NYBC: Back to Basics – April 24th – 1st May 2009
Occupation: Civil Servant
Marital Status: Married
Age: 51 (D.O.B: 25 04 58)
Where I Live: South East Wales
My Story – Why I Booked NYBC:
In January 2008 I read an article in the newspaper by Jade Goody about her stay at NYBC. I was impressed by what she had done.It sounded hard but fun and I started wondering whether I would be able to do it.Her public image was not that of a particularly well self discilpled young woman and I started thinking, if she could do it then so could I – albeit I was twice her age.I cut the article out and kept it on my desk. I had my 50th birthday in the April and the rest of my annual leave had been planned, so I put the possibility of a week at NYBC to the back of my mind.
In the March a new colleague joined the team at work. She was 15 years younger than I but we hit it off and she showed an interest in walking. I used to walk a lot when I was younger and had a dog but had been leading quite a sedentary life for quite a few years. My husband and I liked eating out and enjoying the good life, and we made no time for exercise. In the July she and I started walking once a week and I quickly came to love being outdoors and looked forward to our walks in the hills. I noticed I lost a bit of weight and felt healthier. I was finding it easier climbing 3 flights of stairs at work without getting out of puff.
So I started adding weekend walks on my own. We stopped the evening walks when the clocks went back in October, but I kept on at weekends. Around Christmas time I found the Jade Goody article again and this time I thought -I’m sure I can do that, or at least give it a very good try.
I told my husband who was somewhat sceptical, but otherwise supportive. When I looked on the web site and saw there was a NYBC on my birthday I decided to book. I thought if I could do it it would give me confidence to try other things. The way I saw it, if I lost weight or got fitter, that would be a bonus, but my main reason for going was just to see if I could do it and last the week,and not be a quitter. That would be a big confidence booster.
My experience at NYBC:
I was shocked by how hard it was both mentally and physically. I was expecting it to be hard physically but I couldn’t believe my reaction to the week. I was the oldest there and the least fit. We were split into ability groups and I was the slowest and weakest of everyone there.I found it hard being last at everything and there were tears of frustratiion and a marked loss of perspective on occasions!The other girls were all lovely – very supportive. As we were only pushed to do the best we could do, everyone was finding it tough, at their own level. But I was very aware of being the least able, and I found that hard to deal with. Things improved when the exercise tapered off and we had other activities to do. I found I was fearless – abseiling and rock climbing, and gorge walking and walking in the Brecon Beacons was great fun. I was no longer the least able and had found things I enjoyed.
I thought the food was good, though I’d have liked more of it! Sharing a room was a new experience but the girls were all lovely. The PTI’s were great. My group’s PTI, Staff Davies was a wonderful motivator but he wouldn’t tolerate laziness. He kept reminding us that it was a boot camp and we hadn’t paid all that money to have an easy time. But he was very kind and knew when to push and when to go easy on us. The NYBC staff were fabulous. Jacquie and Pascale were very understanding and helped everyone when they were having a bad day. The civilian instructors for abseiling, gorge walking, hill walking and rock climbing., Michael and Chris, were both wonderfully patient and encouraging.. They made the activities events to remember for a long time.
At the end of the week I lost weight, inches, improved my running time, increased the number of sit ups and press ups I could do, learned how to run properly, pacing myself, learned I was fearless in certain activities. I had achieved what Ihad set out to do – ie complete the week. After that anything else was a bonus.
How has NYBC changed my life:
I have increased the amount of physical activity I do, I have lost more weight , without dieting, simply because I’m more active. When my sister came to stay recently I took her on a 6 mile walk to a beauty spot, rather than sitting down to watch TV. The main thing for me is that I ENJOY what I’m doing. NYBC gave me a taste of lots of activities and I’ve been able to pick the ones I liked best and continue with those and leave behind those I didn’t like,. NYBC opened my eyes to opportunities. Since NYBC I’ve climbed Snowden on one of the more difficult routes and completed a scramble up another 3000ft peak in Snowdonia, Tryfan. It would never have occurred to me to do this before NYBC.I found these climbs so rewarding. I just love being oudoors. Tomorrow I’m going rock climbing! What would I say to someone thinking of booking NYBC?
DO IT! The sooner the better. It is a unique experience which cannot fail to boost your self confidence.
Weight and inch loss:
I lost 6lbs. I’ve forgotten the inches I lost but think it was about 8. You have to remember losing weight and inches was not my priority – I was there for the challenge of finishing the week. Since BC, through continued activity, iIve lost a further 7 lbs.
I plan to climb all the 3000ft peaks in Snowdonia and The Lake District. I plan to climb Ben Nevis.I will be doing a charity abseil with a colleague from work. And I would like to do the Moon Walk. Those are my challenges foor 2010. I can’t do too much more of the big stuff this year as it is my 10th wedding anniversary and the bulk of my annual leave is being taken up with a trip to New York, sailing back first class on The Queen Mary. I think I deserve that after having had my birthday in a Back to Basics Boot Camp!*