July 06, 2009

Crabby Goes to Boot Camp?

Long-time Cranky Fitness readers (all 3 of you; hi there!) may wonder if they've somehow been sucked through a wormhole and transported to an alternate, upside-down universe. Because for the second time in less than a week, the stubborn Crab is trying something new! First it was Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and now...

Boot Camp??!!!

I'm shocked myself about this latest development. Here is how I always pictured Boot Camp:

Photo: muscl_mc

And I did not envision myself ever having to endure this experience! Unless maybe I was forced to at gunpoint. But since there are very few gun-toting thugs roaming around my neighborhood forcing people to go to exercise classes, I felt pretty safe assuming Boot Camp was something I never had to worry about.

But I was wrong! (Not about the roaming gun-toting exercise thugs. Still haven't seen 'em around).

So, what curious set of circumstances conspired to drag my cranky ass down to a local Boot Camp class this last Saturday morning? And what did I think of it? And does this story have a moral, or a happy ending, or a humiliating conclusion, or is it just going to be one long continuous bout of whining and silly digressions?

(And the answers are: yes, yes, no, yes!)

5 Good Reasons I Thought I Would Never Go to Boot Camp:

1. The name "Boot Camp" itself freaks me out. It invokes a military training experience specially designed to break down recruits, both physically and mentally, rendering them exhausted, humiliated, obedient and pliable. Boot camp is supposed to be awful--that's the point! And how do I know this? Um, well, I go to the movies!

(Apparently they don't let women wear bras there either).

2. I've already paid for a gym membership this summer. To pay for an exercise class in addition to a gym membership when they offer classes at the gym? Unthinkable! So what if the classes are the wrong kind and are offered at inconvenient times and I have yet to go to one--it's the principle of the thing. I ALREADY PAID!

3. There is no Music in Bootcamp. (At least not this one).

4. Unlike Jillian Michaels who is imprisoned inside the tv and doesn't even know I'm watching her, a Bootcamp instructor is an actual live person who can see me. This means I can not totally blow off the instructions and do something completely different unless I want to look like a total assh@le.

5. Exercise that is grueling or unpleasant violates my religion, Crankyism, and Boot Camp sounded like a surefire recipe for Sin.

Why I Went Anyway:

1. It's offered a block from my house.

2. The Lobster wanted to do it and we have friends in the class.

3. I have been having trouble motivating to go to the gym lately.

4. Like, really, a LOT of trouble. I'd rather go for a colonoscopy.

5. I mean, seriously, it's like I HATE HATE HATE the gym all of a sudden. WTF is up with that, anyway?

And so here's a list I never thought in a million years I'd be making:

What I Loved About My First Bootcamp Class!

1. The Instructor was motivating and fun without being excessively perky.

2. The class drew a range of ages and ability levels but no one was really hard-core superfit. And we were encouraged to customize the intensity of the exercises, so everyone got a good workout but no one got their butts totally kicked.

3. Everyone was really nice, plus they all whined and complained companionably about anything that was the least bit difficult, just like I do. Paradoxically, this made me weirdly motivated to work out harder!

4. It was a nice mix of functional exercises which, when done intensely enough, I think counted for HIIT. Or at least they counted for SHIIT.

5. And I didn't have to think! It's been a long time since I've taken a class, and I'd forgotten how freeing it is to have someone else order your ass around for a while.

In summary: boot camp unexpectedly ROCKED! I believe I will be back!

And the moral of the story is: sometimes the Gun Toting Thugs take way too long to show up at your door! (Or something like that).

Any one else out there have a good boot camp experience? Tempted to try it? Or No Way In Hell?



    You totally had me at the GI Jane pic.

    as a woman who once shaved her heard (yep) and admires that badassnessment which demi was in that piece of cinematic wonderment (and never again. but thats a plastic surgery rant for a different comment) I too should try the BC.

  2. As a Boot Camp instructor (in groups of 4 or less), I definitely don't want to break anyone down into a crying puddle of sweat, but it's difficult to sometimes know where the campers are, physically. The first bootcamp in the program is easily the most terrifying for me.

  3. Wow, you sound like a convert. Will we be calling you Sgt. McSlacker soon?!! I was always curious about what those "boot camps" were like, but not curious enough to subject myself to one. Thanks for the report.

