphor.
Surprisingly, I found Extreme Boot Camp to be inspiring despite the fact that there are many realities about boot camp that intimidate me. Fatigues. Yelling. Whistles. But of course, this isn’t real boot camp – it is a fitnessicized version, where getting your heart-rate up is the ultimate goal. What was so motivating was having people of all shapes and sizes gathered together with the intent to work hard at the tasks they are doing. There is not much chit-chat. There is a lot of counting. As one regular boot camp recruit said, “They like it when you yell.”
Another bonus? Since boot camp happens in the pre-stages of what normal people call morning, the workout starts under the stars and goes straight on through sunrise. So while performing calisthenics I gazed at the Milky Way, took a deep breath, and thought about how nice it is to be alive and in the universe.
Plus, the instructors, while wearing cameo clothing, really are more interested in making sure you are displaying safe and proper form rather than screaming at you or using intimidating tactics. They do play a bit “bad cop” in order to yield your best results, but they certainly are not calling you a piece of swine or a mustard colored collard green.*
Oh, and you get rewards at Extreme Boot Camp! You are required to log what you eat, and if you do not follow the nutrition plan like it’s a twisty, one-lane mountain road overlooking a glacier with no fence, you get rewarded – extra push-ups, extra up and downs, extra love. Rewards are administered for other indiscretions as well – I got rewarded for wearing a shirt that promotes the tequila based drink, pulque.
And people love this all. Everyone I have spoken to about their experience raves. They return session after session. They swear by it. They probably would place their hand on top if it and swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth and mean it with more conviction than the average bear. In fact, it was these people that I continually ran into that encouraged me to attend repeatedly. They spread their gospel well.
Am I hooked on this regimen? Totally. Is Ken excited about me waking up before five every day? That remains to be seen. But he is supportive, which I am much appreciative of.
*I am really bad at insults.