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Pique n' Your Interest

Boot Camp kicks butt in Whistler

With a week of Cat Smiley's Boot Camp under my belt, I stepped on the scale for the Wednesday weigh in full of expectation and excitement.

I've never done as many sit ups or push ups or wind sprints in such a short period of time before, I thought to myself proudly as I untied my shoelaces and slipped off my running shoes. I've never felt this kind of pain before, the kind of pain where you know you've pushed your body to the limit and though it hurts, it's that good kind of hurt.

I practically jumped on the scales to see the good news.

I had gained two and a half pounds.

I kept staring at the numbers thinking I was obviously delusional at 6:45 in the morning.

"That sucks," says Smiley, as she informs me that instead of my mandatory three days a week training I now have to go five days a week until I lose those two and a half pounds.

In a bit of a daze I gathered my stuff and headed back to the beach to finish the morning's 100 sit-ups and push ups. Hard not to be discouraged, pissed off and ready to throw in the towel.

Fortunately I waited until I was alone in the shower to weep (just a little) at the injustice of it all. I was feeling very sorry for myself. It seemed that everyone around me had at least managed to drop a pound or two. I tried my best not to give them all dirty looks.

Now sitting at my desk, with a fresh perspective after my morning coffee, I've been telling myself that muscle weighs more than fat and my muscles, long dormant, are waking up and letting me know they're alive with every step, every breath.

And let's be honest – I don't suppose the eggs benedict over the weekend helped at all, or the beers.

I thought it would be OK to indulge a little after all my hard work… apparently not.

Cat Smiley's scale doesn't lie. I'm in for a world of hurt for the next seven weeks. Boot Camp is going to be harder than I thought.

I keep reminding myself that this is what I willingly signed up for.

I wanted to get in shape for mountain biking season. I wanted to try out this new form of kicking your body into shape.

And if it were easy to lose weight, tone your body and get fit, then there would be no fat, out of shape people in the world. Right?

I have to keep the faith, believe that the program works, if I persevere.

According to some of the other recruits in Boot Camp, it really does work. They've lost inches, toned up and watched as their 10 push-ups in week one turned into 25 push ups by week four.

Maybe that's why Cat Smiley's Boot Camp has been a roaring success in a little under one year.

Last April 1, Smiley was driving along the highway, her car stuffed full with most of her possessions because she was moving, when without warning, her car caught on fire on the highway outside Nesters.

Everything was lost.

So, unable to meet her clients for her personal training lessons, she asked them to meet her at Lost Lake Park.

She'd been thinking about starting a Boot Camp, much like the camps that were taking America and Australia by storm. And so, due to circumstances beyond her control, the first Boot Camp was born.

There were seven people taking that first course.

There are 85 people taking it right now and she's planning to expand to the city in the spring.

"I have to pinch myself," says Smiley. "I’m so excited about going to work."

I, on the other hand, am not as excited about being there some mornings.

Six o’clock rolls around very quickly these days.

I get dressed in the dark. I choke down an English muffin and peanut butter to sustain my workout and I drive to Lost Lake trying not to dwell on what lies ahead of me for the next hour.

Despite all the bad stuff, the pain and the disappointment of week two, I'm feeling pretty good about things.

It’s true that walking up and down stairs has taken on a whole new meaning for me, knowing that with each step up and each step down I'm going to feel it in my quads, my newly discovered abs and my butt.

But the other people in the course are making the lunges, the sprints and the tricep dips bearable. You know as your muscles quiver and protest with each rep that they're feeling the same thing too.

We're all in this together.

So for now, I'll just keep my head down and dream of winning the Loonie races this summer, or perhaps a little more realistically, dream of not coming in last.