Recruit Dougherty, a Midwesterner at heart, was born and raised in Newark,
OH. Abby reached her physical prowess at an early age when she sprouted
to her full height in junior high school. As a result, her childhood memories
are tainted from always having to stand in the back row during class pictures.
Her intensive training was conducted at Denison University where she gained
incredible upper arm strength from competitive games of quarters and late
night pizza runs. Abby's current mission is to provide world-class public
relations counsel with a smile, while securing enough time during the
week for trips to nearby beaches, dinner with friends and reruns of E!
True Hollywood Story.
Entry Date: 07-02-2002
As Sharon & I approached the tarmac (code word for large cement area
with pull-up bars, incline benches and oddly wooden shaped objects), I
had a rather sick feeling in my stomach. Decked out in camouflage shorts
and a FitBoot t-shirt, I spotted our instructor, former Marine Corps Captain
Charla McMillian (I'll call her Serg from now on). Even behind the aviator
glasses, it was easy to tell that Charla meant business. Although just
5"5, I got the eerie sense that she could toss my long body onto
the ground like a flimsy piece of rope.
first part of the "assessment" were our vital measurements -
translation, data that I usually only like my Dr. to know. We each had
to report our age and height and then she whipped out a scale and a device
to measure our body fat. And then, the fun began. We were tested on flexibility,
sit-ups, push-ups and a one mile run.
Resting Pulse: 100
Mile Run: 7:42
-If I haven't totally adjusted to marrying into the "Dougherty"
name, that will soon change. FitBoot doesn't like to personalize - gone
are my nicknames of "Abster", "Big A" and "AbFab".
For the next six weeks, I will be known solely as "Dougherty".
-After I reported my resting pulse rate that was off the charts, Serg
peered over her glasses - "Are you nervous Dougherty?" Sharon,
like a loyal recruit would, tried to whisper an appropriate response in
my ear. But "Ummmm.......yea", is all that I could say.
-Had I been in gym class today I would have received an F on the flexibility
test. Serg had to readjust her measuring stick - in shock that I couldn't
even touch my toes. I like to think that it's my long legs that make this
task so hard.
-I can't remember the last time that I did a push up without my knees
comfortably settled on the ground. Those days are over! "Girl sit-ups"
aren't an option with the marines.
-Before the sit-up test, I scanned the area for a stack of light blue
padded exercise mats. No such luck. Push-ups "marine style"
are apparently done on the cement, with someone holding your feet and
actually require you to sit all the way up (imagine that). Gone are the
days of the crunches I'd worked so hard to master in aerobics class. *Note:
Stomach muscles were clearly overextended as I can feel them now as I
-My main focus now is pulling together five workout outfits for next week's
Sharon & I made the mistake of arriving 30 minutes early, which meant
we had way too much time to let the butterflies build up in our stomachs.
We watched the advanced class do wind sprints for about 20 minutes, only
pausing in between for pushups (both regular and with claps in between).
It was a bit of relief to know that the others in our "assessment"
last week could still feel dull pain in their abs too whenever they belted
out a hearty laugh or a sneeze.
The captain's uniform was altered a bit - the shorts were replaced with
full length fatigues and the running shoes were now black combat boots.
She started the session with a motivational speech - "You will give
me 100% every day. 100% is what I expect, anything less, I will not accept."
And then the reps began: Push ups, crunches (four types), jumping jacks,
flexed arm hang, dips, and some other exercise that gave me flashbacks
of 7th grade gym class.
-Doing reps of crunches on the wet grass in between
piles of duck droppings
-We had several water "breaks"
with Charla yelling each time - "C'mon hustle up - move it, move
-At the end during our stretches, she said
- "OK, now for nutrition. Smith, what did you have to eat yesterday?"
The poor guy answered, "Cereal, and, ummm, airplane peanuts".
She shook her head and said - "Starting today, you will eat small
meals every 3-4 hours". Thank goodness I wasn't quizzed, as I would've
had to admit that my diet yesterday consisted of an omelet, chicken sandwich,
two beers, and chicken kabobs." I'm off to a better start today -
yogurt for breakfast, with a pear lined up for my 11:00 "feeding".
-There's no "Nice work, or "Good
job today people". The class simply ended with a serious - "Disappear"
I knew what Charla had in store for us today when
I saw running shoes on her feet instead of military boots. Today's motto
was teamwork. We started with some flexibility exercises and squats and
lunges. Then we hit the running path. We ran in a pack - in two lines
while repeating cadences.
DOWN BY THE RIVER TODAY
RAN DOWN BY THE RIVER TODAY
MY FIT BOOT INSTRUCTOR COMING MY WAY
SAW MY FIT BOOT INSTRUCTOR COMING MY WAY
IS TRYING TO MAKE US STRONG
SHE IS TRYING TO MAKE US STRONG
FEEL FIT AND TOUGH - LIKE WE BELONG
WE'LL FEEL FIT AND TOUGH - LIKE WE BELONG
We ran one mile at a "leisurely" pace and had to follow Charla's
two rules: 1) All stay together; 2) If you have to drop back, you must
not stop running.
After the run, my stomach muscles were shocked when we retreated back
to the wet grass for crunches. Like yesterday, we ended the class with
a nutrition report and overview. Again, she stressed several small "feedings"
throughout the day - no hub cap sized plates of pasta.
I'm a little on edge thinking about what tomorrow will bring. That's probably
the most nerve-wracking part - The Fear of the Unknown.
Two words - situps and pushups. Over and over again. Just when I thought
my abs couldn't handle much more, somehow they squeezed out more crunches.
I better have Janet Jackson abs when this is all said and done.
-Those barely moving crunches that the aerobic
instructors used to enforce, are no longer good enough. Charla was on
me today about my form - "Get those shoulders off the ground."
-I've realized the exercise I've come to
dread - The Flexed Arm Hang. Funny, since I seem to remember enjoying
it while being tested for phys ed requirements in 5th grade. Although
it was a tad easier back then since I was probably clocking in at less
than 100 pounds.
-We had an extra 10 pushups at the end of
class today because a female recruit admitted consuming 10 Swedish fish.
She tried to use the excuse - "My officemates made me eat them",
but that didn't fly.
-The daily "nutrition report" has
put the fear of God in me - I'm really determined to follow her rules
of six small, healthy feedings a day. Soon I'll probably have a swarm
of knats around my cube, as my desk is littered with clementines, pears
-I know Serg has many, many tricks up her
sleeve. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
for my next entry on Tuesday of next week. I'm off to Nantucket tomorrow
with a homework assignment from Charla. I hope I can find a pull-up bar
on the island.