Getting Back Up…..

Treadmill Running

Like most people, I find myself wanting to lose some inches and weight. So I went back into the gym, I am watching what I am eating, and I even hired a personal trainer. But with all of this, I still found myself wanting a little something more to kick my ass. So I decided to join a class called Bootcamp.

It meets 2 times a week for an hour in the evening. It’s run by an ex-army drill sergeant who believes that pain is power. Just the name itself sounds intimidating but I said to myself that I could do it. But as I walked into the gym for that first class my doubts and insecurities came to mind….will I be the only rolly polly in the class?? Will I be able to keep up with everyone?? And my biggest fear….will I look really stupid and embarrass myself.

So as I start to see my fellow classmates enter into the gym and get all the introductions out the way, I realized that two of my fears came true. I am the only non-skinny person in the class and this is everyone’s 5th time taking the class. Great!! Now everyone will laugh at the chubby girl trying to keep up. But as I found myself wheezing like there was no tomorrow, I noticed something. My classmates were encouraging me. When I felt like I couldn’t do another push up I heard someone say, “Come on!!! You can do it, just push it out!!” This gave me the will to keep going as well as coming back the next class.

So as I enter the gym for the next class, I was feeling good. I completed the first class and so the worse was over. How sadly I was mistaken. The class begins and we go through the motions. About 15 minutes into the class the instructor yells for us to go upstairs and grab a treadmill. He pairs us up and has us put the treadmill to a speed of 10. We are to take 30 second turns running on the machine. Now, as I see the treadmill’s rubber floor whiz by at a speed of 10 all I could think about is….How the hell am I suppose to do this?? When I use the treadmill my speed of choice is a 3.3 and that puts me at a brisk walk. And if you have never seen a speed of 10, let me tell you that it’s freaking fast!!


As I stand there and watch my partner, who is in her early 50’s, jump on this machine and make it look so easy, I am trying to psych myself up. I am telling myself that I can do this, I’m tough, I’m strong, and I’m in control of my life. This is why I signed up for this. Now it’s my turn. I step on the sides of the treadmill and look down at the rubber flying by under me. I can do this, I keep chanting in my head. I take a deep breath, look up, grab the side handles and anxiously await the instructors signal.

When I hear the instructor yell go, I placed my foot on the treadmill to run. This is where my third fear comes true. You remember the one…..I am scared to make an ass out of myself. Yep that’s the one. So as I place my foot on the treadmill, I just remember feeling this sensation of leaning forward and desperately trying to grab something but only getting air. The next thing I know my knees hit the rubber, along with my hands and I land on my rear end with an un-lady-like thump against the back wall. As I sit there in utter humiliation and mortification I can hear the gasps and the “are you all rights” all around me. I can’t believe this just happened. It’s like a comedy except it’s not funny because it’s me!!

I immediately jumped off the ground and said that I was alright. I didn’t want to be fussed over and draw more attention to myself. I just wanted to prove that I could handle the class and I belonged there. So the instructor, realizing a little too late, put me on a separate treadmill and reduced my speed to 6. I went on and continued the class. I felt like crying a few times due to embarrassment but I stuck it out.

At the end of the class everyone came up to me to check on me and to tell me good job for hanging in there. I didn’t feel like I did a good job. I was feeling sorry for myself and my insecurities came back. But as I drove home I realized something. I am tough. How many people can fall off a treadmill, pop back up and complete the class?? I know that people probably got a good chuckle from watching me flail like a fish out of water but so what. So who cares that I can’t keep up with my classmates. What’s important is that I did it all at MY pace and pushed myself and gave 100% (plus some skin).

Everyone’s fitness level is different and I shouldn’t expect myself to be at a 10 when I am at a 6. I will be a 10 one day but I have to work my way to it. And who cares that I am the only round person in the class. What’s important is that I am taking the steps to do something about it. And who cares that I looked stupid for a couple of minutes and my new nickname is tripper. The important thing is that I got back up!!!

Photo courtesy SashaW.

About the Author

Diana is an everyday person just like you. She thinks about health, fitness, food, stress, life, and everything else in between. She lives in NY and loves to travel. After a stressful day of counseling inmates, she loves to come home and cook to relieve her stress. She likes to try new things and is always trying to make an old school dish a little more healthier without losing the flavor. When not cooking, she likes to read and catch up with the family. She's also a HUGE Yankees fan!!!

Community Thoughts (16)

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  1. IsraelNo Gravatar says:

    Diana, wow. That’s the first reaction I made. For you to be able to fight through such an episode says a lot about you. I would have been mortified. I’ve heard that those bootcamps classes are intense, but the trainer needs to understand the max capacity of each individual, so he messed up. He’s not a good trainer from what I’ve read above. Kudos to you for trying the 10 speed, but I know for a fact that unless you are used to going above 7 you won’t be able to handle the 10.

    Keep up the warrior spirit girl!!!

  2. SeanNo Gravatar says:

    Get up
    Dress up
    Show up
    You did all those things with the challenges you faced.
    Congratulations. It’s all about consistency. Keep up the great work!

  3. Dennis RosatoNo Gravatar says:

    Fall seven times stand up Eight. Hopefully you gain your equilibrium way before that! lol. Great post Diana you have an incredible writing voice…I feel like I was with you.

  4. ProNexinNo Gravatar says:

    Wow girl, that sure does sound mortifying but look at you- get back on your feet and keep going! That’s what it’s all about- not giving up hope and believing in yourself.

    I have also attended a Boot Camp class once and boy, was that an intense workout! I was also at the level of being scared that I would look like a fool, but I survived as well as you!

    Keep that chin up and keep on going!

    • DianaNo Gravatar says:

      thank you so much for those words of encouragement. the class is VERY intense so i need all the words i can get…lol.

  5. MandyNo Gravatar says:

    You and I seem to share the same kinds of insecurities, and I would have felt exactly the same way you did walking into that class. I needed to read something positive like this today. Thanks for the boost!! Good luck with your class, and let us know when you make it to ten!

  6. CarolNo Gravatar says:

    Ouch! Good for you for going on your own terms!

  7. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    Great post. This is what i tell people all the time.

    You will have good days, you will have bad days. When that is so you must wake up and scream out


    Louder with each succession

    • DianaNo Gravatar says:

      it’s hard to psych yourself up, but i always remember that i will love myself more for it later…..thank you for your comment


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