Posted by Roger, a contributor to this blog.

It seemed like an uncomfortably warm night last night. My wife and I watched the movie Tales of the Crypt (1972), not to be confused with the HBO series, before heading to bed. I love old ’70’s B-movies from my youth. They used to show them at the local drive-in but I suppose now they are direct to video. However, I digress. The warm air or humidity didn’t make for great sleeping weather so we were up for a bit. When I finally fell asleep I knew it would only be a short time until 4:30 am came along.

When the alarm went off I turned over and grudgingly got out of bed. Immediately I felt a soreness and stiffness in my legs. I taught a body sculpt class the previous day and the ladies in that class love to work the legs. I was feeling the results of that now though. Maybe I should skipĀ  bootcamp today, I thought. But I knew that was a really poor excuse so I got dressed and off I went.

Unfortunately, upon arriving at Elver Park, Dustin made the announcement that today was a testing day. Oh no, I groaned to myself. If you haven’t had the opportunity to go to Dustin’s bootcamp, testing day is when we get tested on our progress in four different areas. We have a timed wall sit, 90 seconds to do as many burpees as we can, unlimited time to do as many push-ups as we can, and a timed run all the way to the top of Elver Hill and back. Sore, tired legs and arms are not really conducive to a successful testing day but I figured I’d give it my best shot.

We did the run first. There are many of us in bootcamp this summer so Dustin told the faster people to line up in front and the slower to line up behind. I lined up in the back. My goal today was to just make it all the way up and down without walking. I knew this was going to be tough today and I didn’t want to be in anybody’s way. Well Dustin said go and away we went. I didn’t do too badly. I was able to maneuver myself around some people and Ashton, another of Dustin’s trainers, was midway up the hill cheering us on. I got all the way to the top without stopping and turned around and ran back down. I lost a little time here because I tend to slow down for fear of falling. For some reason I also move way over to the side which means I have more ground to make up on the way back. Still, when I got back to flat ground I was surprised to find I still had some juice left. I didn’t finish with the kind of time I would have liked but it wasn’t bad.

The next test was the wall sit. I knew this would be the hardest for me and it was. Hit my quads pretty quickly and I didn’t get too far. Angie, another participant, sat for over 4 minutes! We moved on to the next test and she was still sitting. Way to go Angie! This test was followed by the push-up test and then the burpee test. I did what I could. I stopped my push-ups probably earlier than I should have. At one point I went to the up position and kind of dropped. I didn’t know if I could keep going or if I was supposed to stop, so I stopped. I was breathing pretty heavy by the time we got to the burpees. This one is tough all over. Tough on the legs, tough as cardio, tough on the arms, just tough all over. I did what I could in the allotted time and then the testing was over. I gave a deep sigh of relief.

Ashton took us through the strength part of the workout. We did some lunges, tricep dips, rows while our legs were resting on the bench, walking planks, and finally a kind of V-sit. I could see cars arriving now and thought camp was done. But it wasn’t. Dustin had one more cardio activity for us. We picked partners and then went to the tennis courts. One partner did a stationary squat while the other sprinted across the tennis court and back. Dustin said he didn’t want to see us jog, he wanted to see us sprint since we only had to do it once. Okay, I thought, if it’s only once I can do this. So I sprinted as hard as I could. I didn’t realize we had different definitions of the word once. We had to do it again. And again. For 4 minutes. I did try to keep sprinting though. I promise you I left nothing on that tennis court.

After class, I looked for my original testing form. Except for the wall sit, I improved in all areas. I was very impressed because I knew Dustin, Ryan, Ashton, and Becky must really be pushing me to challenge myself if I was able to show improvement while my body was as tired as I was. And that’s why I’m here after all.

On a side not, my poor wife Sharon is out for at least another 6 weeks. Doctor told her that stress fractures usually take at least 3 months to heal. She is very unhappy as she looked forward to moving outdoors for bootcamp for months. I’ll just have to take up the slack and work for both of us.

Have a good one.