At least that’s what I told the boot camp instructor. Yesterday Rita decided that it would be a good idea to provide us with a free pass to, what we thought/were told was, an introductory boot camp class. Cam was on board and I was lured by the promise of Mexican food at the end of the session and so I reluctantly agreed (as is the case with all the other misadventures I’ve been lured into). At first glance we didn’t seem the most unfit individuals in the class that took place in an expansive, residential and quiet park in the burbs of Newmarket. There were other girls there that were slightly on the heavier side and more importantly, pregnant ladies. For sure we thought we had it in the bag. After all, I run at the gym regularly (and by running I mean I prance and move any which way on the treadmill that will prevent me from falling on my face at a minimal speed of 5.0). But forward we marched, or ran rather. We ran about six blocks at a pace that most expert joggers would have classified as a brisk skip but by block two we began falling behind and cursing the wind. (The wind did nothing to us but we were just that angry at the world.)
After our grueling run we began the first circuit which the instructor dubbed as “hell”. We acknowledged with nervous laughter but of course by this time Cam and I were more excited to be stationary than anything else so we didn’t really put much thought into how bad the next exercise could be– anything was better than running for our lives. But hell it turned out to be. Never in my life had I ever considered how difficult any boot camp class could have been. During the period of great confusion and sadness (the circuit of hell), I contemplated many things, which included the following:
-“If I run now, which bus could I take to get home? Are there even buses here? Damn Newmarket!!”
-“How does one legitimately fake passing out? Seriously, do I just slowly slither into a fetal position??” [replays in head all the fainting scenes in movies to make it seem believable]
-“These people PAY HER to do this to THEM??? My God!”
-“I think I’m having a heart attack. Seriously. Some. One. Help. Me.”
-“New memoir title: I’m pregnant and other lies I tell my boot camp instructor. [Noted!]”
-“Dear Lord, I have never really asked you for much but today, please Lord, right now make it rain– only just enough for her to stop. I need a break!!!”
Humiliation is a tough pill to swallow. One never wants to lose or be the loser. Everyone wants to win or do well. But at this delusional stage in the class I thought it was about life or death, and my life was worth more than looking like a sad loser. And so I stopped; I simply became motionless and avoided eye-contact with the instructor. I didn’t care if no one else stopped or that everyone else thought that I couldn’t handle it because the truth was I was only there for Mexican food and this was becoming a serious health risk. (Okay, I couldn’t even write that last sentence without laughing inside.) Fine, my life was not in danger but it was horrible—the most horrific physical exercise I had ever endured. Never had I ever wanted to violently punch out anyone more than the instructor that kept yelling at us and calling us pussies (especially after she told us that it was actually week eight exercises that we were doing as opposed to beginners exercises). Okay fine, maybe she didn’t yell at us, maybe she just raised her voice in a higher pitch than I would have preferred. And maybe she wasn’t calling us degrading names but she definitely made us feel bad and that’s all that I could remember in my haze.
In the moments when I came to and when my mind began operating at a normal person’s speed again, I realized that I didn’t want to just sit there for the remainder of the class and look like a sulking four year old so I picked up my limp body, dusted it off and declared that I was with child so that I, too, could be down-graded to more manageable exercises (which were just as terrible so props to the preggos, seriously). In the end, I did get the food that I was promised and Aunt Flo came by and confirmed I was not pregnant after all.