The title of this post is “borrowed” from my best friend Jordan’s post on the return of Bikini Bod Bootcamp this September. Really, you need to go read her post, not only will it give you much needed information if you are interested in joining her this fall but it just pretty much hits the nail on the head about why the boot camp experience is so transformational. Nothing I will say in the next few paragraphs will say it better than her. But I wanted to highlight the one sentence that she so innocently plopped down in the middle of her post: “We are stronger than we know.” If I had to pick a motto or a theme for the fitness experience that Jordan has put together, that sentence encapsulates it perfectly.
If you haven’t read any of my posts from last Spring on the first round of Bikini Bod Boot Camp you should check them out. They are chocked full of amazing stories of triumphs and surprises and the camaraderie that can only be found when you have been “in the trenches” with someone. And the diminished waist lines and toned abs are definitely reason enough to merit another round of boot camp but the much larger reason that I think last season was such a success had little to do with looking better and everything to do with feeling better.
Let me help paint you a picture of the average attender of Bikini Bod Boot Camp. First and foremost, they are all women. Husbands and boyfriends have jokingly asked if they can join and Jordan has half-jokingly replied, “Sure. But men have to pay.” It’s not that she hates men or thinks that a mixed workout experience is in any way inferior. One practical reason this boot camp is offered only to women is because the workouts themselves are geared towards a woman’s body. And while a man could do the workout and feel the burn, it wouldn’t really target the same problem areas it does for a woman. Bikini Bod Boot Camp is focused on those areas that most women just can’t seem to get see any progress with, no matter how much they hit that treadmill or pump that iron.
Most of the women are moms, but not all. But because I am a mom and this blog is about me, duh, I am going to spend some time talking about why this quality makes the Bikini Bod Boot Camp experience unique. If you’ve read any of this blog at all you know that I am think being a mom is awesome….and hard. I think it’s fulfilling….and hard. And I think it’s wonderful…and really, really hard. With all of the perks and rewards of motherhood comes the trials and struggles and the biggest one I have hit square in the face time and time again are feelings of loneliness and isolation. Now some of this might come from the fact that I have chosen to be a stay at home mom but I have had enough conversations with my mom friends who work TWO full time jobs (mommy life and work life) that I think the loneliness might be universal in mommy land. Whether you spend your day talking with a toddler, walking a fussy newborn up and down the halls or shuttling carpool service around town, (or doing all of the above AND working 9-5 outside of the home) chances are the amount of time that you get filling your social life is probably the amount of time it takes you to peruse your Facebook wall while stopped at a red light. And if you do find yourself with some free time, sometimes this nagging little voice pops up in the back of your head saying things like, “You should really be spending time with your family right now. How often do you ALL get to be together?” And so, if you are like me at all, you reluctantly put down the book you were going to read or (let’s be more real) the iPad with the mindless netflix show you were going to watch for an hour, and you go spend quality time with the ones you love. Which is great! But it doesn’t make the loneliness and feeling of isolation that creep back in later any easier.
And this is where Bikini Bod Boot Camp comes in! One, two, three times a week, whatever your schedule allows, you get to spend an hour NOT being a mom. You spend an hour doing something good for your mind, body and soul. And the best part is, you realize you aren’t alone in this mom thing. While running your horrible, devastating lap around the track you hear stories from the woman next to you about how her toddler ate glue that morning. In between drills, you take a look around you and realize you are OUTSIDE surrounded by other women who are sweating with you, gulping water with you and cursing with you (at least, if you are standing next to me). And you slowly begin to realize that you are stronger than you think. You become physically stronger: the lap around the track gets easier, you can fly through more mountain climbers, and the bear crawls….well, they are always terrible but you know you won’t die now! Spiritually, you become stronger! For me that means my relationship with my Creator becomes that much deeper as I struggle with Him for each lap…and sometimes breath…and preserve the Temple He has granted me with. For other women, it means something entirely different. And emotionally you realize you are WAY stronger than you thought. You begin to realize you can do anything you want to do. You can conquer a burpee and you can conquer potty training. Your heart doesn’t feel so heavy and on workout days you find yourself looking forward to your hour of “me” time, knowing it’s going to bring you to a place where you will be a better mom, wife, friend, aunt, dog owner…whatever. And if you’re struggling like me, the loneliness and isolation begins to melt away. You belong to something bigger than yourself. And you are so much stronger than you know. Trust me.