I excel at waking up early. If I were to make a list of my fortes, rising at hours that bars typically close at would be in the top eight (along with over-sugaring my tea, reading junky young adult fiction novels quickly without remorse, and learning new things). So when the first day of Extreme Boot Camp Instructor Training was to start at 05:00 (that’s oh-five-hundred for you civilians), I thought “no problemo.” And even when I found out the training was an hour way (setting my wake up time to 03:30), I did not bat an eyelash. Nor did I flip when I realized we were going to be out until at least ten o’clock on the night before. Not me. I wake up early with vigor.
There was nothing that told us new recruits what to expect from training. I figured there would be a lot of procedure reading, at least on day one. Ha. The old saying of never assume anything because of what it makes of u and me rang true.
First, there was boot camp participation. We took a boot camp class with the founder of Extreme Boot Camp and her league of extraordinary gentlemen. After core and strength, a long hilly run, and circuit training for more core and strength, the trainees were given a fifteen minute break (the campers got to go home and shower and not smell like dewy grass for the rest of the day. Lucky!). Next, we did do some procedure and policy discussion – for about an hour. Then the real fun began.
We were corralled into a shady bank of trees, and repeated the following scenario 30 different times:
Instructor Training Instructor: We’re going to do the basic military push up. Backs flat, bend at the elbows, down and up. (He demonstrates.) Down-up!
You get the idea. For each type of push up, we would do at least four reps before stopping. Then, we would do it again, having one of the trainee’s instruct the exercise. Over and over again. Push-ups that focused on triceips. Push-ups in downward dog. Push-ups that traveled forward, backward, left and right. Push-ups with weights, push-ups with tubes, push-ups with high-fives (seriously).
I got to practice instructing too, of course, which was quite fun. Being in charge and leading people is not the most comfortable action I can take, but it is not so far out of my comfort zone that I loath it. Rather, it’s just an adrenaline rush.
After this, we took a five minute break, then practiced leading multiple series of push-ups in Extreme Boot Camp format and style. Each trainee did three kinds of push-ups, again with at least four reps.
Finally, finally, finally. We. Were. Done.
I was pretty sure my arms were going to come off. Just unscrew out of their sockets and flop uselessly into the dirt, twitching uncontrollably as they gave their last wave. Unfortunately, they stayed in place.
Remember a few weeks ago, when I struggled to do more than six push-ups in one sitting? Let’s do the math on yesterday and compare:
30 types of push-ups x 2 times through all types = 60
60 x 4 reps each = 240
7 trainees x 3 sets of push-ups = 21
21 x 4 reps each = 84
+ at least 20 at boot camp (probably closer to 30, but 20 to be on the safe side)
240 + 84 + 20 = 344.
Yup. 344 push-ups.
I only wish I was exaggerating.
On the plus side, I am totally starting to look toned in the arms. Well, Ken tells me I look toned. I just think my arms look bulky. Apparently, bulky = toned. We’ll see if my parents notice when I see them this week.
What did I learn from this?
Anyone can learn to do a lot of push-ups. Trust me. If I can go from 10 to 344 in a matter of a month, you can. Promise.
* You’re probably assuming I went to bed early after all this. I did not. I actually stayed up until 230 am without a nap. 23 hours. I was feeling collegey again.