Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Bootcamp - what was I thinking????


Morning all, recruit Taylor reporting in.

My day started bright and early at 05.30 (this was a tad more difficult than I thought due to the fun and frolics I had at Cocktails @ Cruise Bar last night - Jane, thanks for organising!).

Reporting in to Bootcamp at 06.15, I met some other recruits who were in week 2 of their Bootcamp. The looks on their faces said it all, 'leave now!, don't put yourself through this' and 'are you crazy' were coming through loud and clear.

Putting on a brave face I sat in complete anxiety until our instructors, Jeremy, Scott and Brad (who, by the way, are extremely easy on the eye) gave us 'new recruits' the download.

Rule number one - no alcohol for the duration of Bootcamp - I fear I will fail this miserably! Of all the 'rules' this one stood out the most as the one I will really have to focus on - I mean it's only 2 weeks, but....

We were then briefed on the fitness assessment (where I contemplated pulling the old, 'I've got this niggling knee/ankle/foot injury', but I didn't) and asked to take our positions in the gym.

The first assessment was running (not my strong point). A pre-recorded voice came over the speakers and asked us to run from one end of the gym to the other in specific time frames. Falling to the back of the pack straight away I guessed that my results would not be high. How true – I was first out - but not without some coaching and encouragement from my instructors.

The second assessment was sit ups (again, not my strong point). This all but floored me but I gave it a go and have learned that I have a good base to work from - these instructors know just the right things to say.

The third assessment was push ups (again, nowhere near my strong point). This all but killed me and I received some very kind words from my instructors about how much I'm going to improve over the next 2 weeks etc. I was beginning to enjoy all the attention from my instructors.

At 0800 we completed our assessments and hit the showers. There is a variety of fitness levels in the group, I'd have to place myself in the bottom half of the group, however it's going to be a hell of a challenge.

When I arrived at work this morning, my colleagues couldn't believe how fantastic I looked, apparently I was glowing. Don't be fooled, this is only the first day of Bootcamp - I have a long way to go. I'll keep you posted.



Good morning, recruit Taylor reporting in,

The fact that it was 25 degrees at 6.30am this morning should have sent alarm bells through my mind - however, I'm committed to finishingthis challengee.

Today was our warm up (more like, hammer us into the ground and then make us run a marathon!). We completed some warm up runs - this would have been more than sufficient for me - then we commenced a circuit of lunges, knee lifts, push ups, leg raises and sprints. Not a leisurely pace, mind you,but one where your life depends on it.

As I struggled to regain my composure we teamed up for running relays -by thiss point my care factor had dropped significantly but there's no 'i' in team, so off I ran.

We finished off with stair work before crawling back to the gym for showers. My very attractive bootcamp t-shirt was soaked through and bythe timee I reached work, my face was still bright red and it's taken me agood hourr to feel human again.

I'll only be sending these updates out every few days because (quite frankly) I don't have the energy!

Have a great day,



Good afternoon, recruit Taylor reporting in,

I know I said I wouldn't be emailing daily, but this morning was just too unbelievable for me not to.

At 0630 we gathered for our briefing. With no time to spare we were told to get $2.65 and run to Circular Quay as our ferry was about to leave from Bay 5.

This sent me a nice shade of white as I knew it would take me at least 5-10 minutes to 'run' to Circular Quay. I made it by the skin of my teeth and was promptly sectioned off into a team of recruits for our challenge test. God help me!

I was assigned as leader of group 2 and given a list of questions that our group had to answer during the challenge test. We jumped off the ferry at McMahons Point (near Blues Pt Tower) and I split the questions up amongst the group. Our meeting point was the stairs at the base of the pedestrian side of the Harbour Bridge in Kirribilli. We had less than 30 minutes and I knew that even walking at a fast pace I would not make it - however the determined Steph kicked in and off I ran.

Up Blues Point Rd, through the cafes (where lots of people were enjoying their eggs benedict in the outdoors - it should have been me!) to North Sydney. A friendly chat to a cabbie, so I could borrow his Street Directory to answer some of our questions in the Challenge test), a quick bolt down to North Sydney pool to answer another question, then regroup in Kirribilli.

By this point I was very aware of my appearance as we mingled with the peak hour pedestrians and traffic around Kirrbilli station. The stairs onto the Bridge almost gave me the wobbles however I ran about half the Bridge (for me a big achievement - as I am so not a runner) and then met up with the larger group in Observatory Hill park.

In this heat, 20 mins of cold shower did not assist in reducing my body temp and I arrived at work (again) with a bright red face.



Stop Press: Recruit Taylor has survived Week One!

Since my last email, I've endured three days of, how do I put this mildly, hell on earth.

Wednesday commenced at 0630 in the Domain. With the industrial sprinklers still going, we did a few laps of the oval as a warm up. The way my heart was beating, you would have thought I'd just completed the City to Surfin recordd time. No such luck! We were split into two groups and taken to a marked out course for 'intense cardio work'. At this point, I felt my cardio was working overtime, so I didn't know how much more work it could endure. On a marked out circuit, we walked one leg, jogged another and then sprinted the last. Over and over and over again. After 30 mins of this circuit, we swapped with the other group for hill work. Again, on a marked out course, we ran up and down hills for 30 mins. If I ever see
another hill.......

