Monday, January 12, 2009

Boot Camp

It was with some dismay that I looked upon my post-Christmas silhouette and realised that, in the absence of my usual tapping regime, I would have to dole out some tough love to my newly-acquired squidgy bits. Time was I could sit around indulging my sweet tooth at Christmas and not suffer too many consequences but I'm over 40 with 2 children, and the options are: exercise or face the muffintops.

So when my friend Jenny told me about the Boot Camp sessions being held round the corner from her house, I put aside my long-held aversion to running and push-ups and the like, and decided to have a crack at it.

The sessions are family friendly and Climber was most interested, so he came along that first Saturday to observe and muck around in the dirt/ grass as the mood took him. We warmed up by jogging round the footy field 3 times. Have I mentioned how much I dislike running or jogging? Then it was circuit training: 50 push-ups, sprint to the first cone, 50 lunges, sprint to the second cone etc.

baking_7452(Baking, one cause of muffintops)

Anyway, somehow I made it through and although I was definitely slacking off by the end of the hour, I didn't feel too shamed by my efforts. This despite my pathetic-ness at sit-ups - made worse by the Boot Camp Lady saying Come on Caroline you're a dancer you're supposed to have a strong core. I was too knackered by then to explain how I hadn't done any actual sit-ups since for at least as long as Cherub's been alive. I just grimaced and tried to raise my upper body more than 2 inches off the ground again.

The best part came afterwards as Jenny, Climber and I walked back to Jen's house for a cuppa, and Climber couldn't stop telling me how good he thought we looked. I know I've already said this Mummy, but you looked really good at Boot Camp. Isn't that so much better than I thought dancers were supposed to have strong cores?

The worst part was the Very Sore Body I hobbled around with for the next 48 hours. Lowering myself to sitting position, grunting. I was, as Jenny predicted, tucked up in bed by 9.30 that first night.

I fronted up again on the Monday with both boys this time. Cherub was mostly unimpressed to be there (sitting on the sidelines with snacks and toys) and gave his pouting muscles a very good boot-camperly work out for the duration. But Climber was as keen as mustard to join in where possible, and especially liked when we got sent to run up and down a BIG flight of stairs 6 times. He would have done this more than twice if I'd let him. Endearingly, he'd been "training" for the Monday boot camp on and off all Sunday. He practised lifting weights by walking round the backyard gripping the fold-up scooters, and was heard running laps of the Cherub's train-track in their bedroom, round and round and round.

Later I went to see the doctor about the numbness I was experiencing down the length of my right arm (stupid parvovirus) and she frowned at me for doing Boot Camp and said taking up a new exercise regime was a Bad Idea when you were post-viral. So I didn't do the Wednesday session.

But, the thing is, I am used to exercising and I'm competent at listening to my body and interpreting when to go on and when to stop. So I went back the next Saturday and I made Fixit do it too.

Now, what with having worked 9 1/2 hour days without respite for the last 6 months and - if the amount of revolting coughing and hacking is any guide (and it will have to be because God forbid that he should actually go and see a doctor about it)- suffering from some sort of chest complaint, poor old Fixit did not make it through the session and had to sit with the pouting Cherub on the sidelines, a broken man, while Climber and I frisked about. And the fact that I knew about the extenuating circumstances behind Fixit's Fatigue did not prevent me from being very smug afterwards. Very smug.

melting butter_7449
(Children, another cause of muffintops)

After three sessions I can say my silhouette has improved, and my plan is to keep attending Boot Camp when I can for the rest of January so that I am impressively buff for the start of the tap year. Once I'm back dancing I predict that jogging related activities will halt! Deep down I just hate this sort of exercise even though I can feel it doing me a lot of good. I'm not good enough at running to get into a rhythm or a mind-zone where I can think interesting thoughts, so as I pant my way round another lap, all I can think is god I hate running.

I'm off to flaunt my slightly improved silhouette at the beach with Climber and Cherub (Fixit is stuck here in the heatwave, working night shift) for a couple of days. See you when I get back!


  1. I'm going to need a class like that over here next summer... right now I'm just trying not to put on my alloted 30 pounds.


  2. I amazed myself a few years ago (in between the kids) and got into exercise, twice a week at a gym. I even did an 8km 'fun' run! I am so far away from that now it's not funny. And I never did manage to think things other than, when does stop?, when I was running.


  3. FIFTY! FIFTY! Did you really do fifty of anything?

    I'm going to sit with Fixit.

  4. I should do this. I really should.
    (but I won't.)

  5. 50 push-ups? Oh my word. While I can do sit-ups (not enjoyably, but I can) I can't even do ONE push-up.

  6. I too hate running, although I really should learn to like it.
    Good on you for boot camping it. I'm too lazy.

  7. Well done.

    I'm not sure I could cope with the boot camp thing, but I have started running again for the new year. And while the way the running clothes fit (or didn't) proved exactly why I needed to start running again, I was surprised to discover that the first "run" of the year did in fact involve some actual running without too much pain. It gives me hope.

    Have fun at the beach!

  8. Dearest Scarily Fit Stompness,

    Do the words Alpha Female

    mean anything to you?

  9. Fantastic Stomper! And how wonderful to have found something that you take drag the kids along to...

  10. I need a nap just reading about all that exercise.

  11. Climber has the right idea of what to say to a woman. Let's hope he doesn't forget as he gets older.
    I've watched women doing the boot camp around here for the last 5 years, and I'm with you, I'm not a runner. But I am walking the 3 mile reservoir, hills and all, while pushing 70 lbs combined kid (sorry I'm not up on my metrics.) So, hopefully I too will work off my muffintop.
    I think dancing is by far the way to go for the record, and my boys agree.

  12. You take the most unexciting activities [ running, push-ups!] and make the funniest stories from them! Loved the bits about the "broken man," and Cherub's "pouting muscles!" Have fun at the beach!

  13. I'm with Tracey and Fixit.

    Could not even run around field once.

    Can't even type this without fatigue.

    Enjoy the beach!

  14. I'm very impressed. You certainly did not get keep-fit genes from your mother! I walked down to the sea shore yesterday in case the king tide was visible (it wasn't) and back up again. The path is at a 45 degrees angle, and I was very puffed both ways.
    The best I can offer is that when the GP came to visit Dr P some time ago, he remarked in a surprised tone that I took the flight of stairs at a very rapid pace.

  15. Impressive! I don't think anyone LIKES this sort of exercise - the closest I can get is that I like being able to do it, and I like to have done it. Actually doing it, though... no. The cat bit me on the arse last time I did situps (true story) so I think I have good reason.

  16. Move over Tracey, Fixit, Cherub and Mary. I need to sit and pout. I'm amazed at the 50 pushups. You deserve a medal or a muffin or something for that! I hate running. My current exercise regime is dancing around the den to the fastest songs on my ipod. I like it much better than organized exercise!

  17. wow, I am impressed. I have to admit when you started talking about running around a footy pitch, I think I would've run home. A new non-muffin-top would be a nice incentive though.
    Good luck!


    Laughing at your Fixit-gloating ;)

  19. Muffintops are terribly apt!

    Three sessions showed improvement? Those have to be terribly serious sessions! Good for you.

  20. Well done, you! As the car commercials say, you'll be good for another five years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.


Don't let the cat get your tongue.