The True Story of Joyce Gianera

How long can Jo Ann and Joyce hold this for hmmmm

I love this woman Joyce.  She made life fun when she was around and at the time I was already having fun…somehow she made it FUNNER (yes, it’s my blog and I can write funner…).

Today a brand new camper was embarking on her 2nd day.  She was BEAMING happy and it reminded me of Joyce so I thought I’d pull out and dust off a journal of her experience where I work.

I’ve seen these types of progressive journals a few times.  We did not know Joyce was KEEPING this journal until she’d graduated and presented it to us.

My additions are in [brackets]

In her own words:

This is a REAL LIFE daily account of camp by Joyce Gianera


Boot Camp notes, realizations and experiences for Graduation:


Showed up to BTO [Basic Training and Orientation] day slightly hung over simply because it was the last chance I knew I had to drink before starting the 6 weeks of pain and suffering.  Don’t we all do that?  “Oh I am going to start my diet next week so I am going to eat everything I love before then.”  The timed mile just about killed me.  When I learned what my true body fat % was everything all of sudden went into slow motion and the instructor sounded like the Peanuts teacher as she was explaining to me what it meant.  I know what obese means but there was no way I was obese?  Was I?

Oh my aching butt and hamstrings.  Sitting on the toilet was an adventure.  It was like the leaning tower of Pisa.  You just hoped you were on target because once you started leaning back the next thing you know you were sitting down.  It sort of made you want to holler “timmmmbeeerrrrrrrr”.

Discovered the hover.  Hover?  That sounds like a magicians trick.  You want me to do what?
Glenn front and center on the HOVER
Learned to pee at least 10 times a day.  All of a sudden your boss thinks you might have a drug problem because you are out from behind your desk on the hour every hour like clock work!  

Corrigan [Corriganville] trail.  Switch backs are supposed to help you deal with the steep incline of a hill.  Heck I was almost on all fours just on the switch backs much less those other steeper inclines.  Made it to the freeway and thought “wow that used to be me driving on the highway at this time.”  Had a very cool sense that I was changing for the better.  My first sense of self satisfaction.

Failure Friday.  OMG.  After everything else the whole week and then go..go..go..situps, push ups,…run, throwdowns, hover, go..go..go..sprint uphill.  Holy cow.  It felt more like failure failure.  Let’s just say physical coordination and balance was out the window later that night.


Running with weights.  Huh?  Do what?  Has anyone run with 5lb weights in their hands before boot camp?  Would you really do it after boot camp?  I found that to be particularly boot campish.  

Learned what a go back was.  Struggled big time up the junkyard trail.  1 mile up.  Made it, beautiful view and Randy says “enjoy your jog down”.  Oh Guess that means I am supposed to jog down.  So start jogging and all of a sudden I realize I can jog without needing an oxygen tank.  I keep going and it’s still no problem.  I start smiling, I actually get happy and make it down the hill in like 7 minutes and there… she… was.  Sarita greets me saying good job.  I’m all proud of myself and feeling good (having a slight “Rocky” moment) and she says “so what do you want to do now?”  Now?  But I just, I mean well I kicked butt?  She starts to imply I should go back up the hill and I immediately blurt out ABS!  I want to do abs.  She says in the dirt?  I said yes! In the dirt.  See watch.  One, two, three…  (anything but that dang hill again)  After 100 crunches of various types she says okay that’s it.  Go back up the trail until you run into somebody.  And she says “this is what we call go backs”  all enthusiastically and happily.   I start back up the hill swearing like a sailor in my head and saying I could care less what you call them, go backs are (#%@!()$^#%!@)*(*.  

Became very familiar with the park.  Enjoyed the park the first time I ran it.  Felt okay the 2nd time.  Dreaded it the third time.  Instead of one lap it was two and after that it was the lunges and squats and double lunges and side kicks and back kicks and front kicks and oh yeah jog back to your mats.  

Learned Dee’Dee’s and Turbos and never thought my arms or my legs would ever recover.

Plyo what?  Plyometrics?  Sounds like an advance math class or perhaps another country’s measuring system not a form of exercise.  I think I shook my stomach loose from all that jumping.

Muscles not completely sore and no more leaning tower of Pisa.  I might be able to do this…


Learned the turkish stand up?  [Turkish Get Up] How in the world did they find that exercise?  At first you think no problem and then you try it.  Keep your arm straight they keep saying.  It has to be one of the most unique exercises I have done.  Very cool and very difficult.

Due to the heat becoming unbearable you oddly discover working out at 5:30a.m. is not as bad as you previously thought.

Lunges are one thing but uphill lunges?  Uphill lunges with pushups?  What?

You find yourself noticing your surroundings more and catch yourself thinking hmmm this would be a cool place for boot camp.  Randy would enjoy doing a boot camp here.  I happened to be standing in the middle of a walnut tree orchard…  What is that?

Was able to run a half mile without stopping.  Very, very stoked about that.  

