Getting the boot.
With the exception of the sprint I make towards the microwave when my pizza rolls are ready, I’ve never been very athletic.
At my childhood summer camp, each kid got to choose two sports classes to attend each morning. I enrolled in Arts & Crafts and Canoeing every year. Even then, I dealt with anxiety that I’d somehow pull a muscle making a friendship bracelet. Fast forward to the seventh grade, the year I decided I would give sports a try. I tried out for the school volleyball team and was the only girl who didn’t make the cut. Sure, it bruised my little twelve year old ego- until my dad gave me this long talk about strengths and weaknesses, how special and unique we all are, and how I could totally outplay any of those volleyball bitches on the clarinet*.
As an adult, I enjoy watching sports. I enjoy talking about sports. I love settling into my couch divot for a good sports movie. But I am not a fan of actual physical activity.
I tell you this because early Saturday morning, I did a foolish thing. I attended a boot camp. My work friend Heather goes to boot camp religiously, and she let me know that if she could get 10 people to try one boot camp session during the month of November, she’d get all of December free. I hated the idea. Early morning outdoor exercise? Um, no thanks, ma’am. The problem is, I like Heather, and I think she is kind and funny and great, and I wanted to help her get her free month. So I did it.
Upon my arrival, I immediately hated about 80% of the women there, because they were 36 year olds with three babies but somehow still able to wear size XS Under Armor apparel and have Michele Obama arms and pretty hair. The nerve of those women!
To my surprise, I was able to actually do the majority of the workout without dropping dead. For 55 minutes I exerted myself- lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, kettlebell lifts, pull ups, leg lifts, pajama hammocks, demon whackers, pistol legs, etc.** Next, the coach announced it was time for the last exercise of the day. We were to do 10 squats, then 10 burpees, then 9 squats, then 9 burpees, then 8 of each, and so on. FYI, burpees are terrible. This is a fitness professional demonstrating a burpee:
This is me, demonstrating a burpee:
I did the 10 set, and I did the 9 set, and then I started to feel lightheaded and out of breath, so I stopped. This is when things got a little uneasy.
Boot Camp Guy: DON’T QUIT! DON’T STOP!
Me: Eh, I think I’m done.
BCG: YOU SHOULD’VE GONE TO THE HUNTER PARK BOOTCAMP! HUNTER PARK IS FOR PANSIES!
Me: In that case, yes, I should have gone to that one.
BCG: DO YOU WANT TO GET YOUR STUFF AND GO HOME?***
BCG: PACK UP YOUR STUFF AND GO HOME.
So that’s exactly what I did. I got in my car and drove straight to Starbucks for a caloric treat.
I’m sure that yelling is motivational for some people (men?), but I am not one of those people. If someone raises their voice at me, it’s over. I will not cooperate with that person any more. I mentally check out. Depending on how I think about this event, I am either a strong-willed hero who stood up to authority and asserted myself, or I am the wimpiest of all wimps- a quitter and a baby who refused to tough it out.
Maybe I’m something in the middle. Maybe I’m the toughest damn baby of them all.
*These may not have been his exact words; it was a long time ago.
**Some of these workouts are made up/don’t exist.
***This is the dumbest question I’ve ever been asked.