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.