  4. dragonmamma/naomiJuly 6, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    Congratulations on a successful first boot camp endeavor.
    Attests to the truth of the old saying that misery loves company.

  5. That is great - I'm so glad that you liked it! And yes, having someone else tell you what to do, and you doing it, is nice! I love the camaraderie in my small group workouts - not a boot camp, but crazy enough to be close to it!

  6. I too was one of those folks who never thought she'd go to boot camp. But when a friend of mine started offering a camp in order to get his fitness business started, I agreed to go in the name of helping him out.
    Now, I'm hooked! I hated the first week, but kept going and I love every second of it! I may be a sweat soaked baby whimpering in a ball by the end of the hour, but that's ok because I'm improving, seeing results, and it feels great!

  7. I know quite a few boot camp lovers.. love to hate it meaning it gets results! It is the type of thing I could love but don't have the money right now,. They are pretty expensive around here AND I have had my gym membership since 1982 so that means I pay very little monthly! BUT, it beckons me & I may just try it one of these days!

    CONGRATS! I can see why you liked it!

  8. Would love to try it! Just need a gym membership now. (no way would I do the video...I just know I'd punk out after a little while :)

  9. I've been following a boot camp program at home and enjoying it - in that way you enjoy a good, sweaty workout. I like doing it at home and not having to worry about being anywhere at any specific time, but one of these days I may try and actual class - you never know. :)

  10. I think I'd still be intimated by the name "Boot Camp!" I might cry, and then they'd kick me out.

    I'm glad you liked it, and I can't wait to see if you keep going. . .

  11. Good for you! I'm afraid, though, that you'll never see me in a boot camp.... unless they do ballet boot camps. Is there such a thing?

    (Actually, even a ballet class would feel like boot camp to me after all these years...)

  12. Yay! I absolutely love my bootcamp classes, despite wanting to crawl into bed aftwards, I do them twice a week.

  13. I love group exercise classes! It keeps me motivated knowing that I'm not only one breaking a sweat and 'feeling the burn' :)

  14. I've always been put off the idea of boot camp because
    a) the b.c.s are all located an hour away from my warm cozy bed
    b) they friggin' want me to get to the friggin' boot camp at 5 in the morning -- not /get up/ at that ungodly hour, but actually /be/ there ready to work out! Egads.

    (But I'm glad you found some cheerful things about b.c.!)

  15. It sounds like a good place, Crabby. That is, for everyone else, not for me. It sounds like too much work and I'm going through my lazy phase. I've been in it for 50 years now, so I'm sure it will end at any time and then I can get on to stuff like boot camp.

  16. Good for you Cranky! You're broadening your cranky horizons! What a dear diary moment! ;) Next up, hot yoga? c'mon, do it!

    I did a boot camp program three months in a row because i loved it so much! it was insanely hard to get up at 4:30 in the morning to make the class, but it was so worth it every morning. There is something about the camaraderie between the other early morning risers and working your asses off together that makes it just swell. My instructors weren't drill sergeants either -- just highly motivating in a non-corny way and we did have music and it was GOOD MUSIC. I loved the variety of music and the feeling of pushing myself every morning. I felt so accomplished by 6 in the morning and that alone made it worth it! if I had the money (boot camp is PRICEY!), i would still be doing it!

  17. I've been interested in boot camp before, but my concern was always that once it's over, then what? I expect that the second I didn't have the motivational instructor I'd go back to my slacker ways. Overall, that's a fairly lame excuse to not do it, but there it is. :-)

  18. I'd love to try one if I could find a boot camp that fit my schedule. I hear you on getting bored with the gym. It's important to mix things up now and then.

  19. I didn't want to go to camp, as a kid, but "they" made me. I was glad I went :-)

  20. yay!! I'm so glad you loved it! And I LOVED GI Jane, back in the day:)

  21. Hi Crabby,

    As a Long-time Cranky Fitness reader, I say two things.

    1. Thanks for the shout out.

    2. Maybe good for you but definitely not for me.


  22. I'm always hesitant to work with a trainer who wears dog tags and camouflage but has never actually spent time in the armed forces. There's a strange psychological component there that makes my teeth rattle.

