First things first:
1.Goose shit does not come out in the wash.
2.'Shout' stain remover does not work
3.The irony is that my favorite t-shirts
have goose shit stains. My crappy shits are spotlessly clean.
The minute we started class, I knew something was up. Charla was grimacing.
PMS perhaps? Or maybe she's just realized that we're a goofball class
and she's had enough. The morning started with us all getting yelled at
for not hoo-yahing loud enough. Then a few people wandered in late, being
reprimanded with two push ups for every minute they're late. I wisely
zipped my lips and didn't yell out the normal obscenities. However Charla
did join Abby and I on the flexed arm hang. As the two of us were desperately
trying to hang on , she popped up there like a jack-rabbit and started
chatting away like we were sharing tea and crumpets. When Abby dropped
away (I saw her elbows shaking and she had that constipated look again),
Charla remarked: "Was it something I said?". I foolishly replied:
"Perhaps it's your smell." Oh God, oh God, why did I say that?!!?
I'm a dead woman, I'm a dead woman..... aaaaaaggggghhhhh! This woman has
a memory like an elephant. She'll store that little nugget away and will
pull it out at the most inopportune moment and slam me. Shit!
the past two weeks Abby and I thought we had worked out the pattern with
the classes. Generally, it's one day upper body, then one day running
and lower body, and so on and so forth. Also, if she's wearing combat
boots, you can bet we're not running. However, our theory went out the
window today. The two of us were ready for a cruising workout, assuming
we'd have a similar Monday morning to those previous. Some cushy calisthenics,
a few hundred sits ups, a couple of minutes rolling around in the goose
shit, then off to the showers.
But she dropped a bombshell. First, she faked us out with the combat boots.
I was sure running was tomorrow, not today, but before I knew it, I was
lined up on the road next to Abby doing sprints. That was just moments
after she demonstrated how we should run... and let me tell you, this
woman was SMOKING! She shot past like lightening, with her arms whizzing
up and down like Edward Bloody Scissorhands. So much for my plans to casually
jog for a mile and a half. However, as hard as the sprints were, I've
decided I much prefer them to the longer runs. You just go balls to the
wall for 30-60 seconds, then you take a rest. I like that. Much more my
style. All or nothing. However, the minute I stopped, I could feel a burning
sensation in my thighs. I suspect it's because I haven't run that fast
since I chased after David Miller to kiss him in elementary school.
Then, she really shocked us when she announced that on Friday we are having
a mid-way test to see how far we've progressed. I get an odd sick feeling
in my stomach, knowing I can do less full sit ups than I could when I
started. As it is, I'm classed as "below average" for sit-ups
so I know how bad Friday is going to be. Quite frankly, the whole test
is giving me the heebie-jeebies. My push-ups suck (my technique is something
between a head-bob and a spastic elbow jerk) and I can barely run without
thinking I'm going to have a stroke on the spot. Ahhh, Friday should be
The final surprise was after the sprints. I was all ready for some nice
stretching to warm down when she yells: "Give me 50 legs-up crunches.
Yell 'Hoo-yah' when you've finished." Ah, Jesus. We start pumping
away and as people finish, they yell out 'hoo-yah!'
then collapse. It's like a goddamn game of Crunch Bingo. Ridiculous.
-Bench pushups are out the window. All pushups are
now "on the deck" - that means on the cement for you civilians.
-Exercises are twice as fast as they were before.
-I get scared when she yells.
-Tomorrow I am going to DIE with pain. I can feel
the burn already.
-I've decided to make up my own cadences for the
run. I will surprise her and burst into song when she least expects it.
Perhaps I'll wait until the last week before I pull that stunt. Certainly
not this week.
-The legend of Charla has extended throughout the
office. She is known here as "Charla the Crusher" and "Sergeant
Slaughter". Not sure which one I like the best.
