“You inspire me.”  That’s what she said. For a minute I was unsure of who she was talking to but it was me.  She was speaking to me.  It was Traci.  As far as I could tell she looked to be of normal weight and very fit.  “I read your blog, all of it.  As far back as the biscuit and it inspires me.”  I was completely blown away.  I let her in on my secret.  I started it and continue to write it for accountability.  People being inspired is an honored side effect.

Just then the woman we affectionately call 32 walks in with Nike flip-flops and a gym bag full of anything a workout body could every need or want.   She settles in on the bike between Traci and I.  32 was a tremendous help to me when I was struggling with running.  She runs 6 miles regularly for the heck of it.  I aspire to do that one day.  She is my mentor.  Then Ava comes in announcing with absolute authority, “We gettin’ it in today!” Ava has the kind of arms that put Michelle Obama to shame.  My arms want to be like her arms when they grow up.  She walked over to her bike like a drill sergeant.  She had the stance of somebody you better not mess with. In terms of cardio, I can’t hold a candle to her. The tone of the class was set.  It was serious.  This was not a game.

Diane, the trainer, bounces in with her BKM cap on over her two ponytails. The music starts and right away we have legs only no bounce rotations and 10 counts of extremely fast pedaling while you stand back to back.  I think it was about 5 reps of each but I lost count. 32 looked at me, “You sweatin’ already, take a gear off we have a whole hour to go.”  Diane calls for another 10 count.  Ava starts taunting the counter asking, “Is that the count?  Is that all you got?”  I love her!  Her trash talking gets me going.  32 asks Traci and I what the heck we are doing.  She wanted us to pick up the pace.  We did. Then Diane calls on me for a count of ten.  The music was bumping and I was feeling right.  So, the number twenty fell out of my mouth.  Don’t know why I said twenty.  Insanity I say! My legs were angry, they didn’t know why I started at twenty either. By the time I got to four I called on sweet baby Jesus.  It took me ten seconds to recover and I was back on it.  In that ten second recovery, 32 was tapping on my handle bars urging me to get with it.  Telling me we got this.  Sweat was everywhere and on everybody.  When it was over 32, me and Traci (in that order) took the picture above.  We were so happy.  Not sure why, maybe the endorphins. It was a great work out.

I love my boot camp.  It’s more than a gym.  It’s a fitness family.  There is always someone there to push you, challenge, make you think you can do what you’ve already told yourself you can’t. I don’t know who said black women don’t work out but they’ve obviously never met the women of BKM Boot Camp.

A buddy will keep you honest and add a dimension of fun to your workout. – Bill Toomey

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