Bootcamp Graduation Day

The big day arrived today, and oh what a day it was!  I have waited to write my blog today as my emotions have been all over the place.  Last night was the soundest I have slept in the last 6 weeks before bootcamp.  I only woke up twice, once at midnight and then at 4:00 a.m. 30 minutes before my alarm clock went off.  I decided to just hop on out of bed versus delaying the inevitable.

As I was eating my oatmeal, my friend Jeanne sent me a text asking if I wanted to carpool.  Couldn’t think of a better way to head to graduation, with my friend who joined this journey with me.  She may not know it, but she was one of my inspirations to hold myself accountable and show up each and every time.  If I invited her to join this journey, then I needed to be there on the journey.  We were not always side by side during our bootcamp training but she was always on my mind and I was rooting for her success in my mind.   So Jeanne – thank you for being my dear friend and for taking a drink of the kool-aide with me.  You mean the world to me and I am so happy that you are part of the journey.

What a site it was to show up at Aviation Park and see all the red shirts around.   In this six-week journey, we have all become a little leaner and a lot more healthy looking.  What an amazing group of people, strength and determination.  We started the morning with a warm-up lap and then stretching.

Photo Credit: Jay Bowman

Jay then had us line up, and he called my name to lead one of the lines.  That was an awesome feeling for me.  We then headed to Holy Hill aka Wright Brothers Memorial.  Jay then sent us on a “Matt Mile” around the monument.  Jay asked us to give it our all and to “own it”.  With that mission in mind I headed off to give it the best I could.  I am still not a strong runner, but I am starting to feel like I may actually become a runner.  I have this internal battle with my brain that say’s “you can walk Lisa” and then my subconsciousness takes over and say’s “you better run!”  I have estimated in the past that I ran/walk 15 minute miles.

Every 5k I have participated in, I have arrived at the finish line after 45 minutes.  As I was running I heard Jay yell “Look at you Lisa, look how far you have come!”   He is right, I actually look like I am running versus a painful walk/run combination.  As I headed into the last part of the mile I heard “you can do this, come on and get in under 10 minutes” so I went for it and came in at 9:45.  A new PR for me and one I will take, because that means I have improved.  At that moment, I could have walked away from graduation happy!

After our last Bluefin runner completed her mile we met up with Team Stingray to conquer Holy Hill.

I am the 3rd Person over from the flag.
Photo Credit: Jay Bowman

It is difficult to describe Holy Hill.  It is an uphill challenge that makes it very difficult to actually run in parts.  I try to run where I can and fast walk when it is really steep.  My ultimate goal is to be able to run all the way up the hill without walking.  I know that day will arrive one day in my journey.

Outer Banks Bootcamps Plus Graduation Class
Photo Credit: Jay Bowman

At graduation black bracelets are handed out to first time boot-campers.  Red bracelets to 3 time boot-campers.  Honor graduates are named and pride is in the air.  This is a big moment and everyone has worked so hard to reach this part of the journey.

As I was sitting there, all I could feel was pride for myself.  I have been a part of 3 boot camps, but I have only completed two as I had to leave the last one due to injury.   I will admit this was the first boot camp where I put my heart and soul into the training.  Nothing was going to get in my way and what a powerful feeling that was to have!  I now understand and live by and intend to keep on owning it.  The coaches are correct, two days a week is not going to help you see the results you need.  It takes full commitment.  On my off days I mixed it up with kickboxing, Friday runs and walks.

After a motivational talk from Matt we headed back down Holy Hill and on our way home.


This is me headed back down the hill, when I first saw this picture I hated it.  I know how women can be especially hard on themselves and I am my own tough critic.  My first thought was, “yikes how many chins do i have”?   I will admit I cried when I saw this photo because I realized how much further I have on my journey.  I then realized, I need to love me and love what was accomplished today and for the last 6 weeks.  In the end, we aren’t there for beauty, we are there to better ourselves.  It’s hard to look good at 5:30 in the morning!  I know since I started my journey last October I have lost 25 pounds, and that is what I am proud of.

Today was a celebration and I felt the love from my family and friends near and far.  My friends left me supportive messages and my dear friend Jeanne left me this message on Facebook that made me cry.  “I never ran a mile before so never had a time. 10:08 mile….thanks to coaches and to you Lisa, you are a great inspiration. I would NEVER had done this without your encouragement! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”  I also want to take time to thank my friend Sandy for her hugs before boot camp, they help more then you know and for Ann Marie “Re” for being the go-getter that she is and motivating the rest of us to do our best.  Thank you to all for every word of encouragement you have sent my way.

Another bright spot was I heard from my best friend from high school who had been reading all my posts.  It touched my heart that she reached out to me to share with me how proud she was.  If I get to feel this feeling every 6 weeks and continue to improve myself, then I am in for a lifetime!  My journey will continue, I am now training for a tri-relay team and working on my swimming skills.  I will continue with kickboxing and I am looking forward to several races through the summer starting with the Wine Down 5k on Sunday night.  Monday (Memorial Day) will be the start of my 4th boot camp but the 3rd one I know I will complete.

Thank you to Matt, Jay, Christine, Adam, Diane, Jody and all my new friends at Outer Banks Bootcamps for all the support and love.  I look forward to our next leg in the journey.

I love this photo because it shows are fun side
photo credit: Jay Bowman

Forgot to thank the most important person –  my biggest fan…My Husband!! Without his support this journey would not even be possible. He is the reason I am able to participate in boot camp, kickboxing and swim training. Thank you honey!!!


2 thoughts on “Bootcamp Graduation Day

    1. You have come so far in such a short time. You are the person to inspire others! Beauty of boot camp, motivation and inspiration! Much love to you too!

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