Boot Camp is one of the hardest things that I have done. And that means something because I thrive on making myself suffer.
I woke up today to sore arms, aching abs, burning quads, glutes on fire. I went to the window to peek outside. It was 4:50am. I had only gotten 5.5 hours of sleep. I could see part of the rooftop covered with a thick layer of frost. They are promising snow, but it’s not here yet.
I didn’t want to go. It was FREEZING and my muscles were in agony. At 4:55am I almost gave up.
And then I got out of bed.
And I went to camp.
Why? Because I said I would. Because I promised Daniel, I promised a big group of other women, and most importantly – I promise myself.
45 minutes into camp I wanted to cry. Not just because of the pain but because of all the small miracles happening around me. Women learning that their bodies can do more than they ever wagered, finding muscles that have long since gone sleepy, enduring a burn that they didn’t think they could handle.
Daniel got down next to the women in front of me as she collapsed out of an ab exercise we were doing. He smiled and he said, “Christine, no one here gives up!” And she got back at it. Her face pinched and twisted, she kept going. And he kept saying it, “No one gives up!” “No one gives up!”
And she finished. We all finished.
It sounds cheesy but I realized in that moment why I love team sports and, more specifically, why I love coaches.
It’s because someone cares.
That sounds simple but it’s more profound than you might think. Someone cares about my body. Someone cares about my health. Someone cares about my well-being. Someone, besides me, cares whether or not I make it through this ab exercise.
Someone, besides me, really believes in me. And is willing to tell me over and over again. And is willing to help me. And is eager to remind me.
I’m a person who most often takes the lonely road. I’ll do it myself because I am the only one that I can count on. I’ll do it myself because I’m the only one who can do it right. I’ll do it myself because, by god, in the end there’s only me.
But today at camp I was reminded how powerful reaching out can be. How profound making a commitment to other people can be. How deeply we can affect, love, inspire, and motivate each other – if we just open ourselves to the opportunity.
I didn’t cry in camp but I wanted to. For all our suffering and all those times we’ve been told that we’re not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, skinny enough or beautiful enough. Because we were all laying on the floor, trembling in the midst of isometric agony, proving everyone wrong.
And we were doing it together.