Posted by Roger, a contributor to this blog.

Me, after my first day back!

It’s been a while but I’m finally back at fitness boot camp. As some of you may remember I had a rather inauspicious beginning to 2011.  Well, after finally getting my car situation resolved and my back settling down I was all ready to return and then…I got sick. Was out of work for 3 1/2 days. Looking on the bright side, I did miss two of my heavier class loads.

One thing that was definitely reinforced during this time was that one cannot always trust the scale.During the 3 plus weeks I didn’t attend boot camp I gained maybe a pound. I did work out maybe 3 times during this period so I know that really didn’t make a difference. However, while my weight didn’t really move I could tell I gained. My loose pants became tighter, and the parts of me that had become tighter were looser! Just goes to show you definitely cannot measure gains solely on the scale. I also felt my emotional well being suffered. I lacked energy, was short tempered and anxious. Working out during trying times always helps to alleviate these conditions.

I must admit I was worried about returning to camp. It had been a while and I remembered how tough that first class could be. Yet I also remembered that Dustin always says you can be in any shape and participate in boot camp. Having attended fitness boot camp since last June I knew this to be true. I did get in a light work out a couple days before my return to class, hoping this would help prevent some soreness (and nausea!)

One of the most difficult moments I faced that first day happened before I even left the house. It was the alarm. Ugh, it went off at 4:15 a.m. which is, of course, when it has to go off if I am going to avoid doing those 5 extra push-ups for every minute late to class. I had gotten used to sleeping in until 6:15 so I knew that getting up  at roughly 4:30, 3 times a week again would initially pose a challenge. It did but I got up and even arrived to class a few minutes early. It was great to see familiar faces and so many new people ready to take the fit camp experience.

We started off with a warm-up. Butt kickers, reaching down to the floor on one leg (gotta get back to work on that balance), some stretching and high knee runs. Then we partnered up. My wife and I stayed partnered as we both knew that we had much work to do and didn’t want to hold anyone back. We worked first on strength training using our weights. I brought my 20 lb weights and used them. This wasn’t so bad on the bicep curls but on the deltoid work, ouch. The second set of deltoid work I toyed with switching to the 15 lb weights but thought better of it. I figured I would just challenge myself to do as many I could. Besides, I knew Dustin would probably bust me on it so what was the point? We then switched to the kettle ball weights. These were new to me and took a little getting used to. It took me a minute to figure out how to change hands at the top of my extension but I finally got it.

After a water break we moved to cardio. We did wheelbarrows across the floor which my wife and I had to change to bear crawls. I’m a little heavy for my wife but she was able to push me much further than any time before but couldn’t quite make it across the room. Then we got to run sprints, which always bring out the competitive juices so I enjoyed those. The same with hopping across the floor on one foot. Who would have ever guessed those “Simon Says” moves would be so good for you?

We finished the workout with some core exercises. This is where I could tell I had really lost much of my gains. I felt like I had gone back to step one in so many ways. Luckily, people tell me it doesn’t take that long to make it up. I sure hope not!

So now, I’m back and at it again. The journey continues…