Bootcamp is Not for Wimps

Screenshot 2014-12-08 22.05.45I interrupt my regularly scheduled blog posts to report on my latest inadvertent attempt to kill myself: bootcamp.

All my life, I’ve been in great condition, starting with playing loads of tennis on the club level (and winning my share of tournaments, I must add with all due humility), along with playing hundreds of holes of golf per month, walking the course and carrying my clubs. Then, after moving to San Antonio, I took up road cycling, where I was riding an average of about 100 miles a week all over the city’s hilly streets.


My normal cycling route led me through one neighborhood where, for a while, there was a nasty little black and white dog named Oreo. I found out about Oreo one day when, while riding along in a zen state, was startled by the dreaded sound of a snarling mutt on my heels. I looked down, and sure enough, that little rat was running right along side me, trying to bite my feet.

I knew his name was Oreo when, after he ran after me, his owner shrieked, “O R E O ! !” so loudly that people in homes three streets over could hear. But no matter to Oreo, he would have no part in being obedient, not when the tantalizing sight of moving feet was so close by!

When you are on a bicycle, and your feet are clipped into the pedals, you have only seconds to pull out of the pedals if you must suddenly need to stop…or you fall over. I knew if I continued riding in this area, I ran the risk of tangling with Oreo and perhaps being knocked off my bike. But, to heck with that…I wasn’t about to give up my wonderful, beautiful route to a bullying pipsqueak!!

So, that first day I outran Oreo, but the encounter made an impression on me. I determined that the next time I went down that street, I’d keep an eye out for him, and make a note of where he came from, and get ready to put on the afterburner to get out of there. I realized this was risky business, but I was willing to go there to settle the score with Oreo.

Two defensive measures came to me: 1. Use my air pump to smack Oreo as he tried to bite me, or 2. Squirt him with my water bottle. I had to weigh the odds of one tactic or the other causing me to lose my balance and crash. I decided that the water bottle would be the least likely to jeopardize me, and if I hit Oreo with a good dousing, perhaps that would be a memorable deterrent.

So, as I rounded the corner leading to the house of Oreo, I pulled my water bottle from its cage and got ready. As I cycled by, sure enough the little black and white devil came shooting out of his yard. I’m sure he thought he had me, as I slowed down to take aim, with him bearing down on my foot. However, with a good strong squirt, he caught a face full of water, stopping him dead in his tracks. I had vanquished the enemy!

Back on Track

A few difficult life events came along and sidetracked me from my athletic pursuits, but I got back on top of things and joined a club in San Antonio, the floors of which were dotted by my falling drops of sweat on a regular basis. I was in better shape than ever and feeling great. I remember one evening running into David Robinson there at the club. A normal person can’t really appreciate just how tall a basketball player is until you see them in real life. Just astounding.

So, in more recent years, with a keen focus on working hard and moving, and then dealing with cancer and chemotherapy, fitness fell by the wayside. It was replaced with overcoming a difficult disease and an onerous, toxic course of treatment.

Today, a year later, with cancer and chemo behind me, I’m feeling really good and ready to get back on top of my physical condition. With that, I found something I didn’t know existed in Beeville – BTX Crossfit. I visited their Facebook page, and their web site, and learned what I could about their facility and services. In spite of that, I never could really discern how to get started with a workout regimen. So, I met with the owner and thought I heard something about an OnRamp program; sounded good, but he gave me a schedule and it happened that there was a bootcamp going this evening at seven. I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a go.

Burpee is Not Just a Seed Company!

After a year and a half of inactivity, multiple surgeries, and healing, I knew I was probably in pretty bad shape, but I was willing to start somewhere to get going. The experience was both humbling and gratifying; however, I say this not knowing how much I’ll hurt tomorrow! My body went from doing very little exercise except for long walks with the dogs and exercises at home, to *BAM* this vigorous and rapid course of one thing after another at this evening’s session.

Tonight I learned that there are a few acronyms that are part of the crossfit vernacular, such as EMOM (every minute on the minute) and AMRAP (as many reps as possible). Tonight, I was in EMOM hell. The leader had us doing a set of exercises, each for one minute, then on to the next, for a minute, and so on. If you got finished before a minute was up, which thankfully I did over and over, you got to rest for the remaining seconds. This fun went on for an hour.

Even though this was my first foray into crossfit/bootcamp, I actually did pretty well, though I also felt pretty weak. I didn’t like that one bit. So, I’m going to get a personal trainer to help me build a strong foundation and then we will see what’s next. It did feel good to be out there, working and feeling my body. I’ve always believed we think with our minds, but we feel with and in our bodies. I want my body to be, and feel, its very best!

Meanwhile, there were a few times tonight, especially doing this torturous thing called a burpee, that I thought of my cycling days, and kind of actually missed mean old Oreo. After I get in shape, I’m thinking there’s another bike in my future, and most certainly, another little dog wanting to bite my feet. I’ll be ready!

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2 Responses to Bootcamp is Not for Wimps

  1. Londa Clark says:

    Burpees will make you sore in places that you didn’t even know you had!

  2. Raymond says:

    Boy! I admire you for that! What a workout! Somehow, I’m not surprised though. Burpee sounds like the RESULT…..not the exercise! See you soon1

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