I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone when I say that my relationship with exercise is a complicated one. Truth be told, I don’t get much exercise at all these days, apart from the occasional stroll around our neighbourhood or on the beach, or a quick yoga session in the comfort of my own lounge.
Things haven’t always been this way, and I spent most afternoons between the ages of 3 and 18 doing ballet, modern dancing, and gymnastics. In fact, growing up, my dream was to become a ballet dancer and I could easily spend hours practicing the same routine over and over again.
Things changed once I moved to Grahamstown to study at Rhodes University. I struggled to find a ballet school for my age group, and my unstructured routine didn’t help much either. I spent most of my time in lectures, reading set works, sitting behind my computer writing essays, and studying in the library. The only dancing I did was on a Friday and Saturday night at the local club, and although I walked to all my lectures, my incredibly poor diet soon took it’s toll and I started packing on the kilograms. Occasionally, I’d go to the gym with one of my digsmates but, as anyone who knows me will attest, I am no gym bunny. I get bored far too easily.
Fast forward a couple of years and a move to Johannesburg, where I started my first job working at a magazine. I spent all day, every day sitting behind a desk, and since cooking for one is a complete pain in the you-know-where, I relied heavily on takeaways and quick, convenience meals. Despite my terribly unhealthy diet, I ended up losing quite a bit of weight during that first year at my new job – I don’t know whether it was the last of the ‘puppy fat’ melting away, or whether it was down to deadline-induced stress, but I looked better than I had in years. This sudden weight loss prompted me to follow a healthier lifestyle, so I started eating better, took up pole dancing lessons, and started going to an adult ballet class once a week. But then life happened (as it does), and I got a job in Cape Town… which meant another sudden upheaval, mostly brought about by the fact that my then-boyfriend (and now, husband) and I decided to move in together. We ate really well, but it wasn’t the healthiest food… and my exercise regime quickly fell by the wayside as I rushed home to play house after work each day. Fast forward another four or five years, a wedding, a baby, a new-found love for yoga, moving house a couple of times, resigning from my job, starting a blog, starting my own business… and we’re at the present day.
Although I got really into yoga a couple of years ago and attended a formal class at least twice a week, I barely get round to practicing at home these days, let alone finding the time to pay a visit to my favourite yoga studio. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the biggest culprits is the fact that I simply don’t have the time. As a working mom who’s trying to juggle it all, I barely manage to find time to catch up on the latest episode of The Bachelorette, so I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to carve out some time for exercise. But after witnessing the fitness journey that my mom and dad have been on over the past year or two, I’m feeling determined to get up off the couch and actually do something.
Growing up, I would’ve described my dad as a bit of a couch potato: he spent most of his days at work, then spent hours sitting in traffic, driving to and from work. Looking back at it now, I’m not surprised that he spent most evenings and weekends sitting in front of the TV – it’s all I have energy to do most days, too! But in the past two years, I’ve watched my 53 year old father transform into a completely different man in front of my very eyes. I’m not quite sure exactly how many kilograms he’s lost in total, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that he is half the man he used to be. He went from living a completely sedentary life to running half marathons and participating in triathlons, and it’s been such an inspirational journey. Somewhere along the line, my mom started running as well, and she now goes to the gym every single day – and I can literally feel her FOMO on days when she can’t make it to the gym.
At first, I shuddered at the thought of joining them at our local Park Run and resisted all their attempts to get me to join, but I’ve found myself feeling more and more inspired by the day, and I’ve even contemplated starting an exercise routine of my own… and that’s where Adventure Boot Camp for Women comes in. I first heard about Adventure Boot Camp when my sister-in-law, Ashleigh, took part in their 40 day challenge about three years ago, but I never thought that I would ever consider taking part in something like this, never mind actually sign up to do it! But that’s exactly where you’ll find me, bright and early on the morning of 19 June – and every weekday morning for 40 days after that. I still can’t quite believe that I’m doing it!
So, what exactly is Adventure Boot Camp for Women’s annual 40 day challenge?
In a nutshell, Adventure Boot Camp for Women’s annual 40 day challenge is an eight week programme that’s designed to get you in the best shape of your life, while helping you to fight the winter bulge at the same time. It’s a great opportunity for women to embrace a healthier lifestyle (the programme offers 40 bootcamp sessions led by a qualified personal trainer, along with free eating plans, exciting prizes, luxury hampers, and more), but it will also help you to regain your confidence and prove to yourself that you are capable of anything.
How much does it cost?
The 40 day challenge costs just R1 190, which equates to R30 per session – much cheaper than any exercise lesson I’ve ever come across! What’s more, if you successfully complete the 40 day challenge (that is, if you attend every single session, five days per week for eight weeks), you’ll receive R200 cash back, along with a luxury hamper filled with amazing goodies from Adventure Boot Camp’s sponsors (sponsors include Clicks, Discovery Vitality, Garmin, Oh So Heavenly, Yardley, The Body Shop, Women’s Health, Nicole Martine, Johnsons, and many more – click here to view them all). You’ll also stand the chance to win R10 000 in cash, simply by signing up, and you’ll receive a free assessment at any Clicks clinic. Oh, and did I mention that there are weekly prizes worth up to R5000 to be won as well?
When and where?
The annual 40 day challenge takes place from 19 June – 11 August 2017. Click here to find your nearest location.
Interested in signing up for the Adventure Boot Camp for Women annual 40 Day Challenge?
Click here to register now.
My personal 40 day challenge
As someone who is relatively ‘thin’ and who follows a fairly healthy plant-based diet, I’m not looking to lose weight, but I would love to improve my fitness levels (I am so unfit at the moment!), to tone up a bit, and to increase my self-confidence. I also struggle with depression and find the cold, winter months to be the worst time for me personally, so I think that waking up at 5am every morning to go exercise will do my mind the world of good.
Even though I’m definitely not looking forward to those early wake up calls (especially in the dead of winter), I know I will (eventually!) thank myself for making the time to exercise. As a busy mom, I find it very difficult to make time to attend a yoga class or to go for a run in the evenings (that’s the busiest time of the day for me – especially with dinner time, bath time, story time…), so exercising first thing in the morning before the rest of the family has woken up just makes so much sense.
I’ll be blogging about my personal experiences of the 40 day challenge, and will be posting my ‘before’ photographs and some thoughts of my first session on the 19th of June – so keep an eye out for that!
I’ve partnered with Adventure Boot Camp for Women to offer one lucky reader the chance to participate in the 40 day challenge in the location of her choice – and entry couldn’t be easier! Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below – entries close on Sunday, 11 June 2017, and the winner will be announced on Monday, 12 June 2017. Good luck, everyone!