Week 3

 




It was tough to rally this morning when the alarm went off. But I was quickly energized when I saw the look on Charla's face. I think she's getting tired of the counting out of sync, arms and legs flailing in different directions during group exercises and those who mosey over the bridge 5-10 minutes late. We are clearly yahoos in her mind - oh so far from the disciplined recruits she's used to from her Marine Corps days.

The fear of the flexed arm hang was dwarfed today by these instructions - "Stretch your hamstrings, calves and achilles and get on the road." We were paired off and told to run like "lightning" for several reps of sprints. Again, the word yahoo comes to mind, as I tried to emulate the form that Michael Johnson used to win the gold. Charla's feedback was - "Keep your toes pointed straight ahead Dougherty." Probably not advice that accomplished runners ever hear. Clearly my duck-footed walk follows me throughout my exercises.

She spared us from the usual 20-25 push-ups at the end of class but gave us something else to stress about. We will be given another fitness assessment this Friday. Since we will have reached the half-way point, we will be tested on flexed arm hang, two minutes of sit-ups, continuous push-ups and a 1.5 mile run. I feel a little ill just thinking about - mainly because there's a good chance that I've gotten worse over the past few weeks. How? My stomach muscles are still scarred from our initial assessment and they have been worked like a dog ever since, making it impossible for me to do as many as I did on day one.

Highlights:
-Sharing laundry tips with Sharon on the drive over. Recommendation: Douse brown stained t-shirts with Shout before washing. It seems the geese may have made a permanent mark on some of Sharon's clothes.
-One recruit shouting - "This is what we came for. This is what we love", before we started the sprints. His attempts at motivating resulted in only mild chuckles from the group.
-During a water break I glanced over at Charla who was doing dips on two elevated bars. Good lord - you should have seen the biceps on that woman.

On Friday night my husband, Andrew, asked my thoughts on the first two weeks of boot camp. I replied something like - "Oh, it's been fine. I feel like I kind of know the routine now. The strength exercises have been tough but I wish we did a bit more running."

Be careful what you wish for....

I feel like we are in a bad horror movie and our once semi-smiling instructor Charla has ripped a mask off her face to reveal an evil fire-breathing dragon. The jokes are gone. The smirks are gone. The laughter is gone. And what's worse, the warm-up exercises are gone.

Today the slimy grass looked really inviting - it used to be the home of jumping jacks and trunk twists, the lovely exercises that gave our bodies a few extra minutes to adjust to more strenuous activity ahead. The soft, padded grass area has been replaced by bare cement. By 7:01 a couple recruits were sharing their nutrition malfunctions from yesterday and the reported Wendy's chicken sandwich, french fries, and six beers resulted in:

"Drop and give me 10" and then,
"Drop and give me 12" and then,
"Stay down and push until I say to get up."


Our orders were then to get a "quick" drink of water and "Get in whatever state of dress or undress you need to be in to get on the road." And off we went. Sadly the recruits in the bad horror movie don't sing along to fun jingles and rhymes. Our group only had the echoes of heavy wheezing to focus on. We did a two mile run, in what felt like a Florida swamp. It was easily our most humid morning yet. And then were instructed to circle back and "pick up the wounded."

We finished the morning back on the grass that I had been mourning for at 7:00 with full sit-up reps. But this time, we had to switch off in between sets within 3 seconds and shout a rallying "Hoo Yah" before starting the next set. Charla was in our faces today and the words flowing out were not pleasant (or quiet). Again, I was chastised for having what appeared to be a seizure while trying to lift my upper body off the grass.

Highlights:

-Minus the fall from grace at Pizzeria Uno on Friday night (with a delicious pepperoni pizza), I have been diligent about small healthy feedings throughout the day. The result: Not one pound lost and cravings for fatty, high-calorie food are drastically on the rise. Robin, our IT guy, walked by with a egg, cheese and bacon croissant and I comtemplated tackling him from behind to nab a bite.
-Today will likely be an extremely productive day at work as I am too tired to leave my office chair. My hamstrings, quads, calves - you name it, they are all sore. Even the bottom of my feet are aching.

