While mustering every ounce of energy I had, I pulled on my running pants, zipped my jacket and walked to the field house where the boot camp was taking place during a conference I was attending. I was the first to arrive. The instructor gave me some descriptions of the class and filled me in on what I could expect---misery.
Sixty year old lady and her husband were next to arrive and then two young gazelles free of make up and body fat. I surmised that I was first going to die from attempts to keep up with the gazelles and second that I had a good chance of beating out the 60 year olds and coming in 3rd place. Even though this wasn't a race I knew that there would be mental point distribution is one way or another. I had to make my mark quickly and stay in the game. The mental challenge caused me to break into a sweat before we even started.
The class began, and with a hint of pride, I took first place in "jog around the gym." Before I could question whether or not this class had any hopes of challenging my cardio stamina we burst into 30 jumping jacks, another lap, 30 squats and leaps into the air, another lap, 30 push ups, another lap, 30 burpies, another lap, and then 30 high knee marches. By this time I was about to pass out but stopping was not an option. Sixty year old lady and her husband were keeping up without a problem and naturally, the gazelles we leaping and dancing as if this was just an exercise in fun.
When instructed to grab a yoga mat I was certain that the next 30 minutes would be devoted to abdominal work or more push ups that I could fake my way through but when everyone was then issued a medicine ball I knew that the next 30 minutes would perhaps be more painful than the first.
The details of the last 20 minutes are fuzzy. I slipped into unconsciousness several times, lapped water from the drinking fountain like a weary hound dog after an entire day of hunting, and fell exhausted onto my mat for the final 5 minutes of stretching.
The gazelles exited before the final stretching and barely broke a sweat, 60 year old man left but lady stayed, and at then end of the class the instructor had the audacity to ask me if I was okay.
I refueled on guzzles of water and a large coffee, welcomed a hot shower, and popped some ibuprofen anticipating sore muscles. I will never, I repeat never, attempt boot camp again, ever.