It’s 5:00 am – The alarm rings. I think I just made it to sleep at 3:30. Surprisingly, I don’t feel tired. I feel kinda… ready. Huh.
5:02 – drag myself to the bathroom to change.
5:05- Make lunch for work. I need coffee. Kiss the dog. Kiss Hubby. Where’s the damned coffee?
5:20 – text Frankie to say ‘I can drive’. Make coffee.
5:28am – after waiting for a response, realize I texted the daughter instead. Oops. I send her a smiley face with a ‘mornin’ sunshine’ text. That makes everything better at 5am. Text the right Frankie. Drain the last of my coffee. I love coffee.
5:36 – Pick up Frankie. It’s dark and mild and the pavement is shiny and black from the midnight rain. Quiet and still. We drive in relative silence. Thinking is too much right now.
5:40- Bright light. Cool air blowing from the AC. Waiting in the studio for everyone to show. It’s quiet. It’s too early for conversation.
5:45 – It’s loud. Music is blaring. We start moving. My legs are stiff and sore. I do it anyways.
Sometime mid-workout – I watch the sweat drip from my face onto the studio floor and wonder if I am going to make it. TRX mountain climbers. Fuck you. Don’t stop. Keep going.
Nearing the end – Burpees. Shoulder presses. I’m burning. Lunges. Did I take 2 different weights? Ugh. I’m better for choosing the heavier weights. Always go for the heavier weights.
The end – I think I cried a little when I finally worked my way through the last station and could fling myself onto my back for the cooldown. I’m better for having finished the workout.
Cool down –I’m better for having listened to my alarm. I’m better for showing up. I’m better for doing one last burpee. I’m better for not giving up. I’m just better. Better than a year ago. Better than 6 months ago, better than last week. Better than yesterday. And I’ll be better tomorrow and better a few more times by Friday. *sigh*
Always think, ‘I am better’…
Dear Bootcamp Newbie,
I was you seven months ago. I know how it is that first day. You walk in not knowing anyone, not knowing quite what to expect. You feel awkward and stumble through exercises that are unfamiliar. You trip up on a Burpee and think everyone saw you and is secretly criticizing. You forget how to do a dumbbell sit up and you berate yourself for being so idiotic about forgetting such a simple exercise. Stop it. Stop thinking we are all watching and criticizing. Stop thinking we are rating you on your performance. Stop thinking you are awkward. Just stop thinking, at all. Just do.
I was you seven months ago and trust me, NOBODY in that class gives a rat’s ass how you do a Burpee, or how you miss a step when you skip or how jumping makes you nervous…seriously. I’ve fallen over a box jump, forgotten how to do all the exercises at any given time and DID YOU SEE ME TODAY?!! FORGOT HOW TO DO A KETTLE BELL SWING. IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS?! Nobody laughed or yelled or called me dumb. Nobody rolled their eyes or said anything. I was reminded, in a nice way, how to do the exercise BECAUSE COACH KNOWS I FORGET SHIT ALL OF THE TIME. It’s okay. NOBODY is watching you. We are all concentrating on our own shit to care if you did your kettle bell swing right. That’s for a Coach to worry about. Oh, sure we are there to assist if you drop a weight or to laugh with you if you do the wrong order of exercises (been there done everything wrong at least twice), but we are non-judgy. That’s how it works.
Everybody goes to Bootcamp for their own reasons. Everybody has a story that you know nothing about. We all are trying to do the best we can with what we have and make the most out of a great morning class. Sure, we are a little special for wanting to get up at 5am to exercise, but it works for the most of us. That’s why we’re there.
I see you eyeing the others and trying to keep up. Don’t do that. Keep your eyes on yourself. This journey is about YOU…not the other fifteen of us trying to keep up with ourselves. You do what’s right for you…let us worry about us.
We don’t think you’re awkward, or silly or dumb. We don’t think you need extra help or judge how your technique on that calf raise could use some pointers. We don’t think about any of that. We think you are awesome for taking up the challenge of getting up at an ungodly hour of the morning to sweat it out with a bunch of ladies and do squats until you fall down. In our books, you rock!
So, stop thinking. Stop thinking about us. Think about how great you feel after completing a workout. How the music got you through that last set of squats. How Coach urged you on after you felt ready to fall over, or how we smiled when it was done and we got through it. Take a break and pat yourself on the back. Your journey is just beginning. Take it and go with it as long as you like. This is YOUR journey and you can do it.
We have already gone through what you are now. We already know the journey is worth it. Keep going. We believe in you.
The Girl On the Other Side of The Room