On Sunday evening (19th April), we agreed among ourselves to do Boot Camp on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Five of us confirmed that we would attend the Tuesday session, and since it is my week to coordinate, I duly informed George our trainer, that we would meet on Tuesday from 5 to 6 pm. He wrote back to say that we should be ready to ramp up the strength training, and that was the last I heard from him.
Yesterday evening, I got to Joy’s office at about 4:45 pm and George was no where in sight. I dressed up in my work out gear, and started earnestly hoping and praying the he had forgotten about the Boot Camp. At the same time, in order not to miss out on the work out all together, I started planning what we old do in case George did not show up. I figured that we would do a few sprints up and down the steep drive way, and then go home after about ten minutes.
As I was still plotting the very brief workout, George arrived. He parked his car, opened his window, smiled at us and immediately said “I know you were wishing that I had forgotten to come.” Either that man is a mind reader, or something in my facial expression gave my earlier thoughts away!
This time, he didn’t pull any equipment out of his car, as is his usual practice, so I was left wondering as to what kind of strength training we were going to do. He asked my brother to hop onto his back and then he carried him up the steep drive way and back! We could not believe that was what we were going to do! I was next. He asked me to carry Penny on my back and when I was done, he asked Michelle to carry me on her back. Michelle and I laughed so hard. The exercise was totally unbelievable! We stopped there with carrying each other and went on to do other exercises.
We did 150 jumping jacks – 50 at a time, with a brief rest in between. We did ten slow jumping jacks and ten fast ones, and repeated that rhythm till we counted to fifty. By the time we were through, our hearts were racing, and that’s when George said our hearts were going to feel us. With that statement, we knew we were in for a hard workout!
We did quite a number of press ups – about 120 in all, spread across the work out. I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. Some times my arms give way and I collapse under my own weight, and at other times I can’t go all the way down in a proper press up. But I keep trying what I can. We then jumped logs – seven in a row. After that, we each stood facing a log, and then had to do a burpee, jump the log, then do another burpee on the other side of the log and jump back. We did this ten times. We ran and did more press ups. Then we did frog jumps. When it was my turn, I sort of half sat/half fell on my little brother’s back, and that was the end of that exercise.
We then jumped stairs – two at a time (6 stairs in all), and we did this ten times. Next did what George calls the dance. This is a quick sort of shuffle while doing a light jump on a step, and you pick up the pace. We did the dance, and did some press ups in between. And just when I thought the session was coming to an end, George made us run up and down the steep drive way five times.
By the end of the exercise we were totally exhausted, but also totally grateful that we did the session. For me, each session is a count down to the mountain climb. Each session also presents the opportunity to learn something new. Today’s big lesson for me was about trust. You cannot allow someone to carry you if you don’t trust them, and I am glad these work out sessions that we do together are slowly helping us build trust with each other, because maybe, just maybe, when we are all we have up there in the mountain, we will have to trust that we will carry each other – not physically, but in other ways – to be able to support each other fully.
The other lesson I learnt was that a lot of what limits us is in our mind. Like my leadership coach put it to me so ably yesterday morning: “We use our minds to torment ourselves, we can use the same minds to free ourselves.” Very often, when George introduces a new workout routine, our first response is to say we can’t do it, because in our eyes, it seems too hard to do. But he always reminds us that our perception of inability is in the mind, and we have to overcome that mindset if we are to take on a new challenge and grow.
So the mental note I wrote to myself as we ended the session yesterday was: may I learn to trust my team mates more, and may I learn to overcome the perception of the impossible and continue to shatter my limits.