No Excuses!

I am lucky enough to spend most mornings with a great bunch of Boot Campers, most of whom are moms with a wide age-range of kids.

Published October 6, 2012 5:00 AM
4 min read


A18 HEALTHI am lucky enough to spend most mornings with a great bunch of Boot Campers, most of whom are moms with a wide age-range of kids.

By Lee Sandford


A18 HEALTHI am lucky enough to spend most mornings with a great bunch of Boot Campers, most of whom are moms with a wide age-range of kids. What I notice this time of year is that whether you have toddlers or high school seniors, the start of the school year is the real “new” year. As such, it involves resolutions and ambitions for a calmer, healthier, more organized family life.


A few years ago one of my resolutions was to always have a cup of sharpened pencils at the ready, having realized it can take an 8-year-old boy a long time to sharpen a pencil before sitting down to do his homework.


The two most common themes of pre-fall resolutions are: re-establishing a healthy family meal routine after a summer of snacking at the beach or pool snack bar; and getting one’s own exercise regimen back on track. We are convinced that it has been lack of time alone preventing us from getting our five workouts a week in. So, with the whole school day opened up, or even just the short nursery school day, nothing can stop us from slimming our waistlines and increasing our fitness.


However, before you know it, things do start to get in the way — PTO meetings, wanting to get the Costco trip out of the way early in the day, therefore missing spin class, children sent home sick (or worse — with lice!) I know all the excuses well. I have been known to use them to explain why I’m so behind in business and household admininstration, but I’ve heard them all from lapsed Boot Campers, who panic slightly when they bump into me in the street and start to rattle off a dozen excuses, hoping one of them will resonate.


Recently, I had the privilege of taking part in the second annual Boot Camp fundraiser for the NYU Langone Medical Center, organized by my friend Tina Bilotta in memory of her mom, Eileen Bradford. The morning’s events were a great lesson in how there should never be an excuse. You can always work around the circumstances and will feel much better, body and mind, that you found a way to get your workout in.


My fellow Boot Camp leader, Julie McGuire, and I were leading the first class of the morning, and Joel Harper, celebrity trainer to Dr. Oz amongst others, had graciously agreed to come out to Rye and lead the second Boot Camp.


I was delighted to be able to take part in someone else’s class, as it’s always great to learn from other people’s coaching style and steal some new drills from them. Our class went smoothly — overcast but with mild temperatures, low humidity, the beach to ourselves to run our 20+ participants ragged, and have them all complaining and rolling their eyes behind our backs — just the way we like it!


While we were doing that, Harper was signing copies of his book and volunteers were setting up speakers on the beach because he’d requested music. When his class started, the great music blasting across the beach was a treat and everyone was excited and a bit nervous to be working out with the very handsome Mr. Harper. Two minutes in though there were rumbles of thunder and the lifeguard had to ask us to leave the beach. It could have been game over, because both pavilions were being used, one for a wedding and one by sponsors of our event. However, we’ve been doing this for four years and never let the weather be one of our excuses, so we cleared as much space as we could under cover, moved the speaker up, turned the music back on, and cozied up for a workout New York City-style — each person had about 4 square feet to work out in and had to be careful with any drill that involved kicking or punching!


Harper’s class was fun and very different from what I’m used to. He used low intensity and high numbers of reps (one drill he made us do until as a group we managed to name 15 Broadway shows — torture!). He also focused a lot on balance and symmetry, which is something I probably don’t think about enough, so that gave me some good new ideas.


Moms, get your workouts in your calendar and don’t let excuses get in the way. As Benjamin Franklin said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

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