4 hours of bootcamp, 3 of Toronto’s top trainers, and 2 of the sorest legs I have ever had, all for 1 incredible cause.
Because of some of the autoimmune stuff I deal with, my default outlook for a long time regarding physical endurance and fitness goals has been ‘don’t get too excited— you might not be able to do this’. It’s a way I learned to manage my expectations so I don’t get too upset if I’m having a flare, or if I’m feeling sick.
It sucks, if only because it means that my very act of positive goal-setting is immediately undermined by the basic premise that the odds are stacked against me and failure is imminent. So while yes, being gentle with myself and not being hard on myself are very important, so is nurturing the seed of ‘I can’ in the face of doubt— and that means you have to push yourself sometimes even if a goal is intimidating.
When my close friend and client Dara Bergeron from Toronto’s Belly Bootcamp posted about her involvement with Kick It Up (the 4 hour bootcamp at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium to fundraise for Kidney Cancer), I jumped on it.
“I’m IN.” I said. Immediately I felt the slippery ‘what if’ slope of doubt, and hoped that I wouldn’t have to bail. What if my joints were crap that day? What if I was achey? What if I had a fever? What if I had that weird, lingering, inflammatory zombie-fatigue? The familiar internal monologue had decided to launch a barrage and seemed happy to stomp all over my goals.
That’s when I also realized that it would be Day 7 of our first Whole30. Gulp. Backing out was looking better every minute.
“No. Kat. You got this. You don’t have to ‘win’ anything. You don’t have to give it your A-game. You don’t even have to do all 4 hours. But you have to get your butt out there.” That was the deal I ended up making with myself.
After the sharp, Trainspotting-esque detox of Days 2-4 however, I was even less convinced that things were going to go well for my bootcamp adventure.
“So what. So you stay close to a bathroom. Get over it. People who have kidney cancer…who have lost people they love to kidney cancer aren’t being giant wusses about it, I’m pretty sure you can manage one measly bootcamp. “
And then something happened.
The horrible aching in my joints started to subside along with my cravings for all things leavened and starchy. I don’t know if this is because of some kind of Manic “Bring The Pain” Phase not outlined in the Whole30, or if this adrenaline is going to taper off suddenly come Day 10 as I hurtle into even more random cravings for chilli cheese burgers, but BAM. My energy started to seep back, and the resulting change is already huge.
I am sleeping deeply and feel much more rested in the morning. I don’t have to ‘think about doing something’ and then barter with each leaden appendage to do my bidding. I can just wake up and do it. I know it sounds simple but this is the ultimate freedom to someone who has felt chained to her energy and pain levels for years.
I don’t know if these changes started because of Whole30 magic, but it felt sort of like that scene in Superman when he saves Air Force One: “Fly, don‘t look, just fly. … I ain’t saying what it is…just….trust me.”
So yesterday I got ready and went down to Varsity Stadium, and I let Dara, Brent Bishop, and Michael DeCorte kick my butt. I jumped, squatted, did push ups, and tabatas. I counted leg kicks up to 20 repeatedly and did countless downward dogs. I shuffled, I sweat, I laughed, and most importantly I raised money and awareness for Kidney Cancer Canada.
And I didn’t even have to wear a cape.