Monday, July 28, 2008

Biscuits, gravy and boot camp

“Biscuits and gravy, biscuits and gravy,” chanted the woman next to me as we ran up the steps of the local high school.

No, we weren’t running to buy breakfast. We were participating in boot camp, and it seems biscuits and gravy was the prime motivator for my new friend. I didn’t ask if she was working off the biscuits and gravy or planning to eat some after class. Either way, she deserved it after that work-out.

My husband and I tried the class for the first time on a recent Saturday morning. Unlike a typical boot camp drill sergeant, our instructor shouted praises and encouragement during the entire hour class. Of course, I thought she was saying, “Nice, Leigh, done,” as in I’m doing such a great job that I could quit. Come to find out, she was saying, “Nicely done.” And not to me, I might add.

The group of participants consists of a variety of ages and fitness levels. Our work-out began with stretches, a few warm up laps around the track, and then we quickly progressed to climbing the hundreds of steps in and around the stadium, which was apparently designed to torture the human hamstring.

After tackling the stairs several times, we did sprints, two more laps around the track and just when we thought we were done--more sprints. My husband kept marveling (and trying to catch up with) the leader of the pack, a man who appeared to be his age. Later when we did our cool down, we discovered that he wasn’t middle-aged after all.

“Why, he’s a 30 year-old bald guy!” my husband exclaimed on the way home.

Amidst the sweat and groans, we quickly bonded with the group members. This was not a competition but rather camaraderie, with the seasoned participants coaching the newer ones.

Although I know I can go out and climb the stairs at the stadium by myself, I won’t. I’ve lived here all my life and never have except to get a Coke at a football game. Working out with the group really made me push my limits, and, as we ran the track, I thought, I have never been so proud to be in last place. And I can't wait to get my hands on some biscuits and gravy!

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