-Charla has warned us that tomorrow is a hard work
out day, then the following two are "rest". I'd be very interested
in seeing what her version of "rest" is. My interpretation of
rest is sitting on the sofa cradling a tub of Cool Whip, watching a good
I am not sure what ungodly power possessed me to
do this course. What was I thinking? The well-known side straddle hops
and torso twists have gone. Welcome to the real Boot Camp. We start the
morning with a nutrition report. What the hell? This is suppose to be
at the end of the class. Charla is clearly messing with our minds, changing
the routine so we don't get too comfortable. No more arsing around, gone
are the smirks, say hello to bellowing, screaming and pain. Those who
are late to class are punished with pushups. Today, we all suffered together
as the stragglers rolled into class
I have been overlooked for a nutrition report for the past four days with
Carla focusing on the recalcitrants in the group. The minute she picked
one of the lads, I knew it was going to be bad. Before confessing what
he ate, I yell out: "I swear to God, if this is bad, I'm coming over
there and I'm going to hit you so hard." Perhaps he didn't hear me,
but he launched straight into his litany of fried
food, soda and candy bars. WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING? At least
you could lie, you dumbo. I thought Charla was going to have a seizure
on the spot. Then she went off like Mt Vesuvius. "Get down and do
pushups until I tell you to stop!" Holy crap. I'm trying to do pushups
(on cement) as fast as I can, but my knees are knocking together in fright
and I'm still doing those spastic jerks with my elbows. Quite frankly,
I'm done with this "team" business. I will go ape-shit the next
time someone is late or if they eat crap food. Enough is enough.
Next thing I know, we're on the path ready to take off on a run. I hate
running at the best of times, but today was like jogging through a sauna.
The distance was upped to two miles and I was doing OK until about three
quarters of the way back and my stomach started churning. Before I knew
it, I was convinced I was about to ride the hurl-o-wheel. I kept running
for a bit longer but the feeling was overwhelming. I stopped and headed
for the bridge where I could blow lunch in privacy. Alas, Charla was right
next to me.
Charla: Barclay, have you lost something?
Sharon: Nope, but I might yak.
Charla: OK, but make sure you're down-wind
and you don't hit anybody. Now keep running.
I have run two miles before. In fact, I seem to remember just last year
doing a triathlon, but today two miles felt like 10. The moment we got
back from the run, we were straight on to full situps. I'm not sure how
this has happened but I can now do less situps than when I started. Another
mystery. Friday's test is looming. Abby and I are verging on hysterical.
For the record, I did not hurl, but wish I had. Moral of the story: do
not have three big glasses of water before going out for a run on a hot
day, unless you want to see the contents of your stomach.
Abby and I are wrecks. She is spilling her drinking water all over the
place, too weak to hold the glass. I have rescheduled all my meetings
to take place in my office so I am can reduce the amount of walking I'll
have to do.
Ironically, Carla gave us our FitBoot t-shirts today. The slogan is: We
do in 60 minutes, what most people don't do in a day. How true.
I have come to the conclusion that our classes seem
to swing somewhere between ball-breaking exertion and a three ring circus.
That's because our class is full of a bunch of uncoordinated dingbats.
I include myself in that category. Charla was true to her promise. Today
was an "easy" day, letting us rest before our mid-term exam
on Friday. Instead of busting our guts at the flexed arm hangs, we had
to work on our technique and only hang for a couple of seconds. Brilliant!
Abby almost jumped with joy at the news. But immediately after that, the
bumbling started. First off, Abby unpredictably spun around on the spot
while we were doing jumping jacks and faced the rest of the class. Confused,
I started to turn too, but realized everyone else had started the exercise.
So I just start to jump but it's too late. I'm totally out of sync with
the rest of the class but because I'm in front, people behind me start
to follow. I have arms and legs going at all angles, almost taking out
the guy standing next to me. Abby is also out of sync so we start to giggle.
Then I can't stop. Before I know it, Charla is next to us trying to work
out what's going on, making some sly comment about us being in kindergarten.
