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Posts Tagged ‘Madison Adventure Boot Camp’

I always thought I hated running, for one good reason (although maybe it counts as two): boobs.

I was on the girl’s basketball team in seventh grade, which also happened to be the year that my breasts started sprouting in earnest. Sports bras weren’t a thing yet in the ’80s … boobs bouncing down the court were just part of the scenery of practices and games (the Lady Hawks included eighth- and ninth-graders in all stages of development). I wasn’t comfortable with the bouncing itself or spectators watching the bouncing, however.

And the utter stupidity of being called the Lady Hawks: DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED.

When sports bras began to become more popular in the ’90s, they still weren’t worth much for ladies with anything bigger than B cups. (And don’t think I’m bragging until YOU try to fit them into an Ann Taylor blouse that isn’t so big the shoulder seams are drooping toward your elbows or so tight that the top button is threatening to put someone’s eye out.)

I tried the double-down trick for aerobics classes (SHUT UP) in college, but wearing two sports bras at once pretty much doubles the amount of boob sweat you produce in half the time.

I made peace with the non-bouncy elliptical machine for a few years, then discovered weight training, which I simply LOVED. My body responded quickly, toning here, putting on a little bit of muscle there. Best of all, I didn’t feel skinny or fat, just STRONG.

Even the most effective fitness programs become ruts after a while, however. Bored with weights and walking and the occasional foray into the neighborhood gym (and vividly aware that my cardio stamina was rapidly diminishing), I signed up for Madison Adventure Boot Camp in November.

Finally, I had a reason (and marching orders from Joe Martin, boot camp owner and official trainer of the Rocket City Bloggers) to buy one of those pricey new and improved sports bras that I had read so much about the past few years — a Moving Comfort model from Fleet Feet, which carries a huge variety of bras in a tiny display area and will let you try them ALL on if you need to.

We ran in boot camp, and ran some more. I almost hurt myself — luckily, my shin splints turned out to be less splinty than some — but I discovered that, with the bouncing problem solved, running not only wouldn’t kill me, it could actually be fun.

I’m not the best runner in the world, mind you. I stop to pet dogs. I slow down so I don’t scare ducks. Sometimes I slow to a stroll, convinced that I’m going to die on the street of a heart explosion like a 1985 cocaine addict with really bad judgement.

But then I start running again. One more sidewalk segment. Then another. To the end of that row of hedges. No, wait. THAT row of hedges. I shave two minutes off my route and think, next week, another two minutes is coming off.

Running makes me feel like I can do anything, as long as I can find the right bra and stop to pet dogs. ANYTHING. And that feeling is worth a LOT of $50 sports bras.

 

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I have purchased no eggnog this year.

Normally, I would be on my second carton by now.

When I first spotted cartons of eggnog in the dairy aisle a few weeks ago, however, it just didn’t seem worth the calories.

Part of this attitude, admittedly, results from attending boot camp at 5:30 a.m. three days a week. I’m not negating that much hard work with 6 ounces of sugar and fat.

Part of it, though, is the realization that eggnog is simply a nostalgic food for me, a trip back in time to childhood.

When I was a child, eggnog was something that I drank only at my grandparents’ house, and only in the days leading up to Christmas. We drank it out of these fabulous Santa mugs:

As my friends Kristen and Harold have noted, however, nostalgia can be burdensome. I can’t re-create those Christmas scenes, and I shouldn’t want to. Every day of the year gives us another chance to create NEW memories. Trying to redo the past, even the little pieces of it, can only lead to bitterness and disappointment.

My brother’s kids are going to remember that Tia always made red velvet cake pops for them at Christmas, and Tia’s going to remind them that, for little girls under 50 lbs., they ate an impressive number of the rich morsels. And in 20 years or so, I hope they come up with their very own tradition, leaving cake pops in the dust if that’s not really their thing anymore.

I’ll give them the Santa mugs, though, if they decide that eggnog is their thing.

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The wages of exuberance: shin splints.

I’m not actually willing to call them shin splints yet, however. Let’s just call them shin irritations.

I knew I was in trouble when I took the elevator to the second floor this morning and then couldn’t work up the energy to go try on boots at lunch.

BOOTS, people. Cute ones. On SALE.

