I started a boot camp today. It’s not someone else’s but one of my own devices. I made it up because I don’t have any focus. Not to get fitter, though I will, but to change my habits, mindset, and toggle my brain so it makes a decision on what my next challenge is going to be.
“Power 90 in home boot camp” was our first hit fitness program. Back then—the 90s—fitness boot camps were all the rage and still had a military feel. We played off the theme, in a kinder, gentler and funnier way that only Tony Horton could present. Because in order to be successful a boot camp you don’t necessarily need someone like Lee Emory or Louis Gossett Jr screaming at you. All that’s required, really, is revamping your brain so that at the end you’d believe in your ability to accomplish things. Then your own self can take over.
I don’t lack the ability to believe in myself but I still do boot camps. For me, it’s for nostalgia. When I challenge myself to a extremely difficult physical or mental test with secularity of focus it takes me back to my beginners mind; a place of wonder about how things just might turn out. And it’s really only in this state where you become open and truly creative. And that is the power of doing boot camps.
Since being back from Nepal I’ve lacked motivation. I still train, so fitness isn’t the issue. Work and life in general are all going great. My void is what my next big endeavor is going to be and I’m lacking vision. I need clarity. This camp is to put myself through the wringer, attacking my weak areas of fitness while turning the screws a little with my schedule and diet; with the ultimate aim of freeing my mind to create my next challenge.
Boot camps can be any amount of time. In the military they’re generally 3 weeks to 90 days (sound familiar?). But they can be longer, or shorter. When I create my own I like to follow a theme. Sporting events work best because then when things get tough you have others to turn to for motivation. I do these a lot so I get creative, even using things like characters from novels for my template. And, when I’m not in a creative mood, I’ll follow one of ours.
I always have unique targets for my fitness, which makes it hard for me to follow anyone else’s agenda to a T. This time is no different. My goals include running, cycling, climbing and general fitness. I’m feeling old and creaky from slacking on yoga and mobility work. And I have a pie in the sky event I’d like to do but I’m so far away from it, physically, that I can’t even begin to conceive of how to train for it. And with all this in mind I need to spit something out, starting today.
Tour of California. It’s an 8-day cycling stage race that’ll get a ton of press in the state I work. It’s a little short but that’s okay. My fitness base isn’t that bad. And anyone can do anything for 8 days, right, so I can make my boot camp almost unrealistically hard and have virtually no excuse to quit.
Here’s what the next 8 days will look like, for me:
Cycling – unfortunately it’s what I need the least work on so I can’t mirror the race as much as I’d like. I’ll still ride, daily, at least 10% of the race time on a single speed mtn bike.
Climbing – If I climb for 8 days I’ll exceed the climbing I’ve done all year. I need base so that’s what I’m going to do. If I climbed at my limit each day I’d almost certainly get injured so there will be strategy between very easy days (since I just need to move on rock and condition my skin), targeted training, and prehab training.
Running – Like climbing, I’ve not done much this year and none that’s been focused. Like climbing, I’ll get injured if I run hard 8 days straight. So, again, I’ll do some running everyday but it might be mileage, drills, or mountain ruking (aerobic level run/hiking).
Mobility – is awful. Daily yoga and one more element (foam rolling and/or a Beachbody workout like Asylum Relief, X2 Mobility, or something new that we’re working on).
Base Fitness – is good but can—always—be better. I’ve been working with a new program we’re creating and going to bump this up a notch. Unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly what I’m doing but it’s cool, we’re still making it better, and you’ll see it soon enough.
Individually this doesn’t look so bad. But it’s 5 different physical elements a day for 8 straight days, and that’s a load no matter how it’s sliced up. It’s going to take planning, diligence, likely some amount of suffering and good old-fashioned will power. In short, it’s exactly what I need right now.
Will keep a log in the comments so that it’s easier to visualize.