Over the holidays, I visited with a friend that I hadn’t seen for a while. I noticed that she was more fit and toned than before. She looked great! When I asked what she was doing to get the physical transformation, she told me that she was attending a boot camp. The results were very impressive. She also offered me an opportunity to start attending the camp by using her buddy pass, which was good for a free month of boot camp. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to give it a try. For the first time in my life, I was about to engage in a rigorous, outdoor workout in below freezing temperatures. What was I thinking?
On the first day, I went to the Camp Gladiator Boot Camp only to observe. Immediately, the trainer insisted that I join the group exercise. For the next hour I felt every muscle in my body reluctantly moving as if I had shocked myself with some sort of electromagnetic wave that was painful and uncomfortable. As I attempted to run around a parking lot, breathing excessively and lacking any sort of form, I had thoughts of my dear friend who recommended the boot camp. I felt inadequate, out of shape and a bit embarrassed at how foolish I must have looked trying to complete the routines. At the same time, something else was happening in my mind. Thoughts like, “I’m not giving up,” and “I know I can learn how to do this,” were also going through my mind. It was the beginning of something special which, in time, will transform my life.
I began to ask myself, “How can I bring the boot camp philosophy into my home? How can I apply these values to my personal goals?” Here are three principles of boot camp that answers those questions. They are effective in every area of life and can influence your goals and many aspects of daily living.
NO EXCUSES –In some ways, our culture teaches us to believe that many or our challenges are not our fault. It could be a disease, a misfortune, or an expected result of a negative experience. All of those reasons may be true, but do they really have to stop you? Surely there is a step that you can take, or a move that you can make that will create a difference in your circumstances. Even if you are not certain about the final outcome, do something. Making a move will put you in a difference place and give you a new view with all new options.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE EXTREME – On my first boot camp, the temperature in Dallas was below freezing. I would never have imagined that I would one day workout in cold weather. But, I dressed in layers with a hat and gloves. When the adrenaline started flowing the temperature didn’t matter. I have tried many workout programs in the past, but for my goals, in this season, extreme is the only solution. Of course, you need to prepare properly. But, don’t let the fact that you have never done it before be a hindrance. Find your own extreme move in your personal life. It may be your doorway to the change that you have been seeking.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO DO THE EXTREME AND DON’T MAKE EXCUSES – A key to success at boot camp is the people who you are around. When you see someone handle a difficult routine, it inspires you. When you hear them tell you, “Keep going. You can do this,” your motivation increases. When you see yourself beginning to complete exercises that you couldn’t do before, it triggers a new level of confidence. The people who you are around will always influence what you do. Look for opportunities to listen to people who are already doing what you desire to do.
The boot camp philosophy is not just for outdoor exercise. It can be applied to every area of life. Apply the principles and you can eventually get to a place where you look at your difficult goals and respond, “I’m not giving up. I know I can learn how to do this.”
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)