Last weekend I was invited along to join a charity gym class at Barry’s Bootcamp. It is one of those classes that I have heard loads of people feeling very proud of themselves for completing so I was excited to see what all the hype was about. So how did it go… Did I survive? Well I loved the class and felt amazing afterwards, but I did have about 20 very near crashes.
Barry’s Bootcamp is a running based class (so I know I am already in trouble; I love running but my body really doesn’t) mixed up with a series of floor-based exercises.
The class has a club vibe (as you probably know I don’t have particularly good associations with clubbing) but this type of club is much more up my street. The darkness and loud music mean you are forced to work hard as you can just focus on yourself without worrying how ridiculous you look, and the loud music provides some much-needed motivation.
So, first things first, everyone is assigned a treadmill and told by the lovely instructors to get moving. The walking pace we kicked off at was almost a slow jog for me so a good start. Thankfully the running sections were short, the idea being you push yourselves for a short period. After a warm-up set on the treadmill we moved onto the floor for a series of plank and mountain climber exercises. Thankfully the floor in this club was much nicer than your usual nightclub and on this occasion everyone is meant to be on the floor! The floor was super springy which I was thankful for as it helped absorb the impact that has been causing my foot so many issues. I always have problems when doing a plank because my legs are tight, I automatically come too far up onto my toes and put all the weight through my arms, this means I quickly collapse like a plate of jelly.
So warm up done and we are back onto the treadmills. This is where my problems really began. One thing I am very grateful for is the fact that these treadmills are space age. They make my running so much smoother and work miracles by absorbing a huge amount of the impact. I think this is definitely the way forward for my treadmill running. However, unfortunately although I may have felt I was running on clouds I had bigger problems coming my way. This set involved 3 x3 minute runs. Each one faster and at a higher incline. The result of this was that I wanted to push myself and stick to the speeds and incline as told by the instructor (seriously, you would have thought that after 24 years I would have learned my own limits… Maybe not). Anyway, the result was that I crashed approximately every 20 seconds. Thankfully I reacted quickly enough to grab the rails and get myself back upright without flying off the end of the treadmill. I did manage to give my friend on the next-door treadmill a heart attack each time I tripped (definitely not what she needed whilst sprinting, sorry Liv). During my crashes I also managed to completely forget the existence of the safety cord but hey ho I am still standing (just!). I just was not ready for the changes in speed and incline, the sudden uphill was just unexpected even though I was the one to adjust my own treadmill!
Next up more strength exercises. This time to my delight squats with Dumbbells. This was a challenge because as my leg muscles are tighter and I cannot flex so much at my ankles. As I can’t flex at my ankles I cannot get as low in my squats (this was a realisation I only had a few days ago and my mind was blown). So, I am a giant towering above everyone else with their ridiculously low squats (I reckon they were all secretly Elastigirl from the Incredibles -how else can they get so low). Add to the Giant a pair of Dumbbells and my balance went flying off the end of one of those speedy treadmills. So, I ended up being a crushed giant on that plate of jelly I created earlier.
Despite having moaned about all my struggles, I really enjoyed the class. The atmosphere was amazing and the instructor very friendly and motivating (best of all despite mentioning my CP to her, no special treatment was given, or exemptions were made, I just paced it as I wanted). I also feel proud of how I did and think back 5 years, this is not a class I would have survived. I hope this shows that it is good to pursue things you enjoy even if others may think otherwise. I have been told previously that running is not the one for me. Despite this and the issues I have had, I really enjoy it and manage to keep doing it (maybe I just need to listen to my body a bit more and recognise my limits!) Ah well, I am still in one piece so all good.