Monday, April 15, 2013

Thank You, Burpees

Friday April 12, 2013. Reflections on Boot Camp

I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and go to a park in the city. It has been cold, rainy, humid, and pollen drenched. That I have dragged my carcass out of the house eight times in two weeks is a miracle. I’m normally up at 5 a.m, but 5 a.m. is my writing time. Now I’m using that time to sweat.

It’s an experiment. I will tell you my hypothesis another day, but here are my observations so far:

1)      Fitness is a religion. You either drink the cool-aid or you don’t. Let’s be real, I’m drinking the Crystal Light. To all my boot camp, CrossFit, FitWit, Zumba, and other fitness friends: I send you an Irish blessing. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back and all that jazz. Thank you for keeping the spirit alive.

2)      I love 5 a.m. I really do. It is dark, beautiful, and deep. At 5 a.m. I am reminded that I have miles to go before I sleep.

3)      Burpee is my new favorite word. It is both the word “burp” and the word “pee” together. I’m going to marry burpees. I looked up the origin of the word, and it’s named after a person. I really thought it was because after doing 10 burpees all you want to do is burp and pee. I stand corrected.

4)      We are not all winners. I am here to tell you, it is okay to be last. I am ninja-good at an awful lot of things, so it is hard to take a risk on an activity where you might fail or be last. Let me be clear. I am always last and least at boot camp. If more people felt okay with being last, more people would stick with boot camp.

5)      When they tell you “good job” at boot camp it means you are last. They do not say good job to the fast people. Those people already know they are good. The good part means that you haven’t quit.

6)      I don’t take orders well. When they say run, we run. Part of me wants to put on my leather jacket and stand against the wall with the other rebels. You can’t make me get healthier, faster, or stronger! Oh, wait. I paid to be here with my face in the grass at 6:17 a.m. When you say run, I’ll run. Slowly.

7)      My brain is busy. I lack focus during boot camp. I pause and look at squirrels. I try to plot my novel while I exercise. This is not going well. My characters will likely start doing a lot of exercise to pick up the pace. (Writing and fitness pun brought on by muscle fatigue. FTW!)

8)      Boot camp is hysterically funny to me. One morning we did prison squats. Huh? They do different squats in prison? Based on my calculations you should do no squats in prison ever, but that’s another story. On Friday, we had to do 100 regular squats. Well guess what? I did some prison squats just for the heck of it.

9)      Did I say heck? I meant F&@% of it. I don’t curse, but working out makes me want to curse. A lot. When I’m at the back of the group (I run a slow and painful 12 minute mile. I actually walk faster than I run), I think many curse words. It is liberating. I think, “I hate all you F&@%ers. I wish you would punch yourself in the face. I hope the zombies eat your brains.” Animosity really improves my endurance.

10)   Animosity is frowned upon during boot camp. As is humor. I should clarify further that my kind of humor with is frowned upon, but there are many funny characters at boot camp.

11)   My dear friend Sally runs a lot. Sally is my running inspiration. She will be disappointed to know that there are no booty smacks in boot camp. There are high-fives and elbow-bumps. I promise you I never saw an elbow-bump in my life until last week. Sally, there are only booty smacks in fiction writing.

12)   I feel like a winner even if I’m last. I feel like Rocky! Did you see Rocky? Spoiler alert. Things did not end well for him in the first movie. But he earned some Oscars. All the movies where Rocky won? Zilch. Me, in last place, feeling like a f&@%ing Oscar winner.

13)   I give thanks every day. To Andy for inviting me to boot camp even though he knows I’m a grouchy mother of four little kids who is likely to write about the trials and triumphs of boot camp. To Mandy who said she’d go to boot camp with me, and I signed up because of her encouragement (and the Zombie Run). To Boot Camp 4a Cause and this month’s cause, Girls on the Run Atlanta. They think fitness matters. And it does. To What’s-His-Name and the four Monsters who make a big production of how I smell after boot camp each morning. Like roses, people. I smell like roses.
By 7 a.m. I’m heading home. I do lament the words I could have written, but I know that exercise improves my writing, my focus at work, possibly my mothering. The sun comes up, and I can’t quite remember the faces of the people in the boot camp. They are strange silhouettes from the dawn hours. The workout seems like a dream. That’s why I keep going back. A burpee, elbow-bump, prison squat dream. Don’t wake me.
April 15, 2013 P.S. One of my fitness goals is to run a race one day. Something small like a 3K or 5K. Maybe I will want to run something longer one day. Do not let evil in the world put fear in your hearts or running shoes. We have enough excuses for lethargy without fear being among them.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you. Your words ring true. You are so right, the possibility of public failure can be daunting until you realize that real failure is doing nothing. My goal is to very slowly, follow in your footsteps.