How Bootcamp Taught Me How to Love My Body


Sometimes it’s easy to forget how truly awesome – and amazing – your body is. And more importantly, what it’s capable of achieving. I fell back in love with my body by taking a class at Beantown Bootcamp in Boston’s North End. Their classes are a mix of cardio and strength based exercises, and while I’m a runner and a huge fan of barre workouts – strength training is, well not my forte.

I was concerned that I would look foolish trying to do some of the exercises due to my relative inexperience. However, through the process, I discovered three things I appreciate about my body:

My body is uniquely mine.
Now, that may sound like a complete cop out, but it’s true! There is literally no other body out there that looks and moves like mine, or yours, does – and that’s truly incredible. I realized that while I may not have the power – yet – to do several reps of anything heavier than ten pounds, I can do tricep dips and side planks like a boss. And if I spent my time looking at the other people in the class wondering why I couldn’t do as many shoulder presses as they could (which was very tempting, mind you), I don’t think I would have noticed the positive aspect that living in my unique body allows. 

My body can surprise me.
I completed four sets of push-up intervals – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off – and never dropped to my knees once. I’ve never done that before. But I went into the exercise almost void of expectations – and I emerged victorious and really proud – very similar to the way that I felt when I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon this past spring. Recognizing your body’s true potential is a powerful thing.

My body will only get stronger.
I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve attempted to lift a kettlebell. So when one of the exercises in the bootcamp class involved performing as many kettlebell swings as we could in 20 second intervals, I was immediately intimidated and a little embarrassed when I realized I had to choose the lightest model in order to establish correct form. When I mentioned this to my instructor and the studio owner, John Wayman, he said something that really resonated with me: “Don’t worry about starting light. As time goes on, you’ll make the necessary adjustments as you get stronger. You can use it as a progress marker.”

It’s tempting to think that if we aren’t at a place where we think we should be – fitness level or otherwise – that we are both a failure in the present and unlikely to succeed. My kettlebell exercise experience is an example of how untrue that thought process is. I got a lot out of my Beantown Bootcamp experience – and that doesn’t even include the sweet soreness I felt for the days following my class. I’m looking forward to more classes that will teach me even more about the awesome things this body of mine can do. 

Want to try Beantown Bootcamp in Boston? Sign up for classes here. Not a ClassPass member? No worries – we’re in NYC, Boston, SF, Chicago, LA and DC! Request an invite now or fill out the form below. 

Jen Smith is the blogger at Bagels to Broccoli, a blog focused on exploring the practical side of healthy living. She loves running, barre, coffee and all the food. Follow her on Twitter.


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