by June 23, 2012
filed under Life

Boot Camp

PUSH IT! Come on, you pansies. Get your asses up. MOVE IT!

Is that the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the words “boot camp?” Do you picture a burly sergeant screaming in your face, pushing you down into the mud to crawl under ropes? A pretty hellish scenario, I must say. Well, put those thoughts aside. Boot camp is no longer just for beefy men and women training for the army. It’s now made specifically for whipping the bodies of women of any size into great shape.

If you’re anything like me, you despise the time spent running on the treadmill or lifting weights at your local gym. Let’s face it, it’s boring. Few people will make themselves commit to a regime that is dull and repetitive. However, there’s now a new workout that will have you sweating, cursing and laughing all at the same time. It’s called Booty Camp Fitness and it’s a female-friendly version of those hard-core boot camps you’ve always heard about. This specific program currently has locations in Alberta and Ontario, but a little research will show you many similar programs in your own areas as well.

My first day of Booty Camp happened last summer. After making some changes in my life (including ending a five-year relationship), I decided that I wanted to get myself in better shape. I started walking every day, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to tone myself; I wanted to be able to run for more than a minute without wheezing. My sister persuaded me to join the camp with her, and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

I was terrified as I walked across the field to join the crowd of ladies. In the centre of the group was a young woman wearing pink camouflage – our “drill sergeant.” I immediately began to question my sanity. Am I in good enough shape for this? Am I going to get left behind? Am I going to make a complete ass out of myself?

Our instructor’s name was Stacy. The first thing I noticed? Stacy was pregnant. Not only did this is fuel the idea that this class is good for any woman looking to get into shape, but it motivated me further. If a woman who is five months pregnant can do fifty squats, so can I!

Stacy started with a quick warm up – marching, high-knees and jumping jacks – all that great eighth-grade-gym-class stuff. And then the pain arrived. The best kind of pain in the world; the pain caused by your muscles screaming at you as you push yourself to your limit. Squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, drills. So many drills. Running up and down hills, jumping jacks, falling to the ground and pounding out as many push ups as you could.

But don’t fret. There is no one yelling in your face to keep going. The only thing you’ll ever hear being yelled at you is, “take your breaks when you need to.” There is no shame in stopping for a breather. That being said, being in a group of strangers will have you pushing yourself farther than you ever would by yourself at the gym. Sweat will sting your eyes and every breath will feel like a punch in the chest. But it’s worth it.

I have been in and out of this program over the last year and have had 3 different instructors. All of them are amazing women. They are some of the most motivating people I have ever met. They never make you feel bad about yourself, no matter your size or your level of fitness. They are there for you and they make that very clear from day-one. Encouraging words and compliments are all you will hear tumbling from their mouths.

In my first month, I lost 5 pounds and over 10 inches – three of those inches melted off of my waist! And the best part about it? I enjoyed myself. As the work out wrapped up with some easy stretches, my endorphins started going wild. I have never experienced that from any workout. By the time I was in my car heading home, I was in an ecstatic mood – blaring music, dancing in my seat, and just feeling amazing. I was proud of myself; I still feel that sense of elation every time I go to a Booty Camp session.

If you’re tired of lugging yourself to a boring gym session or running yourself to death on a treadmill, go out and find a women’s boot camp program close to you. It will kick your ass in the best kind of way.

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