TRIPS TO FIT YOUR RESOLUTIONS
So you’ve resolved to get fit, eh? There’s nothing like a trip to a boot camp on the beach in Florida to help you pull your head out of the sand.
I’d never been afraid of a water bottle before.
This, however, was not just a water bottle. This was a five-gallon water bottle, weighing 42 pounds — more than onethird my weight. And my trainer had just ordered me to carry it around the gymnot once, but four times.
My body said no, butmy mind said yes. I was on Day 2 of a fitness boot camp vacation, and I was determined to prove to trainer Doug Betts that I could carry, push and pull anything he put before me, even though I was the smallest person in the class.
There was only one problem: My entire body was aching.
I’d begun the day at 7 a.m. with a four-mile run on the beach, played cardio tennis for an hour, spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and then 45 minutes doing abdominal crunches.
My classmate Tony was feeling lightheaded and had to sit down. Our other classmate, Robin, was in her room nursing a knee injury. It was up tometo complete the bizarre circuit of exercises that Doug had conjured up for us. In addition to carrying the water bottle, he wanted me to push a freestanding punching bag across the room, jump back and forth over a rope lying on the ground, roll on a stability ball while holding weights and have a stick fight with him.
On the final lap with the water bottle, my arms started to give out. Doug came to my rescue and grabbed the jug before I dropped it. Then he replaced it with a package of 24 bottles of water — about four gallons, or 34 pounds. “I’ll have some mercy,” he joked.
Mercy was in short supply during my three-day, post-Thanksgiving “deprivation vacation” in Florida. Instead of sipping cocktails and reading trashy magazines on a beach, I’d enrolled in Core Fitness Solution, a boot camp in Madeira Beach, about an hour from Tampa. I was going to exercise all day, eat low-calorie meals and meet with a nutritionist and a life coach to learn how to develop more healthful habits. I promised not to use the elevator, to wake up at 6:30 a.m. each day and to cut out caffeine, carbs, sweets and alcohol.
Though fitness camps first emerged years ago, deprivation vacations, for travelers looking to improve their health and their lifestyle, are a more recent trend. Amid concerns about rising obesity and the popularity
From left, Kathleen Beach of Seminole, Fla., Jennifer Devlin of Treasure Island, Fla., and Core Fitness Solution founder LindaMullins work their way down Madeira Beach. After they finish that frolic, it’s on to the kettle weights! Mullins’s typical greeting to guests: “HappyMonday. We’re going to crush you.”