Next is something I never expected. She brings out
to footballs. Let me clarify: AMERICAN
footballs. I have never even held one of these thing, let alone thrown
one. So we spend the next 15 minutes or so in a circle, throwing these
things around. At my first attempt, the ball flips end over end. Charla
gives me some gentle advice: aim high, finesse the ball, release from
your fingers last. So I try again and before I know it, the thing is shooting
towards some poor soul like a rocket, heading straight for her noggin.
I can see people screaming and the woman has this horrified look on her
face. At the last second she ducks and it whizzes millimeters above her
head. I hear someone say "Holy shit!". Abby is standing next
to her and falls about laughing. Charla says: "Barclay, now that
we've got the technique, you might want to dial it back a bit." Ah,
right. Taking out a team mate I guess was not the objective.
With no injuries apart from a near miss from the
practice throws, we're onto a real game. Charla splits us into two teams
and gives out the instructions which may as well have been in Turkish
for all I could understand. Something about downs or downers; a reference
to snapping or snatches, and some other vague notion about tackling below
the waist with both hands. What's that? Attacking below the waist? I'm
totally in for that and immediately count the males on the opposing team.
My hands shoot up into the air in a victory wave: "Yeesss! Tackling
below the waist!! Watch out guys!" On hearing that comment, Charla
rushes over to the other team: "If any of you
men need security, just let me know."
On to the game. I'm a bit confused by the strategy. Something about going
deep but I don't really know what they're talking about. So our team
captain tells me to cover a player on the opposite team. As soon as we
start, I rush towards her and grab her in a bear hug, trapping her arms
by her side. My theory is that at least this way, she can't catch the
ball if it's thrown to her. In fact, I don't know what happens to the
ball at this point, but this part of the game seems to be over (we've
played for a whole three seconds). Charla does enquire, however, what
I am doing and whether or not I've finished "dancing" with the
Next play, the same thing happens. I'm getting quite bored of this, so
I ask our captain for another person to cover. Excellent, he picks one
of the guys. However, this guy is 6' 1" and is the only guy in the
unit who's managed to do more than 8 pull-ups. He also runs 7 minute miles.
Undaunted, I use the same technique - the rush and grab. While the chap
doesn't get the ball, he seems a little stunned at what I've done. Never
mind, the play has stopped again, once more after about seven seconds
of running around like the Keystone Cops.
This time it's our turn to start with the ball. I think it's very civilized
the way the teams each take turns at running with the ball. I'm still
waiting for the part when you actually kick the ball, but perhaps that's
in next week's lesson. The play starts and as I understand it, I'm supposed
to wildly run forward and scream for the thrower to chuck the ball to
me. So I do exactly that. I'm standing in the middle of nowhere, waving
my arms around madly, trying to get the thrower's attention. No-one from
the other team is standing near me. I scream out, "Chuck it over
here, you IDIOT!" I really don't think calling him an idiot did a
lot to foster team work, because he never bothered trying to get the ball
near me again.
On to the final play. The ball seems to be back with the other team but
I'm not quite sure how that happened. I don't want to be match against
the big guy again so just as we're about to start I scream: "Wait,
wait, wait. I want to swap people!". I realize afterwards that perhaps
who you're covering is supposed to be a secret from the other team. Charla
sighs with exasperation. "Barclay, your life is one big Monty Python
episode, isn't it." Well frankly, yes. I couldn't have put it better
Now we're all back in line. I have the person that I'm attacking in my
sights. Charla shouts "Go" and
the play starts. Unfortunately, the person I'm covering (who also happens
to be the poor victim of my torpedo football throw) receives the ball
immediately from the side. I charge at her like a bull in a china shop,
heading straight for the lower extremities. I pull her shirt and grab
her shorts until I have both hands firmly on her body. But I have too
much momentum and I take her down with the ball still in her hand. The
team erupts and Charla looks to the heavens for inspiration. "Barclay,
it's supposed to be a touch tackle, not a street mugging!"
