May 8, 2012

Bootcamp, burpees & peeing my pants!

Several weeks ago I made the decision to join a fitness boot camp.  I am still not sure how or why that decision was made.  It must have been in the heat of the moment after an incredibly fantastic training run & I was still riding high on endorphins!!

Some of the things I have learned so far at my boot camp:
  1. Sense of humor required.  Seriously.  Don't leave home without it.  I wouldn't make it through these workouts if I didn't laugh at myself!
  2. I really do have muscles that I apparently NEVER use, or perhaps they were never meant to be used.  I can't decide which.
  3. Pee before starting the workout.  This is very important! The emptier the bladder the better! I will explain later.
  4. My vocabulary is expanding.  I've learned several new words & phrases I wasn't familiar with before.  Things like double-unders (fun!), kettle bell swings (more fun!) & burpees (the most fun!).
  5. Ibuprofen, cool showers & ice are my new best friends!
  6. Cliched as it may sound, hard work & perseverance really do pay off!
The boot camp takes place Monday evenings, outdoors in the quiet circle where a colleague of mine lives. I was told it takes place rain or shine. Kind of like the mail delivery! Okay, I can deal with that. Actually I don't know that I could deal with that and thankfully 2 sessions have been postponed due to horribly rainy & windy weather. It seems odd to me how happy I was about these sessions being cancelled given that I run outdoors all year long in scorching heat, rain, wind, snow, sleet, etc, etc.But the idea of getting down on the ground to pump out 50 push ups in the rain....not so nice!

Having never participated in anything like this before I went in with an open mind, willing to take on anything the trainer would throw at me. The trainer - let's call her Sarge - is blond, medium height & built like a rugby player.  She is one tough cookie & perfect to be leading us. She is a personal trainer, massage therapist & overall fitness aficionado. The best thing about Sarge is that she recognizes that each person is at different levels of fitness & overall strength and really tries to work each session to help every person there. Now that may be a ploy to make sure we all come back week after week, but hey, it works!

So session 1 opens up with a jump rope workout. Hurray! I can do this. I loved skipping when I was a kid. WRONG!  4 minutes of non-stop skipping.  Doesn't seem like much, but OMG!  Here's a little tidbit of conversation between me, Sarge & my inner-self as I'm skipping:
                Me (after about 20 seconds of skipping):  Ummm, so I feel like I need to go pee.
                Sarge:  Yeah, that's normal, it will get better over time.
                Me:  Like tonight? I really feel like I'm going to pee my pants.
                Sarge: <wicked laugh> It happens to the best of us!!
                Inner-Me:  Umm, I think I just peed a little.
                Skip, skip, skip.  Stop
                Inner-Me:  UH-OH!  I did, I just peed a little.
                Skip, skip, trickle, trickle, skip, skip...
                Inner-Me:  <screaming in my head> Is this going to STOP??!!??
I finally finish the 4 minutes of agony & ask my colleague if I could use her washroom.  I make a mad dash and once I'm all ready...NOTHING!  My bladder is now EMPTY!

All this took place in the first 5 minutes of the session! My inner-me is screaming "We are SOOOO not coming back again!!". The fun of the evening continued with sit-ups, push-ups, squats, a 35 lb kettle bell & a rowing machine. Sarge introduced us to something she calls 10's - a simple circuit.  10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 burpees, 10 skips, 10 kettle bell swings.  Did I mention the kettle bell weighs 35 lbs.  10 of each to start, then working all the way down to 1.
I should say now, that my most hated activity is the burpee.  Ha!  You thought I was going to say skipping didn't you?  No, even with the warmth & wetness added to the skipping activity, the burpee wins out for the activity that sucks the most!
Showering that night was a hoot, trying to raise my arms to shampoo my hair, and then to rinse, really, something for those home video shows I swear. By Tuesday evening my arms were better, but the pain had just moved into my legs!

Session 2.  Yes I did go back believe it or not!  There is no way this class or Sarge is getting the better of me!  This session was a roller coaster of fun as well.   

