The assignment for the article came to me because I ‘m a former fitness professional. (After all … writers write best from experience … right???)

Since it has been 20- some-odd-years since I plied the fitness trade – and I am now formally a senior citizen – I must admit I had my reservations about this one. But always up for a challenge I decided to take the bull by the horns and give it my all. So I dressed appropriately in sports bra, spandex pants and sweat band and entered the indoor/outdoor fitness arena of the San Clemente Boot Camp to attend the introductory Ramp Up class.

Welcomed by the head trainer, Ryan Steinhoff and his assistant, a former marine, I seated myself as far to the rear as possible. (Which wasn’t easy as the room is very large and there were only about 10 pupils in this beginner’s class.) Even though I am a senior now, I pride myself in being pretty fit and reasonably strong, but I must admit the muscular, well-proportioned instructors and the younger participants were a tad intimidating.  Undeterred, however, I admonished myself to “keep a stiff upper lip,” and “grin and bear it.” And by the looks of the equipment we would be using, light hand weights, kettle balls, step-ups, stretch bands, medicine balls, jump ropes, TRX straps and other fitness accouterments … I knew I was in for it.

Beginning with a jog around the outside of the building, we moved from there into stretches to warm up and loosen our muscles. While I do lots of fast-walking on the beach, I must admit the jogging was a stretch, and as you can imagine I was the last one in.

Moving inside, the HIIT (high intensity interval training) began with a bang. The instructors started by demonstrating the series of movements we would be using. The first had us dropping straight to the floor in push-up position, bringing first the right foot to the right shoulder, then executing a jump switch and bringing the other foot to the left shoulder.  The next movement had us dropping to the floor, assuming push-up position, clapping hands, jumping to bring feet to hands, then jumping to a standing position and starting over. That was just the beginning, from there the movements got progressively difficult and much more challenging.  And the whole time the instructors were demonstrating the movements my reaction was … “you can’t be serious” …  THEY WERE SERIOUS!

Finally we were instructed to put all the movements demonstrated together and to execute them in 50 second intervals with 10 seconds between. The exercises would last for approximately one hour, with the instructors counting and cheering us on. There were only two things that kept me going … a stubborn determination not to embarrass myself, and the blow-out breathing I have always used when any exercise was too difficult or strenuous. 

We did push-ups, pull-ups, jumped rope, swung kettle balls, you name it … we did it. I kept asking myself if I was crazy and what I was doing there and if getting information for an article was worth it. All I could think about was how sore I was going to be for the next few days. (My publisher had told me she couldn’t walk for a week after she took her first classes.)  Oh Joy! Was that what I had to look forward to?

I completed the class, did the interview and walked gingerly to my car … yes … I was still able to walk. Lo and behold … I found I actually felt pretty good … invigorated in fact. The endorphin’s kicked in and the feeling was one I remembered from the days when I taught three classes a week at 7:30 am. I found I not only felt physically  good, I also had that sensation that comes with accomplishing something that you think you can’t do … a job well done. But still … looming in the back of my mind was the onset muscle soreness that I knew usually follows intense exercise.

Much to my surprise  I wasn’t that sore … my quads and upper arms ached a little, but I was amazed at how easy I got off. And like the postmen/women who suffer rain, snow, sleet, wind and hail to accomplish their duty, we writers/editors are much the same. There’s almost nothing we won’t do, or even suffer, for a good story.

This particular story will come out in the San Clemente Journal next month. It can be viewed at And remember … just like this writer … no matter what it is you think you can’t accomplish … you’re never too old, tired or out of shape to try … and when you go for it … amazing things can happen.

Beautifull, really


Thanks for reading and responding to my blog. There is no greater complement a writer can receive than to know their words have touched someone. God bless and have a wonderful day!


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