Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My kind of summer camp

At a recent staff meeting for my employer, one of our executives confessed that even though he worked out for 60 minutes each morning, and that he had lost almost 25 pounds, he hated exercise. He asked, probably rhetorically, if anyone actually enjoys exercise. I gleefully raised my hand even though I knew it would lead to eye rolls and head shaking from many co-workers.

I do love working out! I love the feeling of strengthening my body to face the challenges of the day. I imagine bicep curls and tricep curls empowering me to carry a screaming toddler out of Target. Mountain climbers and high knees are training me to chase down my six-year-old as he careens out of control on his new two-wheel bike.

When those endorphins kick in, I feel this inner fire glowing, burning away the tiny guilt I feel from taking time away from the kids, the house chores, my job and my husband. That little fire also burns away the tiny piece of guilt I might have for indulging my sweet tooth. I am just as committed to my sweet tooth as I am to taking a few minutes each day to focus on just my self, and working out satisfies both.

So this summer, in the midst of signing my own children up for fun, exciting new camps, I picked one for myself with activities I have never tried before: Boot Camp!

My personal trainer, Amanda Rudd, offers a 6-week Backyard Bootcamp program. Every Monday and Wednesday I bust my butt with two other ladies in the park near my house. After the first workout, I hobbled around work for an entire day. People even asked if I was injured. "Just sore from Bootcamp!" I proudly announced. More head-shaking.

I got through Wednesday's workout and even managed to complete some push-ups. I have some kind of impairment that prevents me from doing very many push-ups, I think the technical term is "weakness." I'm starting so low I can only improve, and I love when I learn how to do something well.

This week's camp was humid and muggy but luckily included a lot of jogging to balance out the tortuous cross-over mountain climbers and figure-four crunches. At the end of the session I marched home and my four-year-old wrapped my sweaty body in a huge hug and announced, "On boot camp days you are smelly!"