For some reason in early January, I thought it would be a marvellous idea to head to Southern Spain in the hopes of sunshine to do a bootcamp. :s I'm not the type of person who is ever likely to run a marathon, I tend to laugh at the concept of a 5K. But, in the last few years I've become increasingly aware of the benefits of exercise and the consequences of shovelling crap into your body (Krispy Kremes I'm looking at you).
I won't detail every.single.day. for you but I will try an capture what exactly the bootcamp did do for me. Let it be known, that I didn't go to lose weight (although that was a happy side benefit), I went for the following reasons:
1. After going on holiday in September I was finding it really hard to get back into my normal routine (I blame alcohol).
2. I had a pretty lack lustre Christmas thanks to issues at work and the fact that I was still studying over my holidays.
3. Ditto for new year. I saw in New Year at my desk. Studying. And even when it was midnight I just wanted to go to sleep so I could be up to work on my assignment.
Definitely *not* the way I wanted to start 2014. So with some money leftover from my September holiday I booked the bootcamp. Originally I was supposed to go with a friend but she flaked out on me in the end, so I ended up going by myself. Interesting fact - it was cheaper (flights and spending money included) to go and do a bootcamp in Spain than it was to do one in England, by about £200. Go figure!
I met a whole group of people at the airport in Malaga who were all doing the bootcamp as well - as is typical of British people we all introduced ourselves by talking about what jobs we do. It was pretty intimidating, there was me, poxy assistant amongst all these business owners and directors etc. I tried not to get intimidated but it was hard! It was mainly women (as I expected) with 3 guys who turned out to be lovely. We piled onto 2 minibuses and had a 90 minute drive to the resort. Seriously. It was in the middle of nowhere. I couldn't escape, even if I wanted to.
I was lucky enough to have a single room (I was expecting to have to share). And then we were told to put sports kit on and meet up. I was excited because it meant that I could finally wear all the new sports kit that I'd bought in the Debenhams sale. Well ok, some of it. What followed was an excruciatingly dull hour or so where I was weighed and measured and had a meeting with the two military guys that would be pushing us for the week. Turns out my sense of humour isn't appreciated by Marine types (I suppose non-PC brown jokes aren't in the best taste when everyone is middle class and white :s).
The first night was one of the worst. We had to do a bleep test. *shudder* I made it to level 8.7 (or 7.8) which is better than I thought but definitely not the best in the group - as it turned out the group had a pretty high level of fitness. And lots of crunches and punches etc etc. The whole week looked like this:
With some variation of this over the days. On some days - we had walking for the whole day or half a day. Which involved walking around, over, through various hills/small mountains. What I learned from this was that 'I enjoy walking' isn't really the correct term. I like walking - at my own pace. These walks were led by a man whose mother I'm pretty sure mated with a Satyr and/or a goat as I was so far back in the walking formation that I could see him at the top of a hill. There is nothing more humbling than realising that a lady of 50 is keeping pace with said goatman and you are at the back panting and barely able to lift your feet off the ground.
I hated the first 2 of the walks because I couldn't visualise the endings, it just seemed like one endless walk. Forever. And ever. (I now know what my hell would like). In contrast when we did a walk to go and look at a castle - that was alright. Because WE WERE GOING SOMEWHERE. (It was a very goodlooking castle as well!).
I could feel my fitness levels rising because it was taking me less and less time to recover after doing various exercises. Running (after the walks) were my own personal hell. Purely because I don't really enjoy running none of this 'Oh I feel so free when I run'. HA! We usually did that in the morning or mid-morning to really get into the fat-burning zone It would get to 7pm and I was absolutely done. I was usually asleep for 930pm (even that was late compared with some people who just crashed out at 830pm).
Food. I rather enjoyed the food but this could be because I eat 3/4 of it at home anyway. A lot of quinoa and fish and the occasional 'spice'. Brown rice, and gram flour pizzas. So for me, that was ok. We weren't allowed any wheat or dairy (again suited me perfectly) as I'm lactose intolerant and I eat bread maybe twice a week at a push. No big difference to me. But it did make my bowel movement really painful and irregular for a while :s
I finished 5 pounds lighter (read. 2kg) and a few inches lost. More importantly I made some friends! And also realised that some people I cannot get on with. No matter how hard I try I just can't (I'm sure that went both ways though). It's been nearly a month since I came back and the effects are starting to wear off now, as is evidenced by how difficult I found my Zumba class on Saturday. But the weight has held steady and I've actively been looking to try new things (well with the iron fist of my parents who think doing martial arts will make me look like a man, so I just haven't told them about bouldering or swimming). My parents being of a very old Indian tradition believe that losing weight is easy and doesn't require much exercise. *sigh* And as a girl I should just 'look good' all the time without any visible effort.
Would I do a bootcamp again? For 7 days. No. Just all kinds of no. I came back with bruises, a funny hip and serious gas. But for a few days (3-4) yes I totally would. It's good way to jumpstart your fitness and purely for the social aspect of it, I've signed up to do a run with the bootcamp people in a few months (after I finish studying for the term). I also learnt a lot in terms of nutrition - everything is bad for you basically. One of the nicest things was to meet likeminded people. Most people I know don't really pay any attention to 'being healthy' or going to the gym or anything like that. I'm always laughed at/mocked but in Spain we were exchanging recipes and what gym classes we do etc. First time in my life I've had that!