You know how on the Biggest Loser when the contestants look at pictures of their bigger selves they say things like “I don’t even know that person.” Or “I don’t like that person.” I don’t feel that way at all when I look at pictures of myself at my heavier weight. I know exactly who I was when I was 237 pounds. Gaining weight was part of my (wait for it) journey (gag, I know!) It is only because of the challenges that I faced through the weight gain and loss that I was able to realize how strong I am. At my heaviest, at my sickest, I didn’t know that I was capable of doing things like handstands or running three miles. But now I do and I am grateful. And maybe just a little bit proud.
Last Friday I completed yet another 6 week session of boot camp.
I believe this was my most successful session yet. I did not miss a single class (5 days a week!) I never said I wanted to punch anyone in the face and I didn’t fart once during class, not even during the highly fartable workouts!
I was also committed to trying to hate running less (which is a goal I have every single session, but I can’t seem to shake the Running Hate. Probably because I’m so bad at it? And because I’m always the slowest one? And I hate the way it makes my lungs feel? And because it is the WORST?)
Since September of last year, I’ve lost 23 pounds, 19.5 inches. I can run a mile 1:50 faster (from 12:05 to 10:15) and I can do 35 push-ups, up from 7.
But that’s not the best part about this whole boot camp thing. Sure, the weight loss is awesome, but the confidence I’ve gained is worth more to me than lost pounds. I have always been the girl who says “I can’t.” I never would have never believed I would be able to run 3 miles, only strong, fit women can do that! I would have never believed I could complete a 365 rep challenge that includes 100 competition style burpees and finish in 23 minutes! I would have never believed that I could push a truck up a hill or do a handstand and not break my face. But guess what? I’m 178 pounds, 41 years old and I can do all of those things and THEN SOME. I may not be the fastest, or the strongest, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I no longer tell myself “I can’t” because I finally believe that I can.
I start a new session on Monday and my only goal this time is to do better than I did last time. I will push myself harder, feed myself better and enjoy every minute of getting healthier and stronger. (And hopefully faster? Because Oh, how I want to run a mile in under 10 minutes!)
Yesterday was the last day of boot camp. We tested out in the morning. I could not be happier with my results.
I lost 6 pounds.
I lost a total of 11.25 inches, 4 of those inches in my hips, 2 1/2 in my waist.
I improved my mile time by 1 minute 1 second.
I improved my push-ups by 15.
I improved my sit-ups by 14.
I improved my attitude by 100%.
This time around I learned that I don’t like to be uncomfortable and the second things get tough, I want to quit. Because it hurts. Because I’m scared.. This session I learned to push myself– push past the pain, past the insecurity, past the fear. I did things I didn’t think I could do, things I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t always happy about it. In fact, sometimes I was downright PISSED OFF. But I did it and I got results.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Truth.
I’m excited to do another six weeks. To get stronger, hopefully faster, maybe a bit smaller, but mostly healthier.
Every time that I tell my boys about boot camp, they kind of roll their eyes and say “doesn’t sound that hard.” You see, Ethan is an athlete who does intensive training for basketball and Andrew attends physical training weekly at the Marine recruiting station. What I do at fitness boot camp couldn’t possibly compare to the intensity of their workouts. “You think it’s so easy, then I challenge you to join me for a class!” Ethan promised me he would come to a class during spring break. Today was the day that he agreed to get up early to come with me. Oh boy did he pick a good day.
Today we did a “1,000 rep challenge.”
Ten different exercises, ten times each, for ten rounds. We would have forty minutes to try to complete all 1,000 reps. My first thought as she was explaining how it would work was “I will never complete all 1,000 reps. No way.” Followed by “my son is going to kick my butt.” He’s young, he’s fit, he’s an athlete. I’m forty and not in very good shape.
To be honest, I was terrified. I didn’t want to fail. I wanted to complete it, I wanted to kick ass, but one thing I struggle with is believing in myself, in my ability to succeed. I decided I would do my best and that I would push myself as hard as I possibly could.
The challenge started. I hit it hard. So did my son. He quickly got ahead of me, just like I knew he would. I was okay with that. This wasn’t about me wanting to beat him. It was about me wanting to do something I didn’t think I could do. This was about me not wanting to fail. This was about me believing that I had it in me to complete this challenge.
I completed round one, then round two, then round three, then four. Things got a little difficult. My legs were burning, I was out of breath, everything in me said “take a break! Stop!” But I didn’t. I pushed through the pain, through the discomfort. I completed round five, then six, then seven, eight and nine.
And then, at the 37 minute mark, I finished the last round– round ten.
I did it. I did something I didn’t think I was capable of doing.
I laid on my mat, I moaned for a minute and then I got up and walked around with a smile on my face.
“You’re stronger than you think you are.” I whispered to myself.
At the beginning of the class, our instructor said there would be a gift card handed out to the winner of the challenge. She said this person wouldn’t necessarily be the first person to finish, but the one who worked the hardest. After the challenge was over, she congratulated everyone on their hard work. “There is one person who really stood out today.” I waited to hear which one of my incredible boot campers would be named. “That person is Yvonne.”
My fellow campers clapped and agreed with her choice. “Great job!” They said. “You kicked butt!!”
She handed me the gift card and told me she was proud of me. As corny as this sounds, I wanted to cry. I felt proud of myself and I rarely feel the way.
Any time I feel like I am not capable of doing something, I will think back to this challenge and I will tell myself “Yes. Yes you can.”
As an aside, because it’s totally not important at all, I finished before my son. My young, fit, athletic son.