Spring into Summer Week Three, Day One: Tim goes for the accumulator - a week early but then who’s counting?

 Body Shape Fitness Camp. Picture: Steve Williams.

Body Shape Fitness Camp. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Week three, day one of boot camp 2014 but it’s not as though I’m counting!

Today’s early morning session at Ely Rugby Club was as tough as it gets, what our ‘host’ Tim Megginson cheerfully described as an accumulator, a series of exercises building up in intensity in rapid fire succession.

The word ‘burn’ seems to be used a lot, the adage of no pain no gain ringing through my mind as I begin to understand some of the philosophy and logic behind the whole experience.

“He doesn’t normally do the accumulator until week four,” says the woman next to me whose attendance is not measured in weeks or even months but in years. “I wouldn’t miss it,” she says as we share snippets of conversation before and afterwards for once the session begins there is little opportunity, or desire, for conversation.

There may be the sense of being all in it together but in reality for each there’s a rhythm and commitment that remains very personal. Presumption about the whys and wherefores of those taking part seems irrelevant and unimportant- each to his or her own is much the order of the day.


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On Tim’s truck is the legend ‘lose a clothes size in 28 days or your money back’ and into my third week I’m already there: childish or not there’s a remarkable pleasure in even daring to try out clothes that simply remained in the wardrobe, often for years, because they didn’t fit.

A couple of suits bought impulsively on a holiday in Scotland five years ago – but never worn after getting them home and realising they didn’t fit properly- are now ready to be brought back into daily service.

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And last night, astonishingly, I took out two pairs of trousers, bought in a Debenhams sale in the 2012 sales, and found myself easing into them and for the first time. Looking back I suspect I bought the clothes based on optimism rather than reality, so there they stayed. Until now.

Food, diet and nutrition play their part and I’m lucky to have support in that direction too – and next week Tim is running a cookery workshop to hammer home the message that exercise is only part of the formula for a healthier lifestyle and a healthier body.

The ‘boot camp’ experience may not be for everyone and may not be something I want to do long term but as a wake-up call it’s become an extraordinary revelation and I look forward to helping to judge the competition entries for those who wish to embark on it themselves.

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