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November 8, 2011 / Lauren

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:

I don't know this man, but he must be exhausted.

This is me, demonstrating a burpee:

The cat represents me; the human represents gravity.

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.


Me: In that case, yes, I should have gone to that one.


Me: Yes.


Me: Okay.

So that’s exactly what I did. I got in my car and drove straight to Starbucks for a caloric treat.

Welp, I believe we're done here.

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.



Leave a Comment
  1. Laurie / Nov 9 2011 6:30 am

    I checked out at the only bootcamp I’ve been to for that very reason. I’m pissed at him for you. Can I call you TDB for the rest of our lives ? It’s ok to be toughest damn baby 🙂

    • Lauren / Nov 9 2011 10:41 am

      Yes! Can we have a Hideaway date soon? I really need to meet CBD (cutest damn baby) too!

  2. Katie / Nov 9 2011 10:45 am

    Girlfriend, I do not respond to yelling either. If you yell at me I am basically done with you.

    Which I think must somehow also relate to our mutual bad attitudes towards authority….

    • Lauren / Nov 9 2011 9:06 pm

      Yelling: the only thing worse than taco salad.

      • Danielle / Nov 10 2011 2:59 pm

        There is nothing wrong with taco salad.

  3. Rochelle Latimer / Nov 9 2011 11:09 am

    I think you did a great job Lauren, at least you didn’t upchuck in the bushes.

    • Lauren / Nov 9 2011 9:07 pm

      Thanks Rochelle! You did awesome too. Except for the vomiting.

  4. Danielle / Nov 10 2011 3:00 pm

    At least you are a bad ass at everything else.

  5. Danielle / Nov 10 2011 3:01 pm

    You should have shown him your jifts.

    • Lauren / Nov 10 2011 3:22 pm

      BRB, opening a small business called Jifts by Narsha.

      • Danielle / Nov 11 2011 9:42 am


  6. Kate / Nov 14 2011 5:32 pm

    I didn’t think it was possible for me to love you more. I wish my bootcamp instructors ever asked if I wanted to leave. They were always too nice and “You can do it” for me to storm out.

    • Lauren / Nov 14 2011 5:45 pm

      Now that “you can do it” stuff would have worked! Your bootcamp people need to give this guy a lesson. And punch him in the face.

  7. Ed Sharrer (@edsharrer) / Nov 15 2011 4:08 pm

    You shoulda fiddlepitted the crap outta that instructor. Love the retelling…

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