Every time that I tell my boys about boot camp, they kind of roll their eyes and say “doesn’t sound that hard.” You see, Ethan is an athlete who does intensive training for basketball and Andrew attends physical training weekly at the Marine recruiting station. What I do at fitness boot camp couldn’t possibly compare to the intensity of their workouts. “You think it’s so easy, then I challenge you to join me for a class!” Ethan promised me he would come to a class during spring break. Today was the day that he agreed to get up early to come with me. Oh boy did he pick a good day.
Today we did a “1,000 rep challenge.”
Ten different exercises, ten times each, for ten rounds. We would have forty minutes to try to complete all 1,000 reps. My first thought as she was explaining how it would work was “I will never complete all 1
,000 reps. No way.” Followed by “my son is going to kick my butt.” He’s young, he’s fit, he’s an athlete. I’m forty and not in very good shape.
To be honest, I was terrified. I didn’t want to fail. I wanted to complete it, I wanted to kick ass, but one thing I struggle with is believing in myself, in my ability to succeed. I decided I would do my best and that I would push myself as hard as I possibly could.
The challenge started. I hit it hard. So did my son. He quickly got ahead of me, just like I knew he would. I was okay with that. This wasn’t about me wanting to beat him. It was about me wanting to do something I didn’t think I could do. This was about me not wanting to fail. This was about me believing that I had it in me to complete this challenge.
I completed round one, then round two, then round three, then four. Things got a little difficult. My legs were burning, I was out of breath, everything in me said “take a break! Stop!” But I didn’t. I pushed through the pain, through the discomfort. I completed round five, then six, then seven, eight and nine.
And then, at the 37 minute mark, I finished the last round– round ten.
I did it. I did something I didn’t think I was capable of doing.
I laid on my mat, I moaned for a minute and then I got up and walked around with a smile on my face.
“You’re stronger than you think you are.” I whispered to myself.
At the beginning of the class, our instructor said there would be a gift card handed out to the winner of the challenge. She said this person wouldn’t necessarily be the first person to finish, but the one who worked the hardest. After the challenge was over, she congratulated everyone on their hard work. “There is one person who really stood out today.” I waited to hear which one of my incredible boot campers would be named. “That person is Yvonne.”
My fellow campers clapped and agreed with her choice. “Great job!” They said. “You kicked butt!!”
She handed me the gift card and told me she was proud of me. As corny as this sounds, I wanted to cry. I felt proud of myself and I rarely feel the way.
Any time I feel like I am not capable of doing something, I will think back to this challenge and I will tell myself “Yes. Yes you can.”
As an aside, because it’s totally not important at all, I finished before my son. My young, fit, athletic son.