Better Safe

Safety first.

That’s a phrase George uses a lot.

It’s a phrase that came in handy yesterday during Boot Camp.

Yesterday we did Rwenzori Boot Camp. It was our first this week as there was not enough quorum to do the boot camp on Tuesday. Yesterday we were 7 in all – the highest number we have ever been for a Boot Camp session.

I drove over to Joy’s office (which is where we’ve been holding the boot camp), with Carol. It was Carol’s first time, and because of all the tales she has heard about George the trainer, she was quite apprehensive about her first day. On the way to Joy’s office, I got a call from another colleague who was coming for Boot Camp, and she said she was getting weak at the knees just thinking about all the drills we were going to undergo. On our WhatsApp group, Joy had warned us that George said we should come to the Boot Camp ready to shatter our limits.

George got to the venue before us and so he was on hand to welcome as as we arrived one by one. He would look at us and smile and ask whether we were ready to push ourselves all the way. All our smiles back to him were wobbly and our responses weak, as we each drew mental pictures of what he meant by pushing ourselves to the limit.

We started by skipping. We used both the 1 kilogram skipping rope, as well as smaller, much lighter ones. After we had gotten our hearts racing, we proceeded to shadow box. We jumped lightly on our feet, like the boIMG_2645xers do, and then threw punches as hard as we could. I did not know that throwing a punch is actually hard work!  We did other warm up exercises, including press ups, and then we went up to the road and ran the two hundred meters back and forth four times. I am still not up to my game in the running department and I struggled to go fast yesterday. I settled for a light jog, and it was all I could do not to give up. My lungs were burning so bad, I felt I couldn’t go on!

After the runs, we jumped over logs. I leaned against a tree, waiting for my turn to jump the logs. I did four rounds of jumps and after each round I would go back to lean against the tree for support. At some point, I felt some pressure against my chest, like someone was stepping on me. When George called me back for the fifth round of jumping, I told him I was not feeling well. I felt the pressure in my chest increase and before I knew it I was heaving, crying and struggling for breath. It was quite scary. My team mates all stopped their exercises and gathered around me and offered me support and advice. After about five minutes or so, I began to feel better, but all through, I wondered what was happening to my heart and lungs.

I managed to do the warm down exercises. Joy made me a cup of tea before I left, and as I was leaving George told me to rest and take it really slow over the next couple of days. We’ve been working out hard, we’ve been so focused on the mountain, we have driven ourselves to the point that it’s easy to forget that the body needs to slow down.

I wrote a mental memo to myself: Don’t run your body to the ground. Listen to your body. Safety first.


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