After eight long months, I finally made it back to boot camp today. As I was leaving the house this morning, Kristy stopped me and said one thing; “don’t be discouraged”. I tried to remember that while I was in route, but the truth is, I was completely terrified about going back. Not because I didn’t think I could do the workouts, I was terrified that everyone would see me in my current condition, and then, I would see the look of disappointment on their faces. I was ashamed and embarrassed of my appearance. How in the heck after all the work I did last year, allow myself to gain all my weight back plus some? The thought of starting from scratch again was depressing.
I pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a moment, took a few deep breaths and got out of the car. All my worries were quickly washed away when I walked over to sign in and everyone I knew cheered and came over to hug me. I was back where I belonged and it felt good. It was a great feeling to see all the vets show up who sometimes skip the first PT test just to welcome me back. It was an overwhelming welcome.
We started warming up with a few laps around the parking lot and then some stretching. With in a few short minutes, I was really sucking wind and had a hard time catching my breath. The muscles in my legs were knotting up and I was having difficulty even walking. Then came the PT Test and that’s where my anxiety really kicked in. I wasn’t worried about the push-ups, sit ups, or dips, I was really worried about the mile run. I wasn’t even sure I should even try it. I knew better than to even think I could sit out of that though.
Instructor Jan, or as most campers call her, Jay Hawk, shadowed me on my run. We took off and she never stopped talking to me. She wouldn’t allow me to go to that place in my head of self-doubt. She knew I was struggling, so she had me do a series of run walks and just kept talking. When we turned the last corner with about a quarter mile to go, I could see people at the corner waiting for me. As I got closer, I could hear my fellow campers cheering for me. When I got to the entrance to the school, there were more campers cheering, and then when I entered the parking lot, all the other campers were waiting for me doing cheers and dancing. Their cheers made the pain in my legs and the lack of air in my lungs unnoticeable and I finished stronger than I started. I crossed the line at 16 minutes and 19 seconds.
The rest of the PT test was about what I expected. Below are the results:
*Facilitated push-ups (on my knees): 19
*Modified sit-ups (crunches): 0 didn’t need to J
Man, it’s good to be back where I belong.