I should have stayed home!

Session 2 was all about the squats.  And not just any squats, but squats while you are holding a weighted pole across your body (can't say for sure, but it had to be 10-15lbs).  And not just holding said weighted pole across your body, but pushing it up above the head while standing up from the squat.  The goal was to do 25 of these little gems and then take 25 large steps, stop & proceed to do 25 more, take 25 steps, repeat, repeat, repeat until I had gone twice around the circle/street which is about 200 yards (so 400 yards in total). WHAT???  My muscles were already yelling at me to quick, sprint for the car & drive away fast.  But I didn't.  I did the squats, with the weighted pole & heaved it above my least 200 times!  I could not do 25 at a time though - more like 10 - 20 at the most and it varied throughout the exercise.

After this session, I couldn't walk properly for FIVE days!!  I have never been in so much pain in my life.  Bearing children was easier I kid you not!

Sarge told me at the beginning that the ramp up period would be pretty quick. I actually believed her.  I mean after all I am a runner.  I am strong.  I lift my 30lb toddler on a daily basis several times a day!  Now, I'm thinking she lied to me.  But I return for Session 3 because really I think what could she possibly ask me to do that is going to hurt more than it already has.

Session 3 was better. Sarge didn't lie to me after all. I am feeling better about doing some of the activities that I didn't like so well. I'm much better at a burpee now! Our new activity last night was a lovely thing called a double-under.  Skipping.  Great!  I'm mentally preparing myself for wet pants. Happy to report, no peeing, so those muscles are apparently getting stronger too!  I did have to try at least 25 times before I finally completed one successful double-under (jump once but the rope goes under your feet twice).  Hard.  However, my 19 year old daughter who attends the boot camp with me was a ROCK STAR at these.  But then she's 19, fit & active always.  She seems to be a rock star at most of these activities! Oh to be young again.

There are 5 more sessions left.  I get a little nervous before each one as I'm just not sure what will happen, and how my body will feel they day after & the day after that & the day.....
But I make it fun. I laugh at myself both during & after the workout, ease my aching muscles as best I can & relish my progress so far.

Next up (as far as I've been told) is a workout with a hula hoop.  I think my wee girlie is about to get a hula hoop for a new toy so that mama can practice beforehand!!!

**Re: Sarge - I really love her!  She is a most excellent trainer & motivator!!


  1. Hey Paula. Great post. Glad to see you are liking the monday night torture sessions.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it truly is a roller coaster ride of fun!!

  2. Hahahahha I'd want to pee, too. Good for you for sticking with it.

    1. Thanks! No way this is going to kick my butt!!! :-)

  3. Loved this! You are getting stronger. It is funny though. I think I'm in pretty good shape and do a variety of workouts for an semi-older bird, but every now and then I try something different and my body definitely lets me know. Ha or not so ha.

    1. Oh I hear you. Every now & again I come across something that I think, "yeah, this is going to be easy". Nope, never turns out that way. Saving grace, it gets easier over time!!!

    2. Oh, I hear ya! With some of these things I think, "yeah, this will be easy"! It never works out that way. The saving grace is it does get better over time.

  4. My 14 yr old son bought a jump rope to get better at basketball. I tried it. I peed. I hate jump roping.

    1. Haha, thanks for sharing. I actually bought my own I could practice pee-I mean skipping!

  5. This was a great read!
    Good for you for sticking with it!
    I also had an experience where exercising made me laugh so hard the tears ran down my legs... haha.

    1. Thanks Dawn! I'm sure this won't be the last time I experience this in this class!!

  6. I followed over here from your comment on FBG. Do what I do: get the Poise panty liners. I'm serious. I could never do squat jumps without them! I'm also doing physical therapy to try to stop this from happening when I run.

    That class sounds like fun, mostly...

  7. WOWZA sounds like one fun and hard thing you did :-) I think I would have peed myself as well!!

  8. Just wondering if you've peed your pants again since that first time?? I hope you wore black shorts as they hide it well..LOL