Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A New York Ass-Kicking

It's no secret. I have commitment issues. I am easily distracted. I have been known to join multiple gyms, go for a month and then lie to get out of the contract. (I once "moved in with my grandma who lives in southern Missouri" and even had my cellphone bill sent there for two months so I had change-of-residency "proof.") So when I saw this Groupon for 75% off six classes at Pure Power Boot Camp, I figured what the hell. I was sold when I saw that it's located two blocks away from my work. I enlisted for two weeks of classes in early August (um, now).

The day of my first class (um, yesterday), I looked at the website in detail. Torture devices stared back at me — things like Barbed Wire Crawl and Belly Robbers scoffed in my face. I was getting nervous. I calmed my nerves with an iced coffee and a small cookie the afternoon before class. It's my birthday week. I can have a cookie. I arrived to class 15 minutes early (gasp! have we met?) as instructed in my "platoon uniform" of black pants and sneakers. Upon arrival, I filled out a waiver for new "recruits" stating that sprains and fractured bones are possible and that I will be added to some sort of "KILL BOARD" if I fail to arrive in uniform. Then they tossed an oversize army T-shirt at me and ordered that I do five push-ups. Done. Sort of. I changed into my shirt and joined my "platoon." We were surrounded by ropes and hurdles and torture chambers of all kinds stuck in a pit of what seemed to be an odd combination of loose rubber and styrofoam. The outskirts of the pit was swathed in camouflage and feel-good Words like POWER, INTEGRITY, STRENGTH and TRUST. It reminded me of those motivational posters in kindergarten classrooms. I liked it.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that my shirt was on backward — my dog-tag graphic was in front. Everyone else's was in back. Peeked in collar, sure enough, there was the XL tag starring back at me. Quickly switched shirt around and got in line for jumping jacks. Everyone just automatically knew to start counting. I was confused. For every number they shouted, they did three or four jacks. They also seemed to be counting backward. I mouthed various numbers and waved my arms around.

Time for some laps. Now I like to start out with a nice, light jog. Many of my fellow recruits/platoonmates/soldiers were sprinting past me. Overachievers, I thought to myself. We then split up into two groups. Commanding Officer Brenner (aka the hot chick with the abs) took the overachievers. A drill instructor guy (I will call him DI) took people like me. We immediately had to go over these wooden hurdles that went up to my belly button. Those in front of me were sticking their left leg up and pulling themselves over all professional-like. I straddled it. Left leg up, straddle, right leg over, slide off. The DI showed me out to do it. I was scared and thought I was going to trip over the hurdle, falling on my face in the pit. I straddled it again. I straddled them all. I was That Girl. The Straddle Girl Who Slowed Down The Whole Platoon. Then we went to a wall of sorts that was much taller than me. We had to climb over it and jump down. I got up to the top, looked down and freaked. DI claimed it's not that far and to jump down. So I did. I landed on my feet! I did three more.

Then we had to do these box step-up things and squats. I went to grab my water. "PUT THAT WATER DOWN!" DI shouted. Jaw dropped, I did what I was told. He wanted us to count while doing the steps. I don't think anyone knew whether to start backward or forward. So we didn't speak. "You can't count, so then GET AWAY FROM ME!" he snarled. "Go run three laps." So we did. I was scared. A nice girl introduced herself while jogging, asked if it was my first day. "Yes. Is it almost over?" "You've got 20 more minutes. Don't worry about it, you paid for it, do what you can." I liked her. At this point, I was feeling faint. I must've looked pale. Vomit was rising in my throat. I seriously thought I was going to collapse. We were given a 10-second water break.

Then we did some 200 sit-ups of sorts while being ordered to scream things like "I AM A SEXY BITCH!" The minute my DI turned his back, I rested. Yes. I am a dirty cheater. At the end, our platoon sat in a circle, and we were ordered to shout Words. DI told me to say POWER. "Power?" I said in question form.

When I walked out, legs shaking, I felt like I'd accomplished something great, aside from swallowing my puke. I realized that I had a huge sweat spot that looked as if I had peed myself. For a split second, I questioned whether or not I really peed myself. I did not. Whew. I go back tonight. Five more classes. I can do this.


  1. dirty cheater! :)

  2. I'll bet you're one of those OVERACHIEVERS, Adam!

  3. Kill board? *Kill board*? Sounds like one of those places the *Law & Order* cops have to visit to figure out which DI is a murderer.


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