We Could Encourage Each Other To Stay On Course


Boot Camp Testimonials
Tribune photo by VICTOR JUNCO

Karen Florin (r) and her daughter Logan wor

The Tampa Tribune
Published: August 23, 2008

Karen Florin, 51, Tarpon Springs

Goals: Feel normal again after Mom's sickness and divorce. Conquer food issues. Build more muscle tone and kick-start fitness program. Seize opportunity to work out with daughter Logan, 16

Why I did it: The day I saw a poster advertising North Pinellas Adventure Boot Camp for Women, I was so excited. This, I thought, is exactly what I've been looking for. What could I lose for giving it a try, except a few inches, a couple pounds and probably a lot of sweat?

I did feel some anxiety, but I needed to get past it. I was pretty sick two years ago, and it really took a toll on me. I felt I would never feel good again. It was hard, because I was going through a divorce and trying to maintain normalcy for my four kids.

I've always tried to stay in shape and participate in different exercise programs, such as triathlons, speed camps and Jazzercise. But I was disheartened.

How I did it: I took the four-week-long, five-day-a-week boot camp four times. Logan took it three days a week. There is a one-week break between boot camps, so it's four weeks on, one week off. Each session is one hour.

I got Logan involved by showing her how much fun I was having in boot camp and asked her to join me. I want to be a good role model for her and encourage her to stay active. We did a Zumba class together for a few months and had a lot of fun.

Variety kept me going. The instructor, John Kent, creates games incorporating cardio, strength and interval training. We do obstacle courses, team challenges and drills from different sports like football and martial arts. Running is not a requirement or necessity.

John also offers us a food seminar and nutrition course, including a trip to the grocery store. He is always available for support. Learning how to consume food properly is a big part of the achievement.

I thought it was a big plus to get in shape while spending quality time with my daughter. Logan loved it so much, she wants to join again.

Hurdles: I create my own obstacles concerning food and my love of wine. I especially find it hard to ignore my emotional eating at night. It seems you can work out to the point of exhausting yourself and still eat too much!

John has really good pointers and tips, but it's ultimately my responsibility to overcome these issues. I have to decide how badly I want to be fit. Some days are definitely better than others!

Going the distance: I have learned to not be afraid of commitment or trying something new, and to love how hard my body can work (and not keel over).

Overcoming my food issues hasn't happened yet, but I started working out with my daughter to help reach this goal. I felt like we could encourage each other to stay on course concerning the food issues.

We have had so much fun together in this camp, and it's great watching our bodies get toned. It makes us feel so good about ourselves that we feel good about each other, too. We laugh together, have friendly competitions with each other and are sometimes teammates. What a relationship builder!

Best advice: I think every woman should give a boot camp a try, and if they have a teen daughter, they should absolutely bring her along for the ride.

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