Fine. I overdid it Wednesday morning, when I discovered mid-run that I could run farther than I could in previous sessions. So, like the Flock of Seagulls, I ran so far away, walked a little, then ran a little more. UPHILL.

I ran too far for my own good, apparently.

I’ve taken the elevator and a couple of anti-inflammatories. I’ll ice my lower legs tonight. I’ll pace myself at tomorrow morning’s boot camp.

The fact that I haven’t even considered skipping it means that one correct description for me is either resolute or hard-headed. Maybe both.

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Ah, there it is. The first pound gained from boot camp.

That’s right. I have gained weight because of an exercise program.

Muscle is more dense than fat, and I’ve definitely muscled up a little. I can see it and feel it here and there.

This pound is not a bad thing.

I admit to a lifelong obsession with waifishness, however. Wouldn’t it be nice, I’ve always thought, to be one of those girls who looks effortlessly twiggy in a pair of yoga pants and a tank top, or one of those women whose tiny shoulders and small chest just look absolutely dainty in her sparkly LBD?

But this sort of thinking quickly veers into the you-can-never-be-too-skinny realm. And you can TOTALLY be too skinny.

And those waifs looking so graceful in their yoga pants? A lot of them want to be skinnier too.

Which brings me to my point: That number you see on the scale? No matter how bulky or skinny it makes you feel, that’s someone else’s goal weight. You may very well be someone else’s waif.

Me? I’ve done approximately 100 push-ups this week along with untold numbers of squats, jumping jacks, curls and ab exercises. I wore my heaviest boots to the doctor’s office this morning and didn’t blink when the nurse kept nudging the indicator over.

I feel awesome. Maybe I’ll gain another pound next week.

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Due to Huntsville’s perpetual fall rain cycle (AKA cold November rain, for you G&R buffs), boot camp was held inside of a karate studio this morning. The indoor lighting revealed what 5:30 a.m. lighting in the regular outdoor location did not: I was the only participant wearing weightlifting gloves.

I felt particularly tomboyish for a few minutes, which is not an unfamiliar feeling for me, until I at last spotted one more boot camper wearing similar gloves. It then occurred to me that the two of us were going to have the softest hands in the whole group at the end of boot camp because the main reason I wear weightlifting gloves is to protect my hands from dumbell-induced calluses.

And that’s how I went from tomboy to soft-handed lady, all in the span of three minutes before daylight on a Monday.

My brain is a wonderland.

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First of all, guess what? I’m totally going to boot camp. At 5:30 a.m. Three days a week. During the kickoff of the holiday eating season.

I’m not trying to lose massive amounts of weight, although a little trim-up here and there wouldn’t go unappreciated. I really just need to get out of my fitness rut — working out by yourself often means that you stop really challenging yourself. Three sets of three different lifts, 30 minutes of cardio … meh. It turns into an uninspired check mark on the daily to-do list.

I’ve been lucky enough to inherit my maternal grandfather’s height (not ALL of it, but I’m taller than most other female relatives) and his tendency toward the slender end of the spectrum. I’m not stick-figure thin, mind you: I have curves that will grow curvier if left to their own devices.

What I want is muscles. Not big muscles, but toned muscles. And not just for display purposes. I like it when my muscles can DO things, like effortlessly move piles of books or march up the stairs two at a time. I like it when I can SEE the muscles outlined on my back and stomach, not because they’re making me look skinnier, but because they’re making me stronger.

They’re also helping me have better bones. Having watched my grandmother suffer with advanced osteoporosis, I want to do everything I can to prevent my own diagnosis.

So back to my first day at Madison Adventure Boot Camp: It was fun and difficult, very reminiscent of the workouts I completed the year that I was on the basketball team in junior high (note: tall girls may not be aggressive enough to play basketball – they may just be tall).

A workout with variety will draw me in me every time. A little jogging here, a few side squats there, some shoulder work (wait, MORE shoulder work?) … boot camp is the workout for those of us with fitness ADD.

Tomorrow’s going to be an achy-muscle kind of day, but in that good way where you can picture little bits of muscle breaking down only to rebuilt with better, stronger muscle.

One advantage I’ve already noticed: a general aversion to the office bowl of leftover Halloween candy. After all, I’m not counteracting all that early-morning work with cheap milk chocolate. (Expensive dark chocolate … maybe we’ll talk.)

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