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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my body is a templesta

before february, it had been about 12 years since i'd exercised regularly.  over the years i've broken a sweat here or there, but i was not at all committed to my body, what i put into it, or how i maintained it.  but this winter i made a conscious change, thanks in large part to one fabulous drill sargeant named julie and the support of one of my bffffs "chloe" ;-).

you see, back in january i had been getting to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, sacrificing 30 or 40 minutes to the cardio gods then schlepping around some sally-weight barbells.  the effort was minimal - wishy-washy at best.  tired of hearing me complain about being a physical train wreck, chloe took it upon herself to get this wet noodle into boot camp.  julie tempesta's boot camp, that is. 

julie had invited me to join her boot camp before and i respectfully pretended i never got the email.  i'd heard of her program from friends whose asses she kicked regularly.  agonizing words like indian files and push-ups filled said conversations.  i really had no interest and never imagined myself participating - because i didn't think i could handle it.

so one day chloe called and said, "do julie's boot camp with me."  and i mistakenly hesitated before i said, "no."  but that hesitation was enough of an opening for her.  and suddenly i was signed up.

every wednesday, chloe parks her perfectly toned ass in my driveway and waits patiently for me to come out of the house so i can join her at julie's house of pain.  i don't always come willingly.  sometimes she'll call me from outside and say, "i'm here, where are you?"  and i'll say, "oh, i can't find my other sneaker," or, "my pinky finger hurts today, i think i'll skip."  but chloe doesn't fall for it.  she heckles me until i schlump out the door and climb into her car.  off we go.

so what happens at julie tempesta's camp?  well, it's really hard.  i'll tell you that.  she whips us 10-15 house fraus into shape to the techno beats of "billy jean" and "hurts so good" (that one always makes me laugh).  we balance and pump and groan until we get all shaky and red, moving quickly from one challenging station to the next, then jog up and down the hallway until our lungs are burning.  fun, huh?  well, actually....

it is.  julie is the balls.  she inspires, she cheers, she encourages and she pushes just enough.  i came to her my first day laughing at myself b/c i could barely do a sit up.  but after a month or so of making this conscious effort, a change occurred...

i. felt. strong.

i noticed it last wednesday morning when i held plank without taking a knee.  i felt like a perfect and solid triangle.  i was totally shocked, to be honest, but i enjoyed the moment and it gave me confidence throughout the rest of the workout.  sure, there were still plenty of things i still cheated on, or modified to my ability, but that feeling of solidity stayed with me.

then thursday at tennis, the feeling returned.  i was down in ready position i felt a line that burrowed from my core through my skinny chicken legs straight into the ground.  it was strength!  (a big yah-baby for my neglected lower chakras!)  i hadn't felt that since i was 23 years old!  who knew???  it felt great and i want to feel it more!

so now i get it.  i'm motivated.  i still can't touch my toes but i'm thinking that in time, i'll at least get to my ankles.  baby steps.  i'm psyched...  but i'm honestly a bit unsure, too.  curious to see if i will achieve that feeling again tomorrow morning.  i haven't exercised yet this week and now i'm nervous that all of those good feelings will disappear like the bag of dancing deer cookies that was in my pantry this morning.

this is reminding me of my own spiritual path in that some days are great and filled with amazing feelings and thoughts and other days are just days.  living mindfully is a constant practice with dips and tips.  i guess strengthening my body is like that, too.  not every day is a lou ferrigno day, but it has the potential to be if i can be mindful.  wish me luck, peeps! 

much love and gratitude to julie tempesta and my sister by choice "chloe".  i love you guys.  thank you for having more confidence in me than i do. 


if you want to join julie for her bootcamp here in winchester, mass, send me an email and i'll pass it along to her.  xoxoxox


  1. Sheila Gobes-RyanApril 13, 2011 at 6:19 AM

    Great to have another boot camper in the family- I am eating a banana and heading out the door. I have been going for a year and a half and love it.

  2. Way to go! It does not matter what u look like, but rather how u feel about yourself. Exercise in any form (and in the case of Julie's bootcamps, it's my favorite choice!) can make a huge difference in your daily attitude and well being. Keep getting stronger V, a day off here and there is OK and good for u. You can do anything, if u set your mind to it. A better attitude about oneself makes for happier people and thus a happier world.

  3. sheila, you gobesies are rock solid! thanks, kim, for the lovin'! xoxoxox