Dare I say that today's class was all about fun & games? Charla granted us a day of rest, in order to prepare for our big test on Friday. We did some basic exercises (flexed arm hang, push-ups and dips) in our usual uncoordinated, scattered fashion. I was totally out-of-sync this morning. As we finished push-ups and were instructed to start jumping jacks, I did a 180 degree hop and turned to face the people behind me. They looked royally confused and started laughing, as Sharon followed suit and jumped around next to me. I then struggled to get my arms and legs moving at the correct intervals as I jumped back around to face the class. I took me the whole rep to get back in sync with the rest of the group and then Charla chimed in - "It's a childhood exercise Dougherty. It's really not that difficult."

We then headed out to the field, formed a large circle and passed two footballs among the group. Today was a monumental day as it was Sharon's first time ever holding an "American" football. After receiving Charla's instructions, Sharon threw a feeble pass to one of our teammates, with the ball flopping end over end. When she received the ball the second time, she wound back her arm for a pass and threw an absolute bullet straight for the head of a female recruit. The poor girl screamed, ducked and missed being severely wounded by just inches, as the football went sailing over her head. "Good God" and "Holy Shit" were some of the comments heard among the group.

We then divided into teams and attempted to play a game of football. Here are some of the highlights:
-Charla announced the rules - "Tag your opposition with two hands, below the waist." Sharon responded with, "Great. Below the waist. Look out guys." The four men in our group looked a bit frightened or maybe excited? I couldn't really tell.
-The captain of our team tried to set-up an offensive play for the group. "I'll pitch the ball to Katie and then you guys form a line in front of her and we'll run ahead to the inzone." The concept was totally lost on us, as Katie got the ball, the rest of us were running down the field - with our backs turned away from the action.
-Poor Katie, not only did she not have us protecting her, but Sharon was guarding her. Sharon charged the woman (mind you - the same woman who barely missed Sharon's death pass moments earlier), grabbed her shirt and shorts and pulled her to the ground."
-I'd say the odds are good that our football playing days are over.

To check our "progress" as we approach the half-way mark, the scale and body fat measurer reappeared today. The moment of truth...

I have GAINED two pounds and my body fat has gone up .5%. Charla's response - "We need to get that body fat count down."

I'm too depressed to write anything more today.

Until tomorrow...

The moment of truth. Today we hit the half-way mark - three weeks down, three to go. To celebrate (probably not the right word) this milestone, we had another assessment test to determine what we have accomplished over the past fifteen days. The test was as follows:

Flexed Arm Hang: 51 seconds. We weren't tested on this initially so I really have no idea if I've improved. I'm mean, I'm sure I've gotten better than when I was in the sixth grade trying to win a blue ribbon. My last few seconds today involved spastic arms shakes and a grunt of some sort.

Sit-ups: 41 in 2:00. This is where I fell apart. As I hit the 1:00 mark, I was really psyched about the 30 sit-ups I'd cranked out, until I heard the other numbers around me - "45, 55, 62." But not to worry, I still had a whole minute to go. If I could do 30 in one minute, one would think I could 60 in two minutes. Oh no. I was only able to squeeze out 11 in the last minute. And during the last ten seconds I couldn't even manage to do one more - by this point an odd muscle in left thigh was quivering and my entire upper body was in spasm mode.

1.5 Mile Run: 12:00. Those who know me well, are aware of my usual speed - hovering between the nine and ten-minute mile pace. Some people seem shocked that I enjoy running so much, but I've realized that part of the reason is that I kind of plod along at a nice and easy pace. In fact I remember going for a run with my dad while in college and he walked next to me while I ran. That's the kind of lightning speed I'm talking about. So, today's run was tough. I was wheezing a bit at the end but overall was happy with the results.

Charla ended the class shaking her head disapprovingly at her clipboard. "You've made some progress, but not that much. The fun and games are over. We have a lot of work to do. Get some rest and I'll see you bright and early on Monday."

Will do Charla. And I'll make a toast to reaching the half-way point during happy hour tonight. HOO-YAH!