Boot Camp started on Monday, and I arrived at the gym at exactly 11:58am - right on time. I got my name tag and joined the other 100 participants - a combination of students and employees. People of all ages. People of all sizes. People of all fitness levels.
The first day was to be a fitness tests. Push ups, crunches/sit-ups, squats, and a mile. There was talk from so many people about how they weren't fast or they weren't strong. And I said to them, reminding both them and myself, that it didn't matter how fast they went or how slow. As long as they were moving, they were passing everyone on the couch.
Many of the people were more fit than they said they were. The people who complained about how slow they would complete the mile ended up finishing much faster than they expected. Most people were faster than I was.
And that's okay. Because I never stopped. And where I was Monday was so much father than I was in April.
I finished a mile in 16 minutes and 22 seconds - walking most of it and doing some interval running. I wasn't the first to finish, but I also wasn't the last. I discovered, too, that I could run more of it if I put my mind to it, and next time I will do just that.
I can do squats. Quite a few of them actually. I know the proper form. In April, I was terrified of hurting myself and refused to do squats. Now I welcome the challenge.
I can do push-ups on my knees. I know they aren't a "full" push-up, but it's still a big deal for me. I made excuses about how I have bad knees in the past, that I couldn't do push-ups, but the truth is that I can.
I could do a full sit-up if I chose to, and I can do more proper crunches now than ever before.
Slowly but surely I am becoming an athlete.
Boot Camp runs until the end of March, but I'll only participate in it through the middle of February as I'm taking on a new position at a new company. Once I am done with boot camp, I plan on taking everything I learn there and applying it to my future work outs.
My life is changing so much, and it's terrifying. It's also incredibly exciting, and I feel so unbelievably blessed to have so many opportunities - within work, within my marriage, and within my healthy living initiative.
10 months ago I never would have expected any of these changes. 10 months ago I would have thoughts all this change was impossible. 10 months ago I wondered if it was even worth the effort. And now here I am.
I want you to know that it is possible - every last bit of it - for me and for you. You just have to stop making excuses and get off the couch. And remember that you are only competing against yourself.
It will take time, but we will all make it to where we want to be.
(title from "play on" by carrie underwood)