I open the garage door and am greeted with a rush of humid air that is choking. I walk out of the garage only to be greeted by a swarm of mosquitoes that want to leave no piece of my exposed skin untouched. If only the Army could harness these mosquitoes and use them in reconnaissance, Osama bin Laden would be flushed out by the biting buggers! I jump into my truck and proceed to ignore the biting at my ankles as I drive North on SW 217th Avenue at 5:30 a.m. There is not another vehicle in sight. In seven minutes flat I arrive at my destination, Schenbly’s Winery. I park in the empty parking lot, grab my bag and walk to the sidewalk leading up to the main building. My first week in the Warrior of Wine Boot Camp has begun! The flora, fauna and fat that surround me will become my inspiration.
Entering the winery through a side gate, I am immediately struck by the flora surrounding me as the scents of different fruits and flowers open my nostrils. Although it is too dark to see them, I know there are many tropical plants and flowers around me. I also hear water at the front of the building and assume that there is a fountain of some sort nearby.
I continue and walk down the path through the side gate into the garden area of the winery. It is pitch black with the exception of the moon in the sky above and the Christmas lights strung under the Grand Tiki where Oshun, our trainer, is waiting for the recruits. The fans in the tiki blow a breeze which keeps the mosquitoes away from our fresh skin. We lay out our mats, weights and get our water bottles ready. I greeted Denisse Serge, one of the owner’s of the winery who I have known for a while and who is so supportive of the program that she is participating as a recruit. My friend, Patty, surprised me the night before by telling me she would go with me but the other recruits were new to me so we introduced ourselves.
Oshun began by warming us up. Stretches and more soon brought a sweat to our brows. Even though I was only off one week between Boot Camps, I felt like I hadn’t stretched in a month. I realize that once you are in the “more mature” category, you have got to keep going non-stop as it is so easy to lose the movement that you have achieved. Oshun then led us along the pathways out to the parking lot. As it was very dark, I asked that she just tell us if there were any steps as I could see this fat woman sprawled face first on the pavement unable to get up! No steps and I felt pretty good that I kept up a running pace for the first lap. We then ran back into the tiki. By this time, my fat body was dripping wet but I noticed that I could now breathe while running a little which definitely helps! Breathing is important.
As we continued to exercise, the effort seemed to be softened by the sights and sounds around me. I noticed that the sun slowly rose behind Oshun and the flora and fauna began to produce a harmonic composition that was extremely pleasing to my ears. Waterfalls to the right of us produced a constant rhythm like a drummer setting the pace. Birds interspersed with their chirps in different tones, assimilating the melody for the composition. Chameleons hopped from one plant to another creating a movement of the leaves and branches that mimicked a wind instrument. The koi in the ponds flipped their tails in the water creating an occasional splash which created an unexpected element in the composition. The flora and fauna were creating an amazing tune.
Driving by the winery, you would never imagine the beauty of the sights and sounds within. Nature has produced a beautiful background for this session of Warriors of Wine. Before I knew it, the class was over and I felt pretty good about completing it. I drove the quick trip home, showered, dressed and went to work feeling like I could take on the world.
The next evening, I drove over to the Homestead YMCA and signed up for the Boot Camp which begins on September 10th. I realize that I need to exercise more than just three days a week so I am going to attend Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the YMCA Boot Camp. I have missed the people from the YMCA and I still do not have enough confidence to go into the Y by myself without going to Boot Camp. Although I have often said I would try when one of my trainers were present, I am too embarrassed by my size and feel I don’t belong. FLS..Fat Lady Syndrome. Symptoms are fear of ridicule, snide remarks or failure. Even after everything I have done in the past three Boot Camps, I still suffer from FLS.
I am a 54 year old obese woman and I need to lose weight and inches and increase my mobility. I have tried every diet you have ever heard of. I have eaten grapefruit until I turned yellow. I have eaten cabbage to the point that I didn’t think I would ever exit the bathroom. I have been to different companies to try their diet plans. I firmly do not believe in surgical intervention. I have failed at exercising on my own.
I realize I need help of I will die too soon. I have found tremendous support and help in the form of Rico and Nestor from the YMCA Boot Camp and Oshun from Warriors of Wine. It is not just the program but those individuals, Rico, Nestor and Oshun, who are slowly changing my life. I need them more than they will ever understand.
I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and Warrior’s of Wine and I need to be there!