Bootcamps and Self-Nurturing – Compatible?

I went to bootcamp yesterday. I had the opportunity to go a few weeks ago but piked at the last minute, so this time I made sure I payed in advance and invited a friend to go with me, thereby making a commitment that I felt I had to stick with. It worked. I made it there and participated. This event was something that I had been looking at doing to help me get back into the swing of training. Something to kickstart my brain and get me to looking toward taking real care of my body.

Immediately after starting I felt inadequate. My left knee was playing up and within about 5 seconds I couldn’t keep up with the group. There is something about watching a group of 30+ people run ahead of you to mess with your self-confidence. I felt like giving up and walking away then and there. I may have even considered it had one of the trainers not come up to me, introduced herself and said that she would work with me. Internally I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t be left to flounder.

So, she modified everything for me. Imagine a very large backyard (grassed), slight slope, with the usual unevenness that is characteristic of grassed areas. There were markers placed at intervals (start, middle, end) up the length of the yard. Warm up included a series of runs to the markers with high knees or butt kicks, run back, followed by a run up the road and back. The workout itself (for me) started with run (walk) to middle marker, squat, return to start. Run to marker, squat x 2, return. Run to marker, squat x 3, return. Continue until you get to 10 squats. Then a series of run to marker, 10 squats, run back. Did this probably about 8-9 times. We had a short break after about 45 min, then repeated the process for another 15 min, this time doing squats at each end. Up, 6 squats, back, 4 squats, up, 6, back, 3. Up, 4, back, 3. Up, 6, back, 4. And so on. All up, probably close to 200 squats.

After the second set of squats my legs were like jelly. And they stayed like that the entire hour. The trainer pushed and pushed, trying to get me to move faster, despite me trying to tell her that I needed to balance myself before moving so I wouldn’t fall over on the uneven ground. I was encouraged, told I was doing well, that I didn’t need to compare myself to anyone else, I was doing this for myself. The first time I went to grab some water to ease my throat I was told that I don’t need any water because nobody else needed any. In the background I heard the leading PT telling the rest of the group not to have any water between sets, to just keep going. I understand that this was to push me outside my comfort zone but something about it sent my emotions into chaos. My legs were like jelly, my lower back was painful from standing for so long, and when I was told not to have water I felt like I was being told to ignore what my body needs.

This goes against everything that I have been working to achieve in my work with Emazon. To listen to my gut, my authentic self, and to give my mind, body and spirit what it asks for. So I got cranky with her and had some water. I think she got frustrated with me and walked away for a few seconds.

She started encouraging me again, telling me I was doing well. Told me not to listen to what my mind was telling me when it was saying I was going to fall over because the ground was uneven or my jelly legs wouldn’t hold me. She pushed me to keep going and I did much more than I would have without her there beside me. For that I am grateful. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but I think this has been one of those “holy crap, look what I did!” moments, and I will be proud of that achievement.

Right now though, my brain is a little chaotic. I am glad I went, and that this woman pushed me beyond what I thought was possible. Several times I caught myself thinking “you do realise that I weigh almost 200kg, right?!?!”, wishing I could shout it to her to get her off my back. Several times (many times) I told her to get stuffed in my mind. I tried telling her (aloud) that I needed to steady myself before moving, she tried telling me to ignore it. And so we went, back and forth, for the entire hour (except for the times she rushed to help some of the others for a few minutes).

After it was all over I got to stand beside the main trainer for the group photo and she put her arm around me.

So, I’m trying to figure out what I need to get from this. I’m grateful that I went, that I did more than I would have had I not been pushed like I was. I also learned that I don’t enjoy bootcamps or the harshness in the way this one was run. Some people thrive on being yelled at. I don’t. I get cranky, irritable and argumentative. Rather than listening to and giving my body what it needs, I was encouraged to push past that and ignore it. And that I don’t like. At no point during the workout was I able to block out the crap my mind and body was saying and get into a zone where I was unaware of anything else around me.

I want and need to learn how to get into that zone.

4 comments on “Bootcamps and Self-Nurturing – Compatible?

  1. Ah… the biggie of finding the right exercise…. what do you enjoy? A game of tennis? Team sport like hockey? It can be hard to find your “poison”… but once you’ve found it well worth it.

    Now it’s time for you to find out what sort of exercise YOU enjoy… a challenge for your mind. Looking forward to hearing what you come up with. What you try. The “fails” are an important part of the journey. If you don’t try it, you won’t know whether it’s for you.

    It’s got to be something that puts a smile on your dial for you to be able to continue with it long term though… that’s what worked for me and I know can work for you too!

    Even walking is serious poison when you start hiking up those mountains to catch the wonders of mother nature. The world is your oyster Ali… What’s your poison?

  2. I haven’t done huge amounts of “research” on this Penny. I do enjoy boxing. And when I was in my first year of high school I played netball. I’d like to make that a goal for a couple of years down the track. The rest I have just been getting through cause it still feels like a chore. I have yet to get to the enjoyment part. Working on it 🙂

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