Boot Camp Diary Archives: Day Three – Molly on the Mountain

I’m a bit behind posting boot camp diary entries publicly, but I’ve been keeping them tucked away for a winter day and I’m pretty sure that tonight qualifies… brrrr.

Molly finished her ascent to applause and cheering.  She was the last of the group to climb the long set of slippery cement stairs, and the rest of us were crowded at the top, willing her to find the final few steps.

I do not know these women.

In fact, I am crashing their 7:30am boot camp.  Seeking sanity and moderation, I opted out of what I knew would be a 5:30am hammer-fest on the mountain.  I am at the beginning of a 3 day taper into nationals-level racing.  I need my legs.  I need them Saturday.

So, on this Wednesday, we are gathered on the extinct volcano, cheering for Molly.

We can see her down the slope.  There is an older woman ahead of her – a woman who does not belong to our official boot camp class.  We are screaming: “Molly!! Molly!! You can do it! You’re doing great, Molly!!!”

The woman ahead of her calls out: “I’m not Molly!” and we laugh.

“What’s your name?!” Daniel replies.


And the roar goes up: “Angela!  Angela!  Angela! You are doing great, Angela!”

The woman smiles and continues to make her way toward us with Molly in hot pursuit.  I am overwhelmed, astounded and inspired by their efforts.  Touched and bolstered by the sheer camaraderie around me.

Here’s a group of women who know how to take care of each other.


The name “boot camp” may be a bit misleading.  Daniel is hardly a drill instructor and the daily dose of workout wonderment isn’t meant to break you – it’s designed to build you up.

Sure, you’ll work hard and no, it isn’t easy.  But the point is to uncover the best, most-inspiring you.

And that’s exactly what happens.

When people ask me to describe this camp, they are looking for numbers.  Usually, they want a down and dirty catalog of every exercise performed.  30 x pushups followed by 20x prisoner squats followed by 6x hill sprints followed by 15lbs lost and 4 inches obliterated.

Sure, I can provide you with mathematical records but you would be missing the point altogether.

Boot Camp is about family.

It is about a group of women willing to take risk and put themselves out into the world in a way that they may not have previously imagined.  It is about showing up every morning because there are people waiting for you. About blowing apart your perceived limitations and smashing expectations.

Boot Camp is about the moment that Molly climbs the final step. The uproar from the group, the smile on her face, her shy way of looking down while people are patting her back.

I race bikes.  Molly scales extinct volcanoes.  And the 7:30am class recognizes its very own every day heroes.


Possibly related (automatically generated) posts:

  1. Boot Camp Diary: Day 2 – Fun’s Over I am going to write this now, while I can...
  2. Boot Camp, Week 2 Boot Camp, Week 2 Boot Camp was canceled yesterday so...
  3. Putting Boot Camp Fitness to the Test: First Cyclocross Ride Sal and I headed out to Forest Park last night...
  4. Boot Camp Intake I met Daniel today. He is the Boot Camp Instructor....
  5. The Cyclist Returns to Boot Camp I spent most of 2007 waking up between 4:30 and...


  1. Now back in NZ, I really miss the boot camp camaraderie and the motivation from the other women to push your limits. And Daniel telling you “yes you can” when you are pretty sure you can’t, but you find it in yourself to endure whatever pain you are experiencing. Boot camp rocks!!!

  2. I am not “Molly”, but I have been molly many times. The encouragement, support and loyalty of this group of women makes every day a great day!
    Yes you can!!


  1. Dear Diary 001: Golden Streets and Lemmons - The Everyday Athlete - [...] Dear Diary 001: Golden Streets and Lemmons The Streets are Lined with Gold Actually, they’re not. And, ...
%d bloggers like this: