Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Bootcamp - in which I discover I love hardcore exercise
An editor I used to work for had sent a round robin email to announce she was going freelance. Soon after I got a call from someone else on the list - an ex-editor now turned PR.
‘Long time no speak,' she said. 'I saw you on the email list and wondered if you might fancy going on a bootcamp in Buckinghamshire?’ she asked. ‘It’s run by this amazing woman called Julie Brealy.’
‘Hang on a flipping minute,’ said I. ‘I know Julie Brealy.’ When I’d damaged a tendon, she’d given me sports massage on it for weeks – down here on Exmoor. She was fab. She was also pretty hardcore. My Achilles got better out of sheer fear. But, hey, small world. It was obviously A Sign so I signed up. And promptly forgot all about it.
Then realised, in a mild state of panic, that March was whizzing along and I had a hot and fast approaching date with eight hours’ exercise a day. Stumbled onto the train with a case full of trainers and my bodyweight in painkillers. Arrived at Latimer Place and was hurled straight into a circuit class followed by – oh yes – Zumba.
here. There was lots of Zumba on this weekend – four hours of it. Oh yes.
Anyhow. The weekend was a total blast. Just wonderful. There were twelve of us – all women but all ages, sizes and shapes. Some revoltingly fit, some not so. You work at your own pace, encouraged rather than pushed. No noses in the mud; no screaming and yelling. Best thing was trying out new classes and workouts. So it was thumbs up to kettlebells – yeah the Russian dead weight thingy you swing between your legs (very fetching). Thumbs down to bellydancing (I tried but I just can’t shimmy my boobs in the opposite direction to my hips). Actually, nor could anyone else – we all looked desperately stiff and Anglo-Saxon (even the French and Swedes in the group). Thumbs up to gym sticks (a deep and brilliant stretch) and, surprisingly, thumbs up to Jazzercise (bit of a blast). You know, I can’t remember everything we did but there was a lot of it. There was also tons of food. You think you have to live on a couple of carrot sticks and the odd oatcake? Wrong. I seriously couldn’t keep up.
But, best of all – bliss upon bliss – I was working so hard that there was no room At All for the usual nonsense that flies through my head. I was in ‘no thought’ for such vast periods of time that the world transformed into a very pleasant place. So coming back home felt weird. What is this thing called ‘sitting on a chair at a PC?’ My muscles twitched; wanted to move. And my mind winced as the old crap came rushing back in as I unravelled over 100 emails and a slew of voicemails.
So I went to the gym. And talked to Trish who introduced me to Julie in the first place. ‘Did you like it?’ she asked, as I beat hell out of the exercise bike.
‘I loved it!’ I said. 'Just the dog's bollocks.'
‘Hmm,’ she replied. ‘Better do a week the next time.’
You know what? I'm severely tempted.
Brealy Bootcamps - give 'em a go!