A few weeks ago, my coworker asked if I wanted to exercise with her the next morning. Don’t get me wrong, my readers should all know by now that I do enjoy morning workouts, but to actually be dressed and ready to start at 5:45 am sharp…well my bed sounds like a much nicer place to be. But I agreed to join her…if nothing else it would make for some good blog material and this was not going to be just any old workout, this was a special boot camp called Seal Team PT.
I’m always up for a challenge, so the next morning I arrived to the destination—the National Mall’s Washington Monument—and after signing my life away, I joined my friend and a group of other early risers for what would be an hour of old-school exercising. This included hundreds of pushups, sit-ups, Supermans, relay races, carrying teammates, running, and a lot of encouragement and repeats of instructions to the leader. As the real newbie to the group, and the only friend who was crazy enough to attend “bring a friend day,” I sweated a lot but also really enjoyed meeting some other crazy early risers who were out there to reach a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Although tough, I secretly thought it would be much harder until the next day came around. My entire body ached! As I was “sleeping in” the next morning I was glad not to be out there doing it all over again. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the willpower to follow my friend’s lead and join for a future program.
Today’s guest blogger was all about the early workouts (for 2 weeks straight)! Congrats on a job well done! Can I get a Hooyah?!!!
Guest Blogger: Nicole Tidwell
Ever dream of being a Navy Seal? Well I did when I was a kid not really knowing what it meant so let’s just say that did not happen for me. After all, I only started exercising consistently two years ago. Around the same time, I read about this Seal Team Physical Fitness boot camp in DC and filed it under “must try someday.”
Well that day came on September 10 when I woke up at 4:45am with a combination of sheer terror, exhilaration, and giddiness anticipating what was to come an hour later when my Seal Team boot camp kicked off. During the short drive to the Washington Monument to meet the class, I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with me! But then I noticed all of the cars lined up, and quickly realized I was not alone.
Everyone was super friendly and easily identified the “newbies” as conversation revolved around how long people had been members. I couldn’t help but be jealous of the blue Seal Team member shirts so many people were wearing. Right at 5:45, we lined up and the “new class” – there were 7 of us, all of who looked equally scared – were introduced and welcomed to the club.
We warmed up with a brisk run and then did a series of tests to determine our baseline. How many pushups and sit-ups in 2 minutes? And how long to run 1.5 miles?
Honestly after the tests, I have no idea what we did that day…. or any day after that! While you all meet at one location, you quickly leave it, as D.C. becomes your personal gym. The U.S. pool in front of the U.S. Capitol = a track. That playground in front of the U.S. Department of Education = perfect place to work on dips and perfecting how fast you can get down a slide. The stairs to the Lincoln Memorial = exhausting to sprint up!
The classes are fast moving, with no downtime. The instructors do not believe in organized rest. (But you are encouraged to go at your own pace so individual rest is a-ok). Routine is seriously the enemy, which is awesome because you have no idea what’s coming next and before you know it’s 6:45am and it’s over.
Yes, each day you are tired, sweaty and dirty. Between the constant pushups, sit-ups and other random drills you do in the grass, you are bound to get wet and be covered in dirt. Which makes the workouts that much more fun!
A few highlights
- The camaraderie you get from the group – it’s very team focused, leave no man behind. So if we’re running and you finish, you circle back to the last person and finish with them. Or if you finish other drills, like sit-ups, before everyone is done, you go find someone and help them finish.
- There is no yelling, in your face, instructors – it’s a very encouraging environment that pushes you to do your best.
- The absolutely amazing views of Washington, DC and the monuments – no other time is D.C. so quiet and mesmerizing.
- Trying to do pull-ups on the football field goalposts. Or being the human bench press for a group of people who throw you so high in the air you’re slightly terrified!
- The general feeling of “whoa, I can’t believe its this early, I’m sore from yesterday yet still working out today…. and having a lot of fun!”
On Friday, September 21, our class of 7 graduated after completing our PT tests to see how far we’ve come! The Sweaty Frogs (our class name) made it! We received the prized blue member t-shirt, certificate of completion and an invitation to join the club!
It’s pouring down rain now and yet despite the sure to be muddy conditions, I’m excited for boot camp tomorrow, so I can wear my prized blue shirt and welcome a new class to the club!
(The way this boot camp works is you pay for a two-week training session that meets Monday-Friday for two weeks. You must attend 9 of 10 boot camp classes and then you “graduate” into the program and can workout whenever you want!)