Bootcamp: Starting a new fitness routine

Tracy tackles #6 on her pre-40 bucket list. But will she survive?

Photo by hans s via Flickr.

Remember back in November when I gave the heads-up that I was staring down the big 4-0? I made a list of 14 things to do before I turned 40. Two months later, I still haven’t knocked anything off that list, even the easy ones. But I’m working on it.
Number six on that list was losing 20 pounds. Several of you were with me in spirit about trying to avoid adding to the scale over the holidays (we said we’d check in with each other post-holidays; here is my confessional!). I had a plan going in that I thought would really help. Early on, I abandoned an essential piece of it — that I wasn’t going to bake this year, because I enjoy sampling even more than sharing my homemade sweets. I just really love baking with the girls over the holidays and they were missing it. So I decided a good tweak was to strike my favourites off the list, and bake things I don’t love as much (including choosing recipes calling for white chocolate instead of milk chocolate). It was a good strategy. In theory. I think it helped pre-Christmas, but once I got into the holidays, it didn’t go so well. I was still fitting into my jeans, but I realized I was very afraid to put them in the dryer.
But it doesn’t matter now. That’s all behind me. As I mentioned, this weight loss was going to require a regular fitness routine and that’s what I (and, yeah, I know, the rest of the world) embarked on this week. My plan was to thumb through the parks and rec guide and sign up for a bootcamp class and a pilates class. That would do it, right? But with two kids, a job, and a life, I couldn’t find classes that worked with our schedule. However, when I ventured beyond parks and rec, I stumbled across something that intrigued me. And before I could talk myself out of it, I signed up.
On the surface, it sounds like bootcamp, but the instructor insists it’s not bootcamp. It’s a twice-weekly, women-only class that incorporates strength training and cardio, nutrition advice, weekly group challenges and, I’m told, the occasional social. I’ve only been to my first class and I assure you, it feels like bootcamp. I am so incredibly sore — and she went easy on us newbies. She told us we’d feel even worse today but that we had to return. “Call in sick to work if you must, but get your butts back here,” were her exact words.
Now that I’ve been to a class, I can see that my instincts were right. Almost all of the women have been longtime members and were incredibly welcoming. There was a fun vibe and sense of camaraderie in the group that made that hour of hell bearable (and did I mention she went easy on us? Ugh!). The instructor was so supportive every minute, and kept everyone smiling and laughing through the agony. I think I picked the right activity. If I survive the second class. Maybe it will turn out to be long-term, which is number 13 on my list. I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve also committed to twice-weekly 5K walks with a friend. We’ve started and it felt great. We were talking about running, and may evolve to that, but we thought starting out slow would mean we actually go, which is a key part of the equation. And we can talk. Also key. Based on my aches and pains, walking may be all I can do for a while.
I’m also tackling number three on my list, reading The Kite Runner. All that hype? Totally justified. I’m loving it. In fact, I’m wrapping up right now so I can dive back in and finish up.
I’m not going to say the “R” word (that’s so last week!), but have you set any goals for yourself this year? I’d love to hear your ambitions.

Photo by hans s via Flickr.

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