Week 1


Recruit Barclay, joined the course after being refused entry to the French Foreign Legion, on the grounds of not being caught at any illegal activity. Highly ambitious at an early age, Barclay was very competitive at Sunday School picnics, taking honors in the egg and spoon race, musical chairs, the three-legged race, Simple Simon Says and the sack race. More recently, she has taken these skills to a higher level with technical competitions at office parties with Fuzzy Duck, Quarters and the highly competitive "I-can-drink-you-under-the-table" tournaments. Her inspiration to join FitBoot came after catching a glimpse of her rear end in a Gap changing room mirror. Barclay's current assignment is somewhat undefined but involves moving a lot of paper around a desk.

Log Entry Date: 07-02-2002

I have never been a morning person so picking up Abby at 6.30am after a night of beer and fries at a Red Sox game, was not a good idea. Let alone, trying to do a fitness assessment for FitBoot. Already I was a little cranky at having to get up so early, but what tipped me over the edge, was Abby's story about how a friend of hers told her that she'd seen the FitBoot crew by the Charles River several months ago. She described our leader/trainer as "the crazy lady that screams at you". So far, nothing about this morning is going right. But before I knew it, Abby and I were nervously huddled at our training area, waiting for instructions on what to do. The supposedly "easy" test of sit-ups, push-ups, flexibility and a one-mile run, ended up being really hard. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but three days later, my stomach muscles still hurt and my shoulders are only now just recovering from the push ups.

-Resting pulse - 98
-One-mile run - 9:10 (Abby was SMOKING home ahead of me)
-Push-ups - 9 (that's nine more than I thought I could do)
-Sit-ups in one minute - 29


-I was disappointed to discover that I am only 5' 7" tall, after years of thinking I was 5' 8". When I questioned my height, Charla ripped the tape measure from her box of tricks and said: "Only 5' 7". Lying already. Not a good start, Barclay."

-Still not used to being called by my last name. Dreading having to yell "Yes, Sir!" I wonder if we will graduate to "Sir, Yes, Sir!" ? I also wonder if one morning I will snap and punch the bitch in the nose.

-I've been doing sit-ups for years, but nothing like this... and certainly not on cement. These are not piss-weak crunches, but big-boy, grown-up sit-ups. And they bloody kill.

-All I can think about the day after is how bad and sore I feel... and what it must be like having to go back again feeling like this, day after day. Next week, I will not have the luxury of five days to rest and recover.

-The biggest debate that Abby and I have right now is whether or not to "practice" for the start of the class. The risk is that we'll hurt even more than we do now, which is not a good way to start Boot Camp. The current consensus is that we'll do half of what we did before and see how it goes.

-I am going to rent "Private Benjamin" this weekend to get inspired.

The first day of boot camp finally arrived. The group totals about 12 in all different shapes and sizes. You can tell everyone was a little nervous. The morning started with orders from the captain, which included directions on how to cadence count, what she expects from us and how to respond to various commands. Such as:

At the beginning of an exercise:

Don't ask me what the hell 'hoo-yah' means, but by 7.15am we were all yelling it in unison.

Scary parts of the day:

-Multiple repetitions of sit-ups, crunches, reverse crunches, push-ups, bench push-ups, arm hangs.
-In response to a woman who said "I can't do it" when trying the arm hang, Charla responds: "Don't you ever say that to me again." This was said in a very quiet, scary voice. There was dead silence across the whole field.
-Not being able to get up from the end of the exercise until she says: "Recover!"
-Instead of saying goodbye at the end of the session, she says: "Disappear!"
-The goose shit we had to lie in to do sit-ups and push-ups.
-Bending down to untie my shoe lace and finding out it hurts like all hell.
-Watching Charla do perfect pull-ups at the bar like she's a machine. Very eerie.
-Being told we now have to eat every 3 hours... OR ELSE!

Tomorrow we have running exercises, I'm guessing to give our stomach and ab muscles a rest...

Yesterday, I jokingly mentioned to someone that it would be funny if we ended up running in a pack, singing a cadence. Before I knew it, we were lined up in a unit, two across with Charla up front, leading her recruits into battle... I mean leading us on a run. She sings a line and we repeat it back to her, just like in the movies. Let me tell you, I felt like a right tit singing and running along the Charles river with scores of runners and rollerbladers watching in awe. We must have looked like a real bunch of duffers, hardly looking like a team, but more like a group of yuppies trying to be tough. Charla's so called "leisurely" pace was a 9:30 minute mile which for me is my top speed. To runners like Abby, this is a mere stroll in the park.

Of course we had the obligatory crunches, sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, etc, with all of us yelling "HOO-YAH!" like a bunch of idiots.


-More crunches and sit-ups in the goose turds.
-After the run Charla says to us: "Run back and pick up your wounded", meaning run back and return with those who strayed from the pack.
-The "Nutrition Report" where Charla picks on an unsuspecting recruit and demands to know what they ate the day before. I was thankfully not the victim today as I would have to confess to eating a huge bag of popcorn at the movies last night.
-Thinking we were all done, Charla randomly asks a recruit to pick a number in a multiple of five. The recruit selects the number 10 and the next thing you know, we're down on the ground doing 10 push ups. I am sooooo glad she didn't say 50.

Body Parts That Hurt Today:


I am terrified of what tomorrow brings. I saw the advanced class doing an obstacle course today, interspersed with push-ups and sit-ups. Eeek!