My response: "But did we win?"
I am as sore as hell today, probably from the sprints on Monday and the
near vomiting running experience from yesterday. Supposedly another "easy"
day tomorrow, before the big test on Friday.
A mild day at Boot Camp today, with nothing more than a walk. But let
me clarify what I mean by a walk. We're talking a Charla the Crusher style
walk, which is about equivalent to my top speed jog. We are supposedly
still on a rest day, getting ready for our big test tomorrow. Abby and
I may have totally screwed ourselves because we ran a mile before class
both yesterday and today. We may be doing more damage than good.
More importantly, today was our half-way point weight and body fat test
to see how we're faring. Perhaps all this exercise and eating rabbit food
is paying off. I have lost six pounds and dropped my body fat by over
one percent. Finally, a positive response from Charla when she read the
machine: "Nice drop, Barclay."
That's it for today. Now I can just worry about tomorrow's test. Charla's
advice on departing was, "Eat well, drink lots and get plenty of
rest tonight." A bit of a challenge for me as I'm off to a baseball
game tonight which means a late night, beer and fries. But I intend to
be a real loser and take along carrots, fruit and granola
bars to the game.
Flexed Arm Hang: 56 seconds. If only I had
known I was so close to a minute, perhaps I could have hung on longer.
Perhaps not. Toward the end my elbows were spazzing out and I had a weird
twitch kicking in. However, I hung on for 46 seconds longer than I expected.
Sit-ups: An absolutely pathetic 46 in two
minutes. I was extremely confident for the first 30 sit-ups that I completed
in a minute. But I could hear the counting going on behind me. Somebody
at that point was up to 50. Bloody hell, she must have had her Wheaties
for breakfast. At the one minute mark, I totally conked out. It took me
a full minute to squeeze out those last 16. In this exercise, Abby and
I were the worst performers in the class. This is a complete mystery to
me. We do the same exercises as everyone else but neither of us have made
any improvement whatsoever from our initial assessment three weeks ago.
It simply does not compute. I will corner Charla about this on Monday.
Pushups: We didn't have to do any for the
mid-term test but we will be testing on
this at the end. A shame, because I'm sure I'd do OK on this now.
Run: If the sit-ups weren't bad enough, the
run was a total farce. It doesn't help that I dread this more than any
exercise we do. Frankly, I would rather stick pins in my eyes than puff
along on the roadway. Here's the scoop. I ran 1.5 miles in 13:46 (9 minutes,
10 seconds per mile). That's EXACTLY what I did in the assessment three
weeks ago. Let me reiterate: EXACTLY the same time before I started doing
these nutty exercises, singing those bloody songs, jumping up and down
like a moron and getting up at a sparrow's fart each morning. Absolutely
no improvement whatsoever. Not even a second. Not one measly, pathetic
second. I should have stayed in bed, eaten Cool Whip and saved my money.
Abby's advice before the run was "keep someone that runs a little
faster than you in your sight." Unfortunately, all those ahead of
me were off like a bride's nightie. At best I could see the dust they
left behind. What's worse is that as I rounded the corner to head home,
I could see those behind me - they were the Special
Olympics brigade from our class. They're a group of try-hards that
are injured, incapacitated or just plain hopeless that lag toward the
end of the class. I was only steps ahead of them and at one point, they
started to gain ground! That was truly a depressing moment indeed. I came
very close to saying F-it and walking home. When you're only a few feet
ahead from the autistic group, it's time to re-evaluate what you're doing.
The net-net is that I only just made it under the allotted time. Right
now, the three mile run at a pace of 8:22 seems as probably as winning
I am utterly depressed
at my performance.
As the panting group gathered Charla sneered over her glasses. "You've
made some progress but we've a long way to go. The games are over, no
more kidding around, we've got a LOT of work to do. Back her bright and
early on Monday."