Boot Camp

Yesterday while Ted was in his conference, I took the car and did one of my favorite things: explore…and maybe get a little lost.

Not a big deal to get lost in a big city because you just have to get to an interstate (assuming they all intersect at some point – oh, and it helps if you know which one your hotel is off of).

Plus, I had my cell phone with me if things got really bad – no, it doesn’t have GPS, but that’s why I have a map.


No sooner did I pull out of the parking lot did I see an exercise class in the park across the street.  So I of course had to investigate.  It turns out this group (San Diego Fit Club) meets in a park overlooking Mission Bay and the lessons are taught by Matt, a certified personal trainer.  He told me they were meeting again the following afternoon, so I made plans to come back.

When I arrived today, Matt met me with a clipboard of forms to fill out. There was a lot of legal jargon about promising not to sue if I got hurt. That sounded a little eerie.


I didn’t know what to expect (I’ve never taken a boot camp class before) but I had a good feeling about the calorie burn that was about to unfold. With the Olympic level of eating I’ve been partaking in the last few days, I needed some kind of camp, preferably one with boots.

At 4:00 on the dot, we each got a 5 lb. weight and circled up.  5 lb. weights?  I’ve got this. 

katy perry 2

“I didn’t ask to be a role model.”

Matt told us to get in a plank with the weight in our right hand.  He started the music (Katy Perry’s California Gurls,” how apropos) and had us pass our weight to the person on our right. He made us keep this up for the entire duration of the song: supporting ourselves with one hand, while we passed the weights to our neighbor with the other – all to the beat of the song.

Next up was Miley Cyrus and we circled the weights in the other direction.  By the time it was over, my triceps were beginning to tremble.

After we put our weights away, Merciless Matt instructed us to run up two flights of stairs that led from the park up to the road overhead, then jog back down the steep hillside.  Delightfully, the hill became quite slippery with all of us running/sliding on it.

The first jaunt up was fine; it was the second, third, fourth (eventually I lost count) trip that brought my heart rate up to 500.  I definitely didn’t want to be the new girl who quit, but nausea was starting to set in.
“Are you there God?  It’s me, Maureen.”

We weren’t given a set number of laps, so I had no idea how much longer I had to hang in.  Just as I was beginning to make deals with the big man upstairs about getting me through this, Matt the drill seargent called us back to circle up.

I’ve never heard such sweet words.  Even though I was seeing spots, I was smiling, knowing I’d see another day.

Evidently, my smile betrayed my near-death state, because then he had us partner up to do deep squats.  You know the kind of exercise I’m talking about.  Ones where you and your partner have to sync up timing and your pull on each other – otherwise, if you lean too far back, you’ll fall flat on your butt (which just so happens to still be trembling from running up a dozen flights of stairs).

And so it continued for another 45 minutes. We did walking lunges, walking high kicks, enough planks to build a wooden ship, and so on – all to the beat of Ke$ha and the like.  This guy really had an affinity for dance/pop.

How about some Lincoln Park to give us the false confidence that we’re tough enough to get through such grueling workouts?  I’d even settle for Eminem as long as he’s not singing about puting his girlfriend in the trunk.


By the end of it, I could feel the lactic acid building up in my muscle tissue like the iron building up in the pipes of my 1940s-era home.  I knew I’d have trouble walking the next day, but it was oh-so needed after all the indulging I’d done, and how fun, working out in such a pretty place.


After I thanked Matt for the solid kick in the tuckas, I walked back to our hotel.  Along the way I began thinking, I wonder where we’re going to eat tonight…