Uuuggghhhh! I think my abs have exploded. I can't tell you how many sit-ups in various ways, shapes and forms we did today. It must have been 100 or more. The entire session was upper body work and for some reason everything you do uses or hurts your abs - push-ups, bench push-ups, arm hangs, you name it, it hurts. The goose shit is still there. The grass was wet, the goose shit was wet and I was sure I was going to slip over. Someone in the class confessed to having eaten 10 Swedish Fish. That meant we all had to drop and do 10 push ups. Thank God we had no running today (my most hated and feared part of the course) because:

1.My thighs still hurt from yesterday
2.I can't remember the words to the cadence songs (I'll have to rent the movie "Stripes" to get motivated)
3.If she picks up the pace, I'm a dead man. And according to her rules, I can't drop out of formation.
4.I'm still living with the embarrassment of running and singing in public (again, Stripes seems like its on the cards)

-Abby and I still get there too early so get psyched out watching the advanced class. But today was the first day I didn't feel sick with nervousness.
-I am eating so much fruit I think I'm going to turn into a fruit salad. I am too terrified to eat anything else. I couldn't face having the class punished for my bad eating habits.
-The bad news with all this healthy food is that it's expensive. Eating crap is much more convenient and cheaper.
-Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day has its disadvantages. You can't get any work done because you're off to the loo every 30 minutes.
-She didn't scream at anyone today. That scares me. It means she's holding it all in for tomorrow. Yikes!

I think I have given birth to an alien - that's how sore my stomach and ab muscles are. I am sure something inside is ripped because I can't move. Seriously. This is no longer funny (although my work colleagues think this is hilarious). I made the big mistake of riding my horse and taking several jumps last night. Big, big mistake. I am paying the price today. After lots and lots of leg work, we were off on the dreaded run where we all follow suit and sing those damn songs. I felt like a total dufus. A new verse today:

Met an old lady walking down the street
Back-pack on, combat boots on her feet
She said I'm going to FitBoot and I'm feeling fine
Maxed my test and I'm 99

There was also another verse about jumping out of a plane and not having the parachute open, or some such disaster, but I have completely blacked that out of my memory. At that point, I was just having trouble breathing so the words to the cadence escape me.

The killer today was after the run, our Sarge paired us up and told us we had to do 90, then 60 and 30 second drills of sit ups. No problems, I though, given we did a bazillion sit-ups yesterday. But on her command to start, nothing would work. I couldn't even get my shoulders off the ground. Now fear steps in, because I know she's headed my way, probably to scream at me. As sure as the sun rises, I can see her shadow over me. She yells: "Are we frozen in time, Barclay?" My feeble response was: "Er, something seems to be broken," as I'm trying to squeeze what muscles I have left. Still no movement. At the top of her lungs she replies: "Get your back off my grass!" Your grass? Shit. If I'd known that, I would have asked you to clean up the goose turds. Eventually, after a lot of grunting and groaning, without any action, she pushes me towards my knees and says she wants to see reverse sit-ups. I hate to think what she would have done if I'd said the dreaded words: "I can't do it." Probably would have snapped me in half.

So my plan for tonight is to go home and ice my abs with a pack of frozen peas, take a lot of pain killers and hopefully pass out into oblivion at about 8.30pm.

Abby has abandoned me for tomorrow, so I suffer alone. Incidentally, I have enough fruit and vegetables on my desk (for my two-hourly feedings) to last about six years.



I have a new friend called Ibuprofen. I have decided that starting the day with my new friend is the way forward. Without a doubt, yesterday was my hell day - the worst day of the week where I felt like I wanted to keel over and die. It seems that most other people in the class are hurting today; I was a day early. While my abs and I are still convinced I gave birth to an alien sometime yesterday, I am feeling decidedly better today. Perhaps it's because our exercises today focused on strength and upper body work rather than the hellish running and ab work that turns me into a whimp.

Speaking of being a wuss, I must confess that my pathetic attempt and consequent failure at sit-ups yesterday forced me to email Charla to ask for advice on what to do - ice? heat? drugs? work through it? In a nutshell her response was: this is what you came for, so see you in class tomorrow. Hoo-yah!

We were also handed our official fitness assessment reports today which was a big reality check for many of us. The summary for me is that I have excellent flexibility, above average strength and endurance (that surprised me), but absolutely piss-weak abdominal strength where I scored "below average". However, the report says my goal in six weeks is to reach "Good" rather than "Average" and "Above Average" scores in all areas.

The good news is that it's Friday, which means I have two glorious days to myself where I can sleep in and let the muscles relax. Although I will be spending much of the time on my horse. Now, if only I can stay on her and not injure myself before the next class.


-I was singled out for a nutrition report, being quizzed in class about what I ate yesterday. Bananas, museli bars, grilled veggie wrap, clementines, pasta with soy protein and tomato sauce - it all sounded good to me. However, Charla was quick to note that it contained almost no protein. So it's three boiled egg whites for one of my feedings today. Currently, my office stinks of boiled egg yolks which should keep everyone away for a few hours.

-In a new twist, I was shot with an imaginary gun by Charla. In response to her question, "Why do we eat protein?", I yelled out "Because you told us to!". I don't think she appreciated the answer as she loaded her pretend gun and pulled the trigger.

-Here I was being very smug thinking I'd increased the amount of push-ups I could do, only to find out that I've been doing them with my arse way up in the sky. Charla was quick to correct my position: "Drop those hips to the ground, Barclay".

A final big thanks to my good friend, Ibuprofen. Cheers until Monday when the punishment starts again.