Boot Camp shout out to Ms. KELSEY HANSON!  Boot Camp SUPERSTAR!

Kelsey has been participating in VAST Fitness Boot Camp for close to a year.  Her hard work and dedication has paid off with BIG results, which she will elaborate on below.  Kelsey has become a leader at boot camp who quietly leads by example.   Not only does she motivate her boot camp buddies to work hard in session, Kelsey encourages them to join her for buddy workouts on days away from official boot camp classes.   VAST Fitness is lucky to have Kelsey as a loyal veteran boot camper.  Give her fitness journey a read – she is an inspiration.  Thank you for sharing Kelsey!

How did you make the decision to start boot camp?

I finished graduate school in April 2011, and through the process of writing my thesis, I allowed a few extra pounds to creep on even though I was running on a regular basis.  I had participated in boot camp through the University of Washington in 2007, and I felt great at the end of 8 weeks.  I knew that boot camp workouts were good for my body, so I was sure that boot camp would give me the results that I desired.  Two more motivators: I turned 30 on November 14, and I am getting married in June 2013.  It was time to get serious about being fit long-term and cleaning up my food choices.

What has been most rewarding for you?

Being able to complete tasks that I thought I could never do.  Over 100 push-ups in one workout?  I can do it!  I remember my first class (about 6 weeks after starting) where I did all of the push-ups from my toes, and I couldn’t believe it.  I knew at that moment that my body was changing for the better.   It’s awesome to get to experience this with other people that are accomplishing similar feats.

What are some of your favorite components of boot camp?

At the top of the list is the encouragement to do YOUR best and the teamwork that is fostered in the group.  It’s not the best of the person to your right or left or the person across the circle from you, but YOUR best.  I love that each person brings a different strength to the group in terms of mind and body, and that we all encourage each other.  The encouragement is especially important in the beginning because I didn’t believe that I could finish everything or push more, but when you have someone right beside you saying “two more, you got it,” you just do two more.  And then one more.  Then you’ve done three more exercises than you thought you could do.

Advice to new recruits?  What’s hard and how do you get through it?

Set your alarm, get up and show up!  Keep coming.  Every class, do two more exercises of something than you think you can do.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and try to push your body into that uncomfortable zone, which is easier said than done.  Somehow our minds trick us into thinking that we can’t do something.  Quiet that voice.  Know that you will be sore (but that it goes away), and be good to your body by nourishing it with what it requires.

Your results?

1) ENERGY and a more positive attitude and perspective. 2) I think I’ve lost 10-15 pounds, but I rarely weigh myself.  More important to me is how I feel, and how my clothes fit, which is too big!  I’ve dropped 2-3 sizes in jeans.  An added bonus is that my skin is more clear than it has been in years.  Dang, it feels good to be fit!

How did you feel mind, body, emotionally before?  Has boot camp impacted your feelings about yourself?  

My weight has been a lifelong struggle.  I have been much heavier than I was when I started boot camp in April 2012, but even so, I was still struggling with my weight/body shape when I started in April.  I knew I was heavier than I wanted to be, and I did not like how I looked or felt.  I was uncomfortable with my body.  That is a tough spot to be in, and it’s also hard to change up a routine with a new fitness regimen when you feel in a bit of a rut.  Now, I am proud of the body that I have worked hard to get.  It’s far from perfect, but I treat it well, and I’m proud to be the best version of me.

Goals–goals reached–new goals?

Each month, I’ve tried to set a different goal for my four weeks.  The first month it was to complete the month – just get through the soreness and the difficulty.  David taught the second session I attended, and he did a gambling workout with playing cards, and I drew 60 burpees.  I thought I was going to die!  The second month I focused on push-ups, and that was when I finished an entire class without doing any push-ups on my knees.  The third month I focused on strengthening my core, and the fourth month I focused on getting my mile as close to the 7 minute mark as possible.  The fifth month I focused on balance as well as being in the moment.  Meaning, I tried to focus only on the task at hand and not let my mind wander to what the day would bring.  My short-term goals are still fun for me, but my thought process on goals has changed.  I have now officially committed to eating more clean – 90% clean, 10% fun – and my fitness goals are long-term.  I want to maintain my weight loss and my gained strength, and to work on a few “tests” that still seem to elude me.  Standing squat, I will conquer you and that 3 minute mark, and that sub-7 minute mile is going to happen one of these days!    

Anything else you’d like to share?

One of my favorite components about boot camp is that I feel like I have given my workout responsibility to Kerry.  My job is to show up.  I don’t have to think about what I am going to do or dread doing it.  I have no idea what the hour will bring, but all I have to do is get out of bed, show up with a positive attitude and work hard.  I can do that, and I am delighted to be in the company of others that do the same!