  23. Cool...they've started up a boot camp here. I've been curious, but didn't want to be the least in shape in it. I bet it would be a lot of fun.
    I'm one of those wierd push myself people and I think boot camp would give me the excuse to go all out and have fun. Regualr aerobics can be jsut a bit too perky for me.

    If I can just ge tmy knee to cooperate, perhaps I'll stop wimping out and join.

  24. I'm a bootcamp instructor myself and most of my clients have shown up to their first class feeling the same way you did, but they always come back for more. It's such a great workout! :)

  25. Yay for Crabby!

    But I am still more comfortable with the idea of roaming gangs of gun toting thugs than with going to a live and in person boot camp styled anything.

  26. Cats sleeping with dogs, up is down, night is day and crabby at boot camp?! I would love doing something like this as long as fitness nazis were not part of the mix (instuctor or fellow campers). And I think you're onto something with the whole "live person" thing - eye contact is totally motivating. So glad you liked it. There is truly hope for the rest of us.

  27. I adore boot camp! It's wonderful!

    Glad you had fun with it :) I'm sad because there's not enough people applying for the boot camp I used to attend to still go on. I miss it.

  28. Until put on the no-impact diet, I was doing boot camp. Loving it. Fortunately for me, I have the option of biking for the half-hour of cardio/lower half and then joining the class for the abs/back/arms/pushups from hell half hour.

    Our instructor is fast-paced but not mean. She encourages us to build up to being able to do it all. And she works out with the Steelers. Gotta love a woman who's tough enough to do that but still let you join class halfway through.

  29. wow! I'm glad you enjoyed it! It sounds like you had an amazing instructor. I'm thinking I may try one of those classes eventually...although every time I look in on that class I loose my nerve as I watch everyone looking like they're about to die.

  30. That's definitely on my to-do list! When I'm fitter and have the money. There's one very close to my house...

    Glad you enjoyed it. We have to challenge ourselves!

  31. I must say I'm with Leah on being in the Lazy Phase of life. I feel good just taking my 1.5 km walk daily. Someday, I will get back to other things.

  32. Alas!!! I have found my new calling in life!! If this whole "cop" thing doesnt work out for me I am totally going to be the gun toting exercise thug... that sounds awesome.

  33. Cool! SO GLAD you had a good experience!
    Can I add a bit of random silliness? A couple of years ago I overheard, on someone else's car radio, a discussion about getting guns off the streets of San Francisco. Only I mis-heard, and thought they'd said "nuns." And I thought that was kinda mean, not letting nuns walk the streets. But then I pictured a roaming pack of rogue nuns, in full habit, wandering around in packs and hitting random people on the knuckles with rulers.
    Because that's how my brain rolls.

  34. I've actually been wanting to join an exercise class (although boot camp...not so much) but have been a great big chicken about it. I have this fear of being completely uncoordinated, ungainly, weak and pathetic and having people point and laugh at me (which is all true and has all happened - except the last bit, of course). Your experience is motivating and I'm REALLY upset that I can't join a class right now cuz I'm out of town...really, really upset.

  35. I've always wanted to try a boot camp, but I can't actually spend the money to have a stranger yell at me. But I can't yell at myself, so there's the rub.

  36. I guess I've always imagined having to wear unattractive boots. Add that to being yelled at early in the morning when I'm not even verbal yet & unable to yell back is just unacceptable to me.

  37. 1. thx Terri for reminding me that I am a long time follower. (although currently I am kind of a slacker on the blogosphere) I remember when we used to have all day discussions in the comments section.

    2. I had a great comment brewing about my friend who’s sister went into a coma for a month after a failed weight loss surgery that is now attending a boot camp and loving it. Then I got to Kathy's comment about now addressing you as Sgt. McSlacker, and I lost my composure altogether!

  38. You can't fool me. My son does military boot camp and training every summer and I know ALL about what they do. Hell no, we won't go!

  39. Oooh, Sgt McSlacker, that does have a nice ring to it!!!

    And the roaming bands of nuns and Whobody becoming an exercise thug and the 50 year "laziness" phase... you guys are totally cracking me up!

    Let's see how the Crab fares in Class number two, coming up tomorrow... is this just a flirtation or will it be true love?


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