All of the participants after the bootcamp.

All of the participants after the boot camp. I am the one on the far right in the blue shirt.

Hello all

BOOT CAMP JOY? Is there such a thing dear friends?

Well I discovered it this morning … and perhaps I’ve even invented a new terminology to describe the activity that is Boot Camp. Yes, I attended my very first Boot Camp today and I just wanted to share it with you all. Here’s how it panned out:

Alarm set for 4.30 am. Jump up and get moving … it’s pitch black outside. My gym partner Pat and husband David, are swinging by at 5.15 am to pick me up for two hours of Boot Camp at a park in the inner city. Geoff tries to sleep after I get up, but lights going on and off and kettles humming prove to be a little hard to take and he wakes and calls out to me “they’re talking about doing exercise on the radio!”

Well … that’s serendipity for you isn’t it?

It is still dark as we enter the freeway only to discover traffic is at a stand still … road works have made travelling the 25 minutes to Kangaroo Point into a journey of 45 minutes. Who would have thought? We arrive just after the starting time of 6 am … but others from down our way have had the same problem so we are not alone. The sun has now come up and there is dew on the grass … a good time to start.

By 6.05 am we are doing warm up exercises in a big group and getting ready for the havoc our bodies are about to endure … as yet it is the UNKNOWN. Now we are broken up into five groups so that we can move from one area of exercise to the other. I am helped by wonderful personal trainers who modify certain exercises to suit me.

And now – with a fanfare – the cry goes up: LET ‘BOOT CAMP’ BEGIN …

Here I am moving a bag full of sand down the other end.

Here I am moving a bag full of sand down the other end.

Push-ups, jump-ups, burpees, jogs to and fro, boxing, moving all manner of heavy things (bags of sand, large tyres, a huge rope) from one end to the other in teams … you name it we do it. Drink water then run, jump, squat … drink water then more jogging, weights etc etc and so it goes on and on and on …

And before we know it, we are clapping really hard because we have just completed Boot Camp at Kangaroo Point! And we are puffing and panting and shaking our heads at the sheer amount of time we have spent moving … approximately two hours. Now for the ‘cool down’ stretches to end the morning.

However, before we leave there is a team photo of all the participants, plus the personal trainers who helped make this event possible as we congratulate one another at what we have achieved. And kudos must be given to all those personal trainers who encouraged us every step of the way.

We did it!!” we cry out jubilantly to one another. Yeah… yeah … yeah and thank goodness it’s over! Everyone is on a high.

So why then, is it Boot Camp Joy? Because dear friends, the effort to get up so early, get moving, do all those activities that we would not freely do under normal circumstances, is rewarded at the end when we have completed all the exercises in the five groups.  Joy because we have nailed it! Persevered and not been found wanting.

Pain. Exertion. Wanting to give up. Exhaustion. Craziness. Disbelief. These are just some of the words to describe how I felt during those two hours.

But afterwards, as my gym buddy Pat and I looked up to see our own Daniel and Belinda with their two young children, standing on the sidelines clapping our achievement, a great wave of joy welled up within me.  And Pat too was joyful; she couldn’t believe she had actually done boxing … something she vowed NEVER to do!

How could this much effort and pain lead to so much JOY?

As Pat, David and my husband Geoff, head across the busy main road to go and eat breakfast with the family, I realise that I honestly believed I wasn’t capable of doing Boot Camp. In fact I had refused to attend when it was last conducted for our Beenleigh club at a nearby park a few weeks ago. In my mind, I was simply too weak and incapable to participate, but now I had just proved myself wrong.

And this is why I am calling it BOOT CAMP JOY … because for me, it most certainly was joyful. Perhaps now I can get a new image of myself as a fit and healthy person and leave behind the thinking that as I age (I am 67 yrs old) I’ll only get weaker and weaker. I know now that I have to keep moving my body in order to stay strong in both mind and body.

Oh … nothing equals the joy, my friends, that is: BOOT CAMP JOY!

N.B. Boot Camps are exploding all over Australia. Check out these sites: