“Before a person will change, the pain of staying the same, has to be greater than the pain of the change.”

I’ve had this real estate blog for about two years now. However, if you’ve read my blog before you know I rarely get personal….I thought diaries were supposed to be private ūüôā ¬†It seems to be the trend these days and since:

1. ¬†I’m a fairly interesting person,
2. What we do at Bootcamp is very interesting, and
3. I’m interested in knowing if you also find this interesting…

I decided to take the plunge and write about my journey with OBBC (Outer Banks Bootcamp).

So here goes…

I have had friends on Facebook posting about this Bootcamp they’d been doing for at least 2 years. I had even talked to the man himself¬†( Matt Costa) about possibly joining the madness in April of 2011. At that time Charlie had just received his cancer diagnosis and we had no idea what we were in for. ¬†Well, needless to say I didn’t join that April. ¬†In fact, it was nearly a year later and another 20 pounds before I even thought about exploring the idea again.

When I met Charlie in 2009 I was (ahem…here goes….yes I’m going tell it) 185 pounds and feeling pretty good. ¬†Keep in mind I’m 6 feet tall so that‚Äôs a very good number for me. I could comfortably wear a size 8 pants and had been this size for about 3 years at this point. ¬†By the time we got through the new relationship weight, then the stress of cancer weight (he lost it and I promptly found it as if I was vacuuming it up as soon as he dropped it) I found I had gotten up to a whopping 228 pounds. ¬†I was miserable and disgusted with myself. ¬†Now that we had a pretty good handle on Charlie’s recovery, there had to be some focus put on dealing with this problem I had.

It was a rainy Friday in the first week of March 2012 when I walked in to Knuckle Up gym to inquire about kickboxing. ¬†The Spring Bootcamp was starting mid April and I knew if I was going to attempt it I had better go ahead and get started doing something now or I probably wouldn’t commit to it. ¬†Seeing as how I had never really stopped TRYING to lose weight all this time and had exercised here and there throughout the last couple years, I had this fantasy I wasn’t THAT bad off. ¬†Well,¬†I had no idea how extremely out of shape I actually was. ¬†I was in denial, I would soon find out.

I signed my name on the potential new member sheet and was told to come in on Saturday for a free trial of the kickboxing class. ¬†So I wrote my name down and left, excited about the new person I would magically become. ¬†Later that day, I got a call from Matt. ¬†He was excited I had come in and was looking forward to seeing me the next morning. ¬†He asked me about Spring Bootcamp and I reluctantly said I was considering it. ¬†He said, ‚Äúgood,‚ÄĚ and then we ended the call.

Saturday morning I take the drive from Duck to Kitty Hawk to attend the 8 am kickboxing class that I was offered at no charge. Holy Moly!It was quite the experience. ¬†About 10 minutes in I was already rethinking what the heck I’d gotten myself into. ¬†Matt put us “on the run” around the gym for like, 10 minutes,just as a warm up. ¬†I’m not a runner, have never been a runner, and have never wanted to be a runner. ¬†I hated that part. ¬†However, by the time I was done with the hour long torture session disguised as a “class,” I was so proud of what I had accomplished that I was hooked! As hard as it was, I was hooked. ¬†That went on for several weeks until the dreaded day Bootcamp started.

It’s 4:30 am. ¬†I’m actually purposely getting out of bed to go to Bootcamp? ¬†What the hell am I thinking? ¬†This is insane… I’m excited…What’s he going to do to us…Will I survive? 20 minutes driving gives you a lot of time to conjure all kinds of scenarios. ¬†None of them could have captured what I was about to experience. ¬†Our first task was to run over to a large patch of grass behind the building where we got in a circle with our backpacks on and did squats, push ups and other sorts of exercises I routinely avoided. ¬†Then we were off to the beach. More squats, push ups and jumping jacks. ¬†Really? Jumping Jacks in the sand are a treat if you’ve never done them. ¬†Then of course it’s the first day, he has to put us waist deep in the water. Yes. ¬†It’s April and there’s 100 of us intelligent, mature adults waist deep in the crisp and very much alive Atlantic Ocean, all before 6 am.

Needless to say, I’m less than thrilled at this point. ¬†Do I really want another 5.5 weeks of this shit? NO!I was done. ¬†Now he wants us to roll around in the sand after I’m soaking wet. ¬†Oh HELL no. ¬†I won’t be back, I thought. This is just too much! ¬†There‚Äôs sand everywhere on me! Ughhhhh! ¬†Matt strolls over and asks how I’m doing while FIRMLY gripping my hand. ¬†I told him this wasn’t for me. ¬†I now know the firm grip was intentional. Almost a hypnosis technique if you will. ¬†He made me promise I would come back on Wednesday. ¬†My dad was very adamant about us keeping our word, so I knew I would have to give it another shot. ¬†‚ÄúOne more day and that’s it,‚ÄĚ I told myself.

I left that first day of Bootcamp with so many different emotions, most of them negative.  But then it dawned on me.  The epiphany arrived.  The words of a great mentor of mine rang through.

“Before a person will change, the pain of staying the same, has to be greater than the pain of the change.”

As I was showering off the mountain of sand I brought home with me (thank goodness it wasn’t from Nags Head or there would have been a special assessment for it) those words kept going through my head. ¬†Will I, Ilona Matteson, really let a little sand in my crevices get in the way of making this all-important change in my life? ¬†It’s JUST sand. ¬†Good grief. ¬†I was about to sabotage my health and fitness well being over a little sand. ¬†I quickly realized then how silly it was.

I went back to Bootcamp that Wednesday morning and had one of the most exciting experiences I can remember in a long time. ¬†We as a group ran over 3 miles! ¬†I could barely run across the street on Monday and that Wednesday morning I completed over 3 miles. ¬†Yes, there were stops in between. Stops with push ups involved! ¬†Now, here’s the reason Bootcamp is successful where other workouts on my own were not…teamwork. ¬†See, Matt knows a few things. ¬†He knew if he made us hold hands with another teammate we would go further than we would on our own. ¬†And it worked. ¬†Phyllis got me through that morning, holding my hand and talking me through it long after I would have quit by myself.

That folks, was the beginning of the end. ¬†The end of being afraid of sand in my butt. ¬†The end of thinking I can’t run a few miles. ¬†The end of being afraid to try things I couldn’t do before. The end of fighting this weight battle on my own. ¬†What I gained this past summer while working with the amazing coaches- Matt, Adam, Jay, Christine, Jody, and Don- was the confidence I had lost in myself. ¬†I gained the belief that I could do it and the determination to actually do it.

It wasn’t easy. ¬†It wasn’t pretty. ¬†I fell down on my goals, a LOT. ¬†I wanted to quit, a LOT. ¬†I cursed, a LOT. And by the end of the summer, a full 3 Camps later, I accomplished, a LOT.

I’ve lost 21 pounds to date and nearly 10 inches.
I can do 73 sit ups in 2 minutes.
I can do 10 real push ups.
I can run 5 miles.
I’ve completed six different 5k races.

It’s been a wonderful journey. ¬†My favorite part hasn’t even been the results…it’s been the new “family” I belong to. ¬†My newest friends, supporters and motivators.

There are plenty more stories to tell and even more still in the making as I trudge along this path to get back into a size 8. ¬†I can’t tell them all here or this will turn from a blog into a book. This is only one of many stories to come.

Tune in for “Operation: Amateur” and “Operation: Survive The Half.”

“Special thanks have to go out to Re. ¬†Thing 1 loves you!”