Suddenly find yourself spontaneously smiling.  Out of nowhere.  It is an odd yet enjoyable experience.  Then the car stereo volume starts to get louder then what you used to listen too.  Then you find yourself actually dancing and singing while you are driving.  You become completely unaware you are doing it until the person driving next to you gives you a weird look.  Hmmmmmm…I think boot camp is getting under my skin….


Was able to improve my two minute sit ups to 41.  I started at 14.  I surprised myself.  I like surprising myself.  It is fun.  I started to think hmmmmm I wonder what else I can do???

Went on a couple of long runs this week at the library.  Was really hoping we wouldn’t run that much since we had Rocky Peak this week.  Yeah right.  But even though I was tired I faired well on the runs.  Again surprising myself.  My body seems to be on a path now and the mental part of working out is finally becoming easier.  All I have to do now is start my body moving forward the rest takes care of itself.
Rocky Peak was not as bad as I thought.  This seems to be a recurring theme.  Whatever seemed difficult the first few weeks of camp no longer is.  I think it is time to adjust my attitude a little and start thinking not only can I do the hikes but that I should start pushing myself to jog a lot more.

Got to Rocky Peak early for the hike on Friday and decided to head out in an attempt to make it to the top.  Oh boy was that a challenge.  I got to the last part which of course was all uphill and thought there is no way I can make it to the top and get back in time to catch up with the group.  But then, I think as soon as I get back the first thing everyone is going to ask is did I make it to the top?  So I decide to just go a little ways and see how I do.  I make it a qtr of the way and stop to suck in air and think there is no way, I have to turn around but then I still had about 10 min to spare so I think well I’ll just go 10 min more and do my best.  I get half way up and stop so my legs could recover and I think there is no way I can make it.  Time is up.  But then what would I say to everyone?  Oh I almost made it to the top?  I was half way up already but I was out of time so now I decide I have to absolutely make it to the top and had to double time it to get there.  Huffing and puffing I make it, I wave to no one in particular, I let out a little holler and start jogging down.  I jogged as much as possible the whole way back in an effort to catch up to my fellow boot campers.  I finally caught them and sure enough the first thing out of their mouth was “did you make it to the top?”  Yes I say.  Laughing out loud and inside.  Yes I made it to the top.  Me and all of my mental gymnastics.  Boy was I tired the next day but still was chuckling about dragging my butt to the top.  

Note to self…become more familiar with new mountain bikes before heading down steep terrain for the first time in years.  Do yourself a favor and remember which is the rear brake and which is the front brake.  It will prevent you from doing a 360 over the front handle bars off the side of the trail down the slope of the mountain on an $1800.00 demo bike.  LOL!


Lunges with weights and then pushups was tough.  I think Randy called them 50-50’s?  50% of it was tough and the other 50% was tougher. 

Start to focus on camp goals and get a little nervous.  Only two weeks to go.  Where did the time go?  They warn you it is going to go fast but boy it really did.

Definitely feel my body changing. It is actually firming up.  It is an awesome feeling.  I couldn’t sign up for the next 6 weeks fast enough.  LOL!

Long Canyon trail run was awesome.  The three mile loop was a perfect challenge for my fitness level.  I loved that trail.
Note to self, just because the entire camp works out together (4th of July) it doesn’t mean Randy and Sarita lose their focus and execute a simple class that perhaps, maybe might be easy…   Quite the contrary.  We worked out hard on the 4th of July.  It was very patriotic and fun though so I was happy with it.


Oh my god it is the last week.  Did I do enough?  Have I worked hard enough to get the real results?  Panic…panic….panic….
Learned the crab walk today.  6 weeks in and still we are doing new exercises.  You have to love that, however, I did not love the crab walk.  It loved my buttocks but my buttocks did not love it.  Ouuuucchhhhhhh.   Put a band around my ankles and do what?  Uphill?  I have to say I was a little crabby after that one.  (just for 10 seconds).

Ran the Reagan Library driveway.  On the way down I kept thinking there is no way I am going to make it back up before class is over.  I finally started back uphill and surprise, surprise I went up that thing like butter.  I realized how much I benefited from all the trail running we have been doing.  Being able to dig my shoes into concrete while going uphill was a pleasure compared to slippery trail hills.  I cranked it.  Yes!

Had my first light boot camp workout.  Okay it was the day before graduation and we were saving ourselves for the testing in the morning but still it was such a treat to spend time really focused on proper stretching.  It will be another 6 weeks before I have another light boot camp session.  That’s okay.  I am ready now.

Find yourself driving around with a slight attitude…You lookin at me?  Don’t mess with me.  I’m in boot camp now and I can throw down.  LOL!   What is that about?

Graduation Day.  Wow.  Write my last notes in my Food Journal at 5:15a.m. and they are:  “I did it”.  I start heading into the B.T.O. room with confidence and excitement.  I can’t wait to see my results.  I absolutely killed it.  I am actually still in a fog over all the inches I lost in just 6 weeks.  I can’t quite believe it.  Randy and Sarita run an outstanding, professional, focused, fun boot camp.  It couldn’t be more perfect for me and I am truly grateful.  I am looking forward to writing notes for the next tour.  I think I might be a lifer….  LOL!

Joyce had incredible results from her first boot camp.

JoyceB-A copy

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