Thursday commenced at 0630 at King George V Recreation Centre. We did a 'light' run to the park under the Bridge then commenced 'intense abdominal/tricep work'. At least the legs were getting a rest, however the pain I endured during these circuits is almost indescribable. Push ups in sets of 20, squats working the triceps in sets of 20 and stomach crunches in sets of 20. I discovered abdominal muscles that I didn't know existed and boy do they hurt. At one point, when quite honestly there was no way I could continue, I decided to lay still on the ground for 30 seconds, only to find my Bootcamp instructor standing over me, shouting, 'that's just
earnt you another 10'. I felt like telling him what he could do with another 10.....but I knew that would earn me another 20.....

We were handed a sheet of paper with nutritional information after this session and asked to record everything that entered our mouths that day - damn, of all the days they could have selected, I was going out for lunch and dinner and what's more I had a glass of champagne! Bad recruit!

Friday commenced at 0630 at King George V Recreation Centre. Split into two groups we were given $20 and told to find and purchase a disposable camera then have photos taken in front of certain landmarks with the whole group. Three shops later we found a disposable camera in Pitt St, next stop Darling Harbour, then the War Memorial in Martin Place, Art Gallery, Rose Garden in the Botanic Gardens, Opera House, McDonalds at Circular Quay, Cadmans Cottage and Harbour Bridge. Getting the whole group to each spot was a struggle - particularly for me, but we did it and felt an enormous sense of relief at the end.

We then had our one on one with a instructor to look at our food intake the day before, and let's just say, I was given a stern talking to, particularly about the champagne.

Whilst it all sounds quite horrid, I really can't describe how good I feel at the end of each session. During the sessions, well, that's a different story, but afterwards it is very rewarding. I feel incredibly satisfied to have completed Week One - thank god we don't do bootcamp on weekends!

Until next week, Dismissed.


Good morning, Recruit Taylor reporting in,

This week has been extremely tough. I kind of guessed it would be when our
instructor sent an email last Friday saying we've had a relatively light Week One, so let's build on that and really push hard during Week Two.

I found it hard to walk over the weekend, so I knew Monday would betough. Ass it turned out I didn't attend (not that I'm making excuses....I am running an Orientation Program this week and wanted Day One to be set up ready to go with no surprises). Word of warning to potential recruits - do not miss one day of bootcamp as you will be made to pay for it for the rest of the week and you will get 'spoken to' by your instructor.

Tuesday kicked off @ 6.30am in the park under the Harbour Bridge. After a warm up run (these words should not go in the same sentence we were split into groups and had to answer a series of questions relating to prominent Sydney landmarks. My group ran to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, over to the Opera House (where we had to count how many steps there were), through the Botanic Gardens, down Macquarie St, back through Circular Quay and returned to Observatory Hill. Our instructors were canvassing the areaand noticedd that my group chose to walk certain parts of the 'run', so we got drilled afterwards on our commitment to the Program.

I think I must have been sending very loud signals that I wascompletely overr it, as I was sent a few motivational emails that afternoon and received extra attention on Wednesday i.e, lots of 'good work Steph', you're doing great' etc etc. Did it work??? We were in the Domain on Wednesday doing more circuits, up and down hills, lunges, squats, runs etc. My legs were jelly by the end and I felt sick. Why am I doing this????

However, ever the trooper, I turned up this morning for our fitness assessment. God, I'm a sucker for punishment! Again, we completed the army fitness test with the aim of improving our results. I IMPROVED ON EVERY SECTION!!!!!! The pain was intense however it was enormously satisfying.

Tomorrow is my last day of Bootcamp and it's Challenge Day. I cannot wait for this week to be over.

Have a great day. Dismissed.


Stop press: Recruit Taylor survives Bootcamp!

Yes, it's true. Today I officially completed what has been the hardest physical and mental challenge I've ever undertaken. I can't quite believe that I made it to the end.

We commenced this morning at 06.30am at King George V. Everyone was tired and sore and very much over the whole two weeks. It was a strange situation as we all knew this was our last day, however it was extremely hard to muster up any enthusiasm.

We jogged down to the park under the Harbour Bridge and commenced our warm up (note to potential recruits: if the warm up feels like a workout for you - like it did for me - you know you'll be in for a tough session. Today was Challenge Day - not something I was looking forward to.

After our 'warm up' we were taken to some stairs in The Rocks. 82 stairs up and 82 down equals one set. Each person had to complete 20 sets - going up we had to go two at a time and going down we could go one step at a time.

To paint a picture for you, my legs were jelly after 6 sets and by my 10th set I was in tears. However it's amazing what the human body can accomplish when you have army instructors yelling at you and the other recruits providing encouragement and support.

So, this is the final Bootcamp email - I hope you've enjoyed sharing my challenge and I hope I haven't turned anyone off signing up for Bootcamp next year - as I've mentioned previously, if someone of my fitness level can survive the program it should be alot easier for everyone else.



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