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My first day at boot camp

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- My heart was racing and adrenaline was pumping through my body. Every muscle I have was aching and beads of sweat were dripping down my warm, red face. I felt like I couldn't go anymore, couldn't push myself. I was sucking in air and my lungs felt like they were going to explode. I literally thought I was going to die -- until the peppy instructor with pink lipstick looked directly at me and said, "Let me see a smile!"

I have now been a staff writer for the Tinker Take Off for about four months. Since I have been here, I have decided that it is time to lose weight and get into shape. After all, I see people around me participating in 'Fit to Fight' and 'Fit 4 Life' all the time. It's true what they say that other peoples' actions and attitudes rub off when you are around them so often. So, I decided to begin participating in a boot camp class the fitness centers offer on base.

I was nervous about going to the class. The words "boot camp" just sounded intimidating and completely dreadful. But when I walked in I noticed I was the um, youngest person in the class. I thought, "Well, I can do this. I have this made." I was wrong! And over-confidence gets you nowhere.

The instructor, Angie Ceyler, is 53 years old and has been teaching the class for five years. I know, 53, wow! I am 27 and could barely keep up with her or anyone else in the class for that matter.

Ceyler jump started the class by turning on some up-beat music. We began with athletic drills and agilities, like shuffling back and forth across the room, side steps and skips. After about 10 minutes I thought I was going to pass out. Then I realized that was simply the warm-up. I still had 50 more minutes of boot camp to go. We continued with stretching and then went into the actual work out. This consisted of jumping rope, running in place, jumping jacks and just about any other cardio movement you can think of.

Though I was breathing hard and sweating profusely, I could feel my body adjusting and I was beginning to have more endurance. Before I knew it we had finished the cardio part of boot camp and we were moving on to the strength part.

"Guess what, we just did 30 minutes of straight cardio!" Ceyler proudly announced to us.
We then began doing lunges, triceps and biceps curls with 3- to 5-pound weights. My arms began feeling like Jell-O, but that too was over before I knew it.

A sense of accomplishment swarmed over me during the final abdominal work-out and stretching phase of the hour. I knew my body would be sore, but I also knew I would be thankful that I am on the path to getting in shape, not to just simply lose weight but also to be healthier all around. I am definitely going to attend boot camp on a regular basis now.

Boot camp is offered at several different times on base at the fitness center in Bldg. 3705. Classes are $3 per class or $20 per month for unlimited classes. Ceyler is just one boot camp instructor; however, she also volunteers her time and teaches it for free. She works on base full-time in B-1 high velocity within the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing.

"I absolutely love to see people come in and realize they can lose weight and get in shape," Ceyler said.

She thinks the music she plays is one unique aspect of her class because it makes the work-out more fun and exciting, and she said it is easier to exercise with peers than by yourself or watching someone on television.

"I just need more guys in my class," Ceyler said.