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The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Looks can be deceiving.
Looks can be deceiving.

I’m not into Zen riddles, but that was the first thing that came to mind around 6:10 a.m. today when it was apparent I was the only person who showed up for the second boot camp teaser.


I was part disappointed that I’d be all by myself, part paranoid: Is there something everyone else knows that I don’t? Just who is this Kate chick, anyway?

I know Kate, but I don’t know know her. For the short time I had a personal trainer, I always worked out with Leslie Moraitis, but Kate was always been there. I’m guessing she’s been at Lifestyle since it opened a few years ago. She’s a woman of indeterminate age, but rumor has it that at one time, she lost nearly 200 pounds. (I haven’t yet gotten up the nerve to ask her about it.)


There are several people signed up for the evening boot camp sessions, so no problem there. I told Kate that if she had to cancel morning boot camp, I’d understand, but she said she wouldn’t. She will, however, modify it significantly, while still making it more affordable than individual personal training sessions.

Next week is the official start of boot camp. If it’s just me again on Tuesday, Kate’s going to drop it down to 30-minute classes, and also drop the rate a bit. Isn’t that nice?

This morning I got a taste of what 30 minutes with Kate is like. It was all training with kettlebells, and in case I wasn’t clear on Tuesday, I can’t stand the stupid things. Their colors are deceptively nice, and they come in a range of sizes. This morning, mine was cute, small and yellow. Thirty minutes later I wanted to hurl it across floor, but I could no longer lift my arms.

I’d completed three reps of six different exercises while standing and three reps of four different exercises while on my back, from side lunges and squats to triceps curls and crunches. As if reading my mind, Kate gleefully reported that we’d completed were merely some of the beginner exercises with kettlebells. (Sounds suspiciously like a threat, dontcha think?)


This time I didn’t head to the parking lot. No, I decided I should do some aerobics, like the treadmill or the elliptical. Silly, silly me. I lasted all of 10 minutes on the elliptical – granted, at level 10 with the course set to “random” – but my heart rate was just too high. I’ve set my own target heart rate as between 168 and 173, which is much higher than what the American Heart Association recommends. Still, it works for me. However, I quickly reached 200 – my danger zone – so I slowed way down. Clearly, I was still burning fuel from the kettlebells work. I should have allowed more time to cool down.

By the time I got home I wanted to just fall into bed. However, I showered, dressed, went to the post office, and have so far spent nearly two hours trying to write this entry because I keep nodding off. I’m sure it’s my brain warning me that if I pulled any more 200-beats-per-minute stunts again, it’ll ensure I slow down – one way or another.


Hopefully a few others will show up for boot camp at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Either way I’ll be there.

Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.   ~   The American Heart Association


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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

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