Day six is D-Day, and we present ourselves at 7.30am sharp for the fitness test with some degree of trepidation. We already know from Stuart’s extensive experience of other boot camps that we are likely to significantly beat our gym results from the first day, and we don’t disappoint him. We lower our expectations for the run – after such an intense week it is normal for run speeds to decrease – but he hadn’t factored on the fact he has a bunch of competitive high achievers in the camp this week and we all come in with smiles on our faces.
Weigh-in time comes next, which is the high or the low for many in the group. Fraser confesses that he escaped for a meal in a local Italian restaurant part way through the week, yet has still managed to shed 12lbs. Without exception everyone in the group has lost between 6lbs and 12lbs and several inches, generally from the waist. This is perhaps the point to admit that I had not intended to lose weight, just to increase fitness, and was being fed man-sized portions and additional early-morning and late-night rations as well as all the lovely healthy meals. At no point was I really hungry. We pass around some bags of oats and realise what a huge amount 12lbs is, and what a huge accomplishment for the group as a whole.
As snow starts to fall and we contemplate being snowed in for the weekend we decide we have done all we set out to do, and that the camp should finish a day early. Bags are packed, tearful farewells said and promises to keep in touch are made. Those who have been on a Boot Camp generally keep in touch with the rest of the group after going through so much together during the week.
Six days ago I arrived at Shooka ready to tolerate it for a few days for review purposes and then make my escape. Today I am leaving lighter, fitter, healthier, with new healthy habits, new friends, a renewed confidence and without the need of alcohol or caffeine – although I can’t promise that one will be forever.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Our thanks to Shooka Bootcamps for hosting us for the week.