Thursday, April 24, 2008

Because the ego needs a good kick in the nuts from time to time

Holy shit, kids. I got WORKED this morning.

The lovely Em, proprietor of Joe's Used Toy Emporium (see sidebar), posted a blanket invitation this week to all of her readers to be her guest at Bring a Friend to Boot Camp day. I accepted.

For the uninitiated, which no longer includes me, Boot Camp is a fitness program that involves waking up long before the rest of the world and getting your ass kicked by a group of highly motivated instructors who all appear to be just getting warmed up for their real workout once they send your weak, dragging ass home for the day. And people pay a substantial fee for this privilege.

So I found myself, at 5:50 a.m., jogging from the apartment towards World's Fair Park about a mile and a half away, because who wouldn't want to run a quick mile and a half right before something called "boot camp?" How tough could it be?

Let me just say: Fuck those fucking orange cones. I'll explain:

We started off with a warm-up that involved a slow jog interspersed with some stairs and some 45-degree push-ups and some other random movements just to get things moving. Then we came to the cones of death, three stations set up in a field that would host some deceptively simple but horrifyingly relentless exercises. For about the next 45 minutes, split into three groups, we would rotate from cone to cone, sprinting or skipping or hopping en route, doing push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, lunges, leg raises, and all kinds of other means of torture, whatever the cone demanded...non-fucking-stop. Not a single one of those damn cones was labeled "breathe."

Now, I'm in pretty good shape. I run regularly and have been known to climb a mountain or two, but that all takes place below the waist for the most part. Right now, thanks to the wicked thrashing courtesy of Boot Camp, my arms feel like wet noodles. Rather hairy wet noodles, but wet noodles nonetheless. Worthless. And I'm really looking forward to the way my abs are going to feel in the morning. Pain.

My legs are okay, for now. I did manage most of the run home without stopping and just enough time to shower and grab some food to take to work.

Boot Camp was cool, though. The best part was laying in the wet grass working really hard, to the point of failure even, while watching the daylight slowly growing and reflecting off the buildings downtown. I'd do it again. I doubt I can afford it, but otherwise I'd do it again.

It was also the first time I've ever met one of you people from the internets. I'd always imagined I'd one day meet a fellow blogger over drinks or some food, but not pre-dawn calisthenics that make me want to puke. So thanks, Em, for the early-morning ass-kicking. We'll have to get together for drinks some time.


em said...

I am so glad you came! It made my whole day! Your post sounds like my entire month long boot camp log, from back in February. It's crazy stuff, but I love it. I am glad you liked it. I had the worry this morning before I met you that you would find it really lame. And you did a really good job too. Even though it was tough, you could tell that you are in shape. And just so you know, those other two girls who were in our "cone group" (the other blonde ones), they've been doing it for a few months now too.

And yes! Drinks! Soon.

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

OK, I'm officially exhausted just reading about it.

Chris said...

I thought those Boot Camp programs were for women trying to torture themselves into bikini-wearing shape. What's your motivation, Mickey?

You're not going to get a boob job next, are you?

em said...

Just to interject, a lot of men do the program. I'd say it's about a 60/40 ratio. In Knoxville, it sort of happened that all the instructors are women, but actually in Atlanta (where the program originated), most of the instructors are men.

Men like to look good in bathing suits too.

Michelle & the City said...

after that workout i think she owes you a drink!

Aaron said...

Yeah, you Not for me. At all. But I'm glad you "enjoyed" it.

Dianne said...

A friend of mine here in MD does those boot camps from time to time. She loves them. She tried to talk me into going with her, but let's just say she hasn't succeeded! ;)

Noelle said...

I'm impressed you were able to raise your arms and type all those words. Good job, soldier!

JustinS said...

I was in the Navy for a (very) little while and it sounds like these boot camps are much more difficult than the one I went through.

Of course, we're talking about the Navy here, where you just spend 9 weeks learning how to drink, swear, and recognize common STDs.

Meaghan said...

I love how you spent most of the post describing the pain and suffering, and then you were like "I liked it. I'd do it again."

Of course, you could continue the workout on your own, but that's why people go to these boot camp things... because they won't do it on their own!

Allie said...

You lost me at jogging at 5:50 am. Does not compute.

mickey said...

em- I'm glad, too. It's a good way to start a day.

dutchess- And I from typing it.

chris- That's exactly my motivation- bikini shape. Actually, just doing something I've never done before is motivation enough.

em- Yeah, I wasn't sure what to expect in that regard, but there was a good mix of people.

michelle- I like how you think, although my first instinct was that I owe her a drink.

aaron- Aren't you the guy who worked in a gym for 20 years? Not that you'll catch me in a gym, but didn't you partake at all?

dianne- It's pretty crazy, but they really were a motivating bunch of people.

noelle- Me, too. I am having some difficulty with my water bottle, though.

justins- Nobody said anything about STDs this morning. Should I be worried?

meaghan- Exactly. I would never workout that intensely on my own. Unless there were climbing involved.

mickey said...

allie- Yup, that's the crux.

Courtney said...

And you wanted me to come with you. Ha! That would not have been a pretty picture.

The Modern Gal said...

I wanted to come, but at 5:50 this morning I was in my car headed west for Nashville. Is there going to be another "bring a friend to boot camp" session?

em said...

Sorry I am clogging your comments, Mickey, but I can answer the modern gal's question:

There is a bring a friend day every 3rd Thursday of the boot camp cycle. Technically, the next one would be a month from today, but it will actually be in 3 weeks. long-ish story. Point being, I will make a note to send you a reminder about a week before it happens. Thanks for your interest!

Jacob said...

I already know I'd be horrible at this. I'm in better shape than the average person, but that's kind of like saying that I don't think walking a mile for fun is an impossible task. I'd love to have something like that to take part in to get back into shape though.

Stefanie said...

"Not a single one of those damn cones was labeled 'breathe.'" Ha.

I am impressed. I've met seven blog-friends now, and not a single one of them has asked me to do anything that painful. It's like a weird extreme first date. Glad it went well.

sid said...

LOL! I've always wanted to go to bootcamp. I also wanted to meet my fellow blog pals but you all live on the other side of the world. If I invited you guys for lunch in Cape Town would you come?

Mickey said...

courtney- I was glad you didn't come because you would have hated me for talking you into it.

modern gal- You should definitely give it a shot.

em- I suppose it would be considered bad form for someone to just keep showing up for the "bring a friend" days?

jacob- You should do something like this with your tennis team. They would start kicking ass in the third set when the other team is wearing down.

stefanie- It was a strange way to meet someone. We actually barely had a chance to talk, what with all the labored breathing (on my part).

sid- Hmm. I've always wanted to visit SA. I'd probably want to stay longer than lunch, though.

em said...

You can come to EVERY bring a friend day if you want! The secret is, however, that it's always generally the same work out that day. "House of Pain" is what it's called. But if you're only doing it once a month, it's not too boring.

I was crabby at boot camp this morning. I phoned it in. Yesterday was a better day. Oh well.