Boot Camp Diary: Day 2 – Fun’s Over
I am going to write this now, while I can still type.
Because I’m pretty sure that tomorrow morning I will wake up unable to move my arms or use my trunk to get out of bed. Sal will have to spoon feed me my daily quota of broccoli and grilled chicken, while I wait to regain the use of my battered limbs.
I always forget. Always. No matter how hard I try to remember what boot camp feels like, I forget. Perhaps this is the mind’s sneaky trick to get me to wake up and go back every morning. I’m sure if I remembered the exact sensation of agony from the middle of a set of forearm planks, side-planks, “supermans“, and “alternating supermans“, I would turn off my alarm clock and leave the screaming muscles to someone else.
As it is, I forget. And I’m glad I do.
Because the sensation that directly follows the agony is a combination of relief, elation, pride, and euphoria.
Post-torment elation aside, boot camp today eats my lunch. I am flanked by two hammers: Vicki and Tammy. Unlike me, these women have not been off rolling around on bicycles all year – they’ve been in boot camp – getting strong.
Their tenacity gets me through the first abdominal assault that Daniel launches out of his “I’m going to hurt you good”cannon. If Vicki can hold this stupid position, then so can I. If Tammy is still at it, then so will I be. I’m a strength-sucking leach on their spirits and I am not making any apologies.
I spend the entire second assault wishing and hoping with all of my being that Daniel will make us go outside and run. Please let us run! He rarely does this. And when does, it’s usually hill sprints.
Running is easy, people. Boot camp is not.
As we suffer, one or two of us will pull out of a set – put a foot down, rest an arm, set a knee on the mat, anything for a second of recovery, a momentary interruption to the burn. The movement is a physical “I can’t” and Daniel answers it out loud, with words:
“You CAN. Yes, you can.”
I won’t lie to you – there are “you can” moments where I want to punch Daniel in the face, watch him hit the ground and then kick him in the gut just for good measure – these are the moments that assure me that he is doing his job. I don’t want to like Daniel at 5:30am. I’ll like him at 5:29am and then I might like him again around 6:35am, but from 5:30-6:30am he better make me hate his guts – at least a few times.
We spend the rest of the morning playing with Daniel’s new “devices” which he has constructed for the purpose of extracting the maximum possible amount of pain. They’re simple tools designed to use with a partner and as Tammy and I torture each other accordingly, I don’t even realize that time is almost up.
The clock ticks over to 6:30 and an imaginary school bell rings inside my head.
“That’s it?” (Time flies when you’re having fun.)
I wade through a sea of sweaty, foam-rolling women, pack up my Chrome bag, and steer my bike in the direction of Stumptown Coffee. By 6:45 I am enjoying post-workout redemption in the form of one meticulously created Americano.
Most of my friends are still sleeping, my metabolism is roaring, and I am ready to kick some serious ass (or at least as much ass as one can kick with trembling triceps and softly aching core).