thanksgiving 11 - 13

I’m in the third week of boot camp, counting the days till it’s over and till I can be just a regular girl going to a regular gym at a regular time of day. This 5:00 a.m. business is really hard. I’m quite tired these days. God is good to me and I have many many things that I’m thankful for and that give me joy day in and day out. 11. I’m very thankful for my job. I couldn’t have found a better job had I tried. The hours are superb for me, the location is superb, my office is superb, what I do is ok. Sometimes I think my employer can’t justify my position and fear the position will be terminated. I hope not but I don’t take it for granted. 12. Boot camp is almost over -- I count the mornings every day. Hang on till next... Read more →

boot camp, round 2

This morning at 5:00 I started month 2 of physical-fitness boot camp. Although I'm the only one in this class that's a second-timer, I'm still the most overweight and out-of-shape. Sigh. (I get the distinct impression boot camp is not a favored past time for fat folks). My friend Elaine is boot camping with me this month. Right off the bat this morning she pulled something in her leg and from that moment on she was the class grunter. I was happy to surrender the title. Someone said, I think it was Anais Nin, that we see the world as we are, not as the world is. As I was driving home this morning I thought about my first day of boot camp last month. It was so hard for me; I thought I might die -- literally. It was hard this morning too, but not once did I think... Read more →

lessons from boot camp

I am extremely happy to report that I finished a month-long boot camp this morning. My last exercise was carrying a 20 pound bag of sand while I ran and then pulling a truck tire from one end of the field and back. As I briefly recuperated afterward, several congratulated me on finishing the month. Everyone knew it had been hard for me. I was the sound effects for the group. "Uuuugghhh," was my common anguished cry. This morning my mates told me they couldn't believe I came back for the second day. "I knew on that first day I'd never see you again," one said. Well I surprised them and never missed a day. They said I had grit. There is more than the finishing boot camp thing that I'm proud of. It's big to me that I never missed a day. Every morning was a spiritual exercise to... Read more →

boot camp

Friday I finished my first week of boot camp. It was hard. I am much much worse than the other women. They are younger, thinner, and fitter. Being the worst is a humbling position to be in -- definitely not my preferred spot in the food chain. I'm always last to finish every exercise. My teammates can't stop their drill until I've completed mine. No one is ever allowed down time, everyone is constantly working. We had a drill on Friday where we ran to the first pylon then back to the starting line, did ten push ups then ran to the second pylon, ran back to the starting line, did ten push ups, then ran back to the third pylon. . . Since I was last and everyone was far ahead of me, they had to keep doing push ups as I dragged up the rear. It's humiliating enough... Read more →

boot camp day 2

It only hurts when I breathe. If I lie like a corpse everything feels fine. I've been reading 1 Peter and meditating on 5:12, "The grace of God is with you no matter what happens." This morning as I ran around the field at 5:30, thinking I might be leaving this world at any moment to receive my eternal reward, I kept chanting this verse (in my head of course, God knows I hadn't the breath to really speak it). Maybe I'm about to die, but the grace of God is with me no matter what happens. The grace of God carried me through. It was harder today. We doubled the running time and we did all the same exercises as Monday, except we added three more sets of each and got to hold weights as we did them. You should check out a boot camp. Fun, fun, fun. Read more →

about boot camp

Let me tell you about Boot Camp. First let me say I have marbles for brains. The words "boot camp" conjure up ideas of pain, yelling, exhaustion, and other equally charming words. (Insert, "Valerie, what were you thinking?") There is this torturous boot camp called Soldiers of Fitness (SOF). I wanted to do it because I thought that would really be impressive. I have a very, very fit girlfriend who was training for a marathon in the river valley. As she trained, Soldiers of Fitness ran past her and they were carrying logs. Refreshing, totally refreshing. I guess it was my pride talking that made me want to do SOF. After all, how often do you see people running in the river valley carrying logs. I thought being able to do this would prove that I was fit and people would oohh and awhh and say, "That Valerie, is she... Read more →