Monday, April 16, 2012

I Sometimes Feel like it is Hopeless....

Three and a half years ago, the company I work for officially opened up the gym in our new building (across a small parking lot from our original building) and started holding 6x weekly "bootcamps" lead by a certified fitness trainer.

I was super pumped for this and saw it as the perfect way to loose weight and get in shape.  Visions of skinny clothes and a thin me danced in my head.  I had been hit and miss at going to the gym at the local recreation center and was too afraid to sign up for the outdoor bootcamps that had become so popular around the Lower Mainland, so the classes held at the work gym seemed like a perfect compromise.  They were inside and the trainers promised that people at every level of fitness would be able to attend (which makes perfect sense since we are a company of computer geeks and cubicle walls). 

So, in October of 2008 I started to attend afternoon bootcamp three times a week.  For me, the classes have never been easy.  No once have I been able to complete a full workout without having to stop for a break during an exercise or doing the low fitness modifications (like planks from the knees) or alternatives (running in the gym vs. running the stairs).  I was so hopeful that I would be able to "one day" be able to do a full bootcamp with the rest of the thinner, healthier, in shape people without stopping or modifications.

Last Friday (April 13, 2012) I hit a wall in the circuit class.  I realized, not for the first time, that I have yet to complete one single bootcamp or circuit training class without stopping or modifying an exercise.  As the trainer demonstrated each station in the circuit, I got more and more emotional.  There was only 2 stations out of 6 that I wouldn't need to modify.  Out of those 2 stations, there was only 1 I was able to complete for 60 seconds without needing a breather.  I felt utterly defeated and worked hard to keep back the tears.  I let the anger seep through when I threw the 20lb medicine ball to the ground when I couldn't do the chop with step-up with it.  I didn't have a good circuit class.

I have been toying around in my mind about quitting the bootcamps for a while.  To allowing myself to try new exercises and maybe find something that will give me a killer workout, but be something I can actually do.

During that 50 minutes of circuit I was positive I was going to tell my trainer, when my personal training session started at the end of the circuit, that I was going to quit the classes and go on my own for a while.  I was emotional, so close to crying and just felt beat up.   I was sick of being the worse one there, I was tired of never being better than anyone in class.  I was sick of being at the bottom again.  Because no matter how much I improved, the others improved as well and I would never be someone someone else would want to beat.  I was stuck in forever loserville.

I chickened out.  I knew if I mentioned it to the trainer I would get a whole speil over how much I've improved, how it is understandable yada-yada.  I honestly just wanted to have my ass handed to me and then go cry in the change room at the end.  I never told him my feelings.  I focussed on working out and relying on the trainers infectious good mood to kick me out of my funk.  It did work ~ we were joking and laughing at the end, but I still wasn't happy.  I just didn't know what to do about it.

So I was in for a shock this morning that for the very first time in three and a half years, I was able to complete a full bootcamp.  Not once did I need to modify an exercise, not once did I have to stop for a breather.  I may not have been the fastest runner, or the first to finish the lines, but damnit all, I did it.  I completed everything successfully.  I DID IT.

I should feel elated.  I should be happy.  I should be wanting to be tackling the next bootcamp by storm, shouldn't I?

Then why do I still feel as if I'm done with the bootcamps?  Why do I still want to quit?

I know by stopping the classes, I will have to deal with never-ending harrassment and questions from my co-workers over why I'm not there.  But this time, unlike times in the past where I have wanted to stop, I'm actually willing to put up with that nonsense.

I think I'm ready to quit.  Now the question is, do I have the courage and strength to actually quit?  To lose that support network inherent in the classes?

Is quitting even right for me?

Can I do this:

7:00 am bootcamp

on my own?

P.S I weighed in at 239.8; it is like the gods are cruelly tempting me with barely staying below 240 lbs.  *sigh*


  1. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling that way. I think it's really normal. First, starting a fitness routine after not exercising for a long time is going to be hard no matter what. When I first started swimming I could barely make it to the end of the pool. It doesn't matter if you have to modify the bootcamp exercises forever--you're still doing them and still working towards your goal. That means something!

    Second, if boot camp doesn't fit in your life anymore, try something else! Nothing says you have to be married to your workout. In fact, changing things up could be good.

    1. Thanks for the wonderful feedback Lisa! I'm still with the bootcamps even though I'm still modifying most after 3 years! But I'm also switching them up with yoga and spin class.

      And you're totally right, it doesn't matter about the modifications ~ I'm there doing it and that is the main thing. Showing up is half the battle!