Monday, April 27, 2009

Carlton and the ladies get physical

Operation Bootcamp Day 1

Standing in the parking lot of Latta Park, Carlton Hargro's eyes grow wide. He chuckles. Operation Bootcamp instructor Christen Lewis is giving the participants their first assignment - run one mile.

"How much time do we have?" Carlton asks.

It's the first day of the 45-minute fitness bootcamp at Latta Park. It's the first day of Carlton's journey to a healthier lifestyle and goal of wearing clothes from Banana Republic.

Carlton says he doesn't know when he last ran a mile. He's one of a handful of newbies at the camp. He's the only guy. One woman wants to get in shape to wear a bikini. There are also three brides in the class hoping to get in their wedding dresses. Others are repeat customers, one of whom is preparing for an upcoming half-marathon. This morning is a physical test to get a baseline for each participant.

The women and Carlton would perform a series of exercises then write their times and number of exercises completed in a logbook. At the end of the month, they will repeat today's test to see how far they progressed.

First up, the run.

Carlton steps to the start line, a lamp post. Christen says "Ready, set, go."

He and the other women gamely jog into the darkness. About halfway around the park he walks. He finishes with a light jog back to the lamp post.

Time? Eleven minutes. Not bad for a guy who can't remember the last time he ran a mile.

"Oh my god. I'm a alive," he says breathing heavily.

Next up: push ups, sit ups or crunches and bench dips.

He has to do as many of each as he can in one minute. He completes 26 push ups, 26 dips, and 35 crunches.

"Woo! These numbers are impressive," he exclaims as he logs his stats.

He also can't remember the last time he broke a sweat.

Wiping perspiration from his forehead, he says, "That's pure beer coming out."

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