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Chasing the after

Who’s ready for swimsuit season?

As I pen this piece for our latest issue I feel the need to keep it real.

The truth is, I had grand plans and ambitions at the start of the year to demonstrate wonderful “before” and “after” photos of life post bootcamp. I just knew, that as I have before, I would go full force into this latest activity and share my screaming success with our readers. The photos would serve as great inspiration for those looking for the answer to bathing suit blues and well, I … well I would rock said “after” body aboard a beautiful boat on the lake this summer.

Now before you go thumbing feverishly through the pages looking for said pics, save yourself – they’re not here. I still plan to be on the lake, just not wearing my suits in the manner in which I had thought. 

Yes, I know all about the whole “love your body” movement and as much as I applaud and respect all who are in that space – well that’s not me. My confidence, while it is strong in some areas, the swim suit is a whole other animal.

It’s fair to say I found the bootcamp experience to be inspiring as well as educational. While the bathing suit idea was great motivation, the true purpose was to help ready my body for another ambitious run season. With 2018 and few miles logged behind me, I knew it was time to return to self-discipline and I longed for my sneakers.

Bootcamp would certainly help whip me back into shape, just as it had so many others. How could I fail, right? While I won’t go as far as to say I failed, I did complete it after all, however not with the success or newfound activity passion I had expected.

The coaches, as well as the owners of the studio I joined, were so supportive, understanding and inspiring that I actually wrote about the business and culture in this same issue. The support and commitment to community which has been cultivated in the Get Fit environment was one I’d not experienced before.

As I struggled to stay motivated to make it to the studio just two — yes, two days a week — I couldn’t help but wonder why. It’s only two days, I’d tell myself, you do hard things, you can do this. As weeks passed and various class times tried, I still wasn’t feeling it. This would be right around the time I realized two key things.

The first, I later told the owners during our 209 interview, I’m a bit of a tramp (for lack of better word) when it comes to trying the latest workout trend. This could also be said for me once upon a time by way of diet or the now more PC “eating plan.” Yet, alas with some things with age does come wisdom and when it comes to food I default to the decade old practical doctor advice of healthy eating and exercise. No eliminating food groups, just re-assessing how my body responds to some versus others and adjusting accordingly.

The second lesson was perhaps the biggest, I’m an introvert. Socially speaking this could not be more inaccurate. I love people, hence my career choice and passion for what I do. However, when it comes time to get my sweat on, if not leading a group by way of yoga class, then I’d rather be alone. “No wonder I love to run,” I texted a friend during a seven-mile run and midway through my bootcamp.

For those judging my texting while running, I have to say some of my best ideas come during the solace of sneaker time. Many a story write themselves while running in the early morning or out on a race course. 

My girlfriend returned the text with her own admission of the same problem. Gyms are “just too people” another shared a few days later. That’s not our social time. The three of us are solo runners, and if we do opt to run with one another we don’t speak but rather grab coffee or a good stretch in a driveway post run. That works for us. 

So what’s the point of all this really?

My hope is that a few will read this and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Even the most confident have their weaknesses and one size does not fit all by way of work out or food plan. 

I’ve also come to learn in this next phase of life that a slowing metabolism is a terrible thing. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the clock changes and the body follows suit – that’s real stuff and I wish more spoke about it openly (expect that next issue).

In the meantime, I’m still working toward reducing the belly, firming up the legs and toning the arms. Things I choose to still chase, not because society has told me to, but because I enjoy life in a healthy body. I ask a lot of my body, more days than not and if I expect it to take care of me, then I best take care of it. Happy hunting.