If we’re Facebook friends, you must be wondering what all my HEAT Bootcamp check-ins are all about. See, the end of 2011 proved to be hectic with holiday parties, new friends, and what I decided was too much imbibing of my favorite cocktail – the sidecar. More than the over-indulgence, it seemed that not focusing on the things that I wanted for myself invited personalities and philosophies that also took me further away from my goals. I felt sluggish from going out too much. I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I put on some pounds. And I was spending too much money. That’s not me. I wanted to change, so I vowed that 2012 would operate under one word - simple.
I hit the trail hard as 2012 started, and kept a mindful watch on what I was putting in my body, but I knew that if I was to achieve what I had in mind for myself, I needed to find something that pushed me to do more. I found a deal soon after for an outdoor bootcamp with unlimited classes that was an astonishingly low $40 a month. I slept on it. The idea of getting up at 5:30 AM every morning seemed….impossible. And I tried to recruit some friends to join me, but their reactions were similar to what I would expect if I were asking them to cut off a limb. Screw it. It was only $40. I’ve accidentally spent that on an overly indulgent lunch on more than one occasion. Maybe there will be hot boys in class (a motivational thought). I geared myself up, grit my teeth, and set my alarm.
The first week was unbelievably hard. My muscles were incredibly sore, I was exhausted by the time 11 AM rolled around, and I was hungry. Really really hungry. Another tough thing was that going to bootcamp wasn’t/isn’t just about going to bootcamp. It also meant that everything else took a backseat because in order for me to successfully show up to class, every decision I made throughout the day had to keep bootcamp in mind. I had to dig deep to finish the workouts, and get passed the disappointment when certain exercises made it apparent just how not in shape I was.
But 4 weeks later, getting up that early stopped feeling so hard. I had a regular sleep schedule, I preferred not to drink alcohol because I didn’t want it slowing me down, happily went home early to get in bed at a reasonable time, and noticed that my bank account had some padding. Those sidecars at The W are not cheap (my favorite)! Not to mention my abs were coming out of hiding. In the middle of week 6, I went to the beach and got some admiring looks due to my increasingly perky behind. In fact, I was walking to the bathroom and walked by a group of guys cat calling at someone, but I didn’t realize they were talking to me until I heard “Asian with a booty”. By week 8, I had put on 13 pounds of muscle while SHRINKING down a size to a fit 2. Showing up 4-5 times a week was paying off!
Last Saturday marked the end of week 12, and the last class of the outdoor bootcamp. I kicked my own ass all of last week and went to 5 days of camp where I won a pushup contest, a plank holding contest, and the ultimate challenge – 100 pushup burpees, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and a 2 mile run in 52 minutes. As someone that was mid to the low end of the pack when I started, my achievements during week 12 blew me away. I was a beast in camp (a sexy beast I mean). And winning on Saturday definitely had me walking on cloud nine. I loved how strong I felt while I was plowing through that challenge. It was proof that I transformed myself physically, but more importantly, I now know just how hard and far I can push myself mentally. I wanted it for myself. For just the pure satisfaction of knowing I could.
I am different today than I was 12 weeks ago. I am much more fit. I’m stronger. I have less body fat. I can do real nose touching the ground pushups that actually look good. I can flip tractor tires bigger than me. I know that waking up sucks, but it only sucks for the first couple of minutes. I know that pain is temporary. I know that I can push past it. I know that if I put in the work, I get the results I want. And I know what I want, so I know that if I make what I want a priority, I WILL get it. Bootcamp provided an environment where I routinely achieved things that I didn’t know I could do. It empowered me to believe that I could do seemingly impossible things. It empowered me to embrace the pain, lean in to the discomfort because I can push past it. Love it even.
It’s obvious that I am in love with HEAT bootcamp, but it’s not about weight loss. It’s about mentally pulling out your inner badass. In fact, I weigh nine pounds more now than when I started. I tell people that it’s my vice. A hobby. Something that I do entirely for myself. If you’re reading this, I hope that you have something that you do entirely for yourself. Something that makes you feel super human and brings out your inner badassery. I used to think I was giving up something to make it to class. Giving up social time with friends. Giving up sleep. Giving up happy hour. But what I’ve actually done is make myself a priority. Gain new friends that are on board with what I want to do for myself, and cut away from people and choices that brought a negative energy to my daily life. Get more sleep because my body needs it. I still go to happy hour, I just don’t get to the point that it takes away from what I want to accomplish. It has made it easier to make the choices that put me first. Bootcamp keeps things simple. Gives the choices that I make a purpose. That positive feeling infiltrates every aspect of my life. Not to mention get me ready for the Austin Climb!
I would love to hear about how you stay motivated and focused. What about you? What do you do to bring out your inner badass? What have been your biggest lessons?
And no, HEAT didn’t pay me to write this. They don’t even know about it. Yet, anyway.