When I first decided on the 'get fit' plan last November, although with the Mt. Meru goal and not the Chilkoot in mind, I kick-started the process by joining a fitness boot camp in Victoria. Despite a 5 year membership to the Y, I’m not a fan of gyms. I hate the feeling that I’m some how competing with the other people in there. I know that I’m not but when you see the gym rats trying to out-do each other it can be very difficult to avoid that feeling. Seeing young 20-something girls with painted on lululemon outfits also doesn’t help with one’s self-esteem as you sweat it out on the elliptical trainer. Also, I hate pushing myself. I will take myself to muscle fatigue, but I won’t push myself beyond that by picking up a heavier weight or doing another rep. I need someone to kick my butt for me (or make me kick my own butt as the case may be). Boot camp was the perfect fit. I checked out various websites, broke down the actual hourly cost of them to see which ones seemed to give the best bang for the buck, and then made my decision based on the fact that one of the sites had a good mixture of body shapes and ages in their photos. A big plus for an out-of-shape lazy bum like me. I can’t speak highly enough of the enjoyment I got out of the outdoor boot camp, Life Force Systems, and anyone looking for a non-gym experience to get in shape should give their site a look-over and see if it appeals to them. You will hurt so much the first two weeks you will debate quitting, but it gets easier and the instructors are so encouraging and good natured that it’s you’ll keep going and will be happy with the end results (if you give it your all and follow the nutrition recommendations). I have stopped going for the summer as I like having my Friday nights for social opportunities (which are always more plentiful in the summer) and I have some other goals for the summer which will eat up my budgeted ‘fun money’ which would have gone to boot camp, but I hope to return in the Fall as long as I can budget it (as I’m also returning to school).
As a result of no longer attending boot camp, I have reactivated my gym membership. I have yet to actually go as I have elected, so far, to do things like climb Mt. Tolmie and do the seven minute ab routine at home instead, but this week I have a goal to go at least twice on top of planning a weekend walk and doing the seven minute abs. Thanks to a few weeks with a personal trainer about two years ago I have a basic plan set up for what I should be doing during my time there, but if anyone has any suggestions for exercises which they think are really beneficial, I’d love to hear them... keeping in mind that I’m not (yet) that athletic so suggesting things like ‘jump over the waist- high bars for a good cardio work out’ will be met with laughter.
My workout this weekend consisted of walking from one end of Vancouver to the other. I took advantage of a free apartment in Coal Harbour for the weekend, and spent the Saturday walking to the aquarium, getting lost walking to Siwash Rock (which I want to see as it’s my favourite Roy Henry Vicker painting and I’ve never actually seen it), walking to Robson to meet a friend, walking to lunch, and then (after a bus ride) walking around Granville Island and then walking back to Coal Harbour. I explained my plan to my friend, who was very supportive. He agreed that I was slightly crazy but that it was a good goal and he was sure I could do it. This particular friend, let’s call him Cameron, has been one of my best friends for the last 16 years, so it meant a lot that he fully believed I could do it especially as he's done a lot of wilderness hiking himself and knows exactly what is involved. If there’s one person in this world who knows my abilities and limits better than I do, it would be him and I needed his support even if I didn’t realise that until after I got it. It gave me a ‘can do’ belief in this endeavour that had been missing before.
When I started this blog, I made the decision that I would keep specifics about myself and anyone who comes across my way in this goal to a minimum. This is for two reasons:
1) my friends aren’t writing this blog, I am. It’s not fair to them that I give away their specifics unless I have them read everything I write first. If I keep myself somewhat anonymous, then it keeps my friend anonymous.
2) I believe that the goal I have set for myself is one that anyone could set and achieve. I want people reading this to remember that there’s nothing different between them and me; they too could set a crazy sounding goal and achieve it. I think it's easier to believe that when I'm a faceless, nameless write at the other end of the vast internet.
Anyway, the ferry is minutes away from docking so it’s time to wrap this up.