Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The things we do

 I have signed up for boot camp. This is wholeheartedly out of character for 3 main reasons.

1.       I do not like being told what to do.
2.       I do not like being shouted at.
3.       I do not agree with group punishment.

And group punishment this is. We assemble in a local park. White van men yell helpful encouragement such as ‘left-right-left right’ through their windows as they drive past. We run, squat, lunge and burpee – all hideously painful torture techniques designed to make women realise that the perfect body is definitely not worth this level of effort.

We leap up and down. I watch women’s bottoms wobble furiously and jump higher. Because it is damp, we are inadvertently ‘bringing up the worms’ in a kind of mad exercise worm -dance.

We must now ‘drop and give him 20.’ I am horrified that I am paying good money to be given this kind of instruction, but not quite as horrified as when I find I have my hands and face in wormy wet grass.

I am now rolling around in mud. Actually rolling - as I do a press up, and then flail around on the ground until repeating. My hoodie has grass stains on the elbows. I am inhaling grass and wondering if we have any Vanish stain remover left under the sink.

Oh shit, I’m going to be sick.

That would be really embarrassing. Luckily someone has already thrown up by the tree. But she is hard-core and has now resumed the jumping squat. I would have to go home, and never return.

I am not sick.

I do not like burpees. No-one has ever looked back on their life and thought ‘I wish I’d done more burpees.’ I think wars might have started over enforced burpees.

And then it is over. I limp home – damp, yet victorious.

I walk in the flat and am so hungry that I eat an entire lump of cheese straight out the fridge. I have walked wet muddy grass all over the carpet and created a damp patch from my large wet bottom on the sofa.

If only I had energy left to clean.


  1. Absolutely spot on. When I'm at the gym and I see people being 'personally trained' I do get the creeping, uneasy feeling that all PTs must thrive (at least a little bit) on the humiliation of others. I saw a man running up and down between the alley of exercise bikes carrying a big ball. He didn't look like he was joyfully improving himself. He looked sweaty and sad.

    If I could, I would do all of my exercise on a treadmill with a thick curtain pulled around it, lest anyone see those ludicrous faces, noises and body-shapes I internally-judge others so viciously/hilariously for.

  2. Rach - you couldn't have written this better. You had me giggling at the mad exercise worm-dance and I was close to snorting at the end. Brilliant. Part of me wants to go to boot camp purely for the genius story-telling material. Sadly, I don't think I'd do as well you as did, on either account.

  3. Oh Kat, I will confess there was a moment where I thought, 'at least I'll get a blog post out of this.' I wish any part of it was made up. Glad it made you laugh. I bet boot camp in New York is EXTREME. Probably goes on for days. Don't go.

    Ps My lovely white stuff hoodie is ruined. Grass stained and ruined.