One of the benefits of doing the Boot Camp Programme with the SSISA team is that you are constantly motivated to do better. Besides the encouragement in the sessions themselves (there’s something about a ‘Come on, Sarah’ that inspires a little extra effort), there are weekly Boot Camp Telegraphs from the team including a newsletter and some informative reading.

My official Boot Camp with SSISA shirt

I’m half way into the programme, having just completed week four of the eight-week Boot Camp with SSISA programme. In searching for extra fit-spiration, I spent time on Pinterest and found perfect words to help me keep pushing as hard as I can when things get tough. My favourite: ‘You only regret the workouts you didn’t do’.

And this couldn’t be truer. Three times a week my alarm goes off at 5am and this line has become the mantra that gets me out of bed. The reminder that every workout is worth it. Having to be up that early has required a new routine too, with preparation the night before – packing what I’m going to wear and eat for the next day and getting enough sleep. This new way of life, and the new habits I’m adopting, are perfectly described in this week’s Telegraph: “Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do” – Shaquille O’Neal. And this is exactly what Boot Camp with SSISA is all about: creating a new holistic way of life focused on developing habits for healthy living.

The morning group training at Rhodes Memorial as the sun rises behind us

The sessions are getting more intense, with Sergeant Greg Hyson (who runs the morning session) expecting us to push harder and give a little more every time. I can say without a shadow of doubt that I am doing more exercise than I think I ever have before. And in each session, I am working harder than in any workout I’ve done before too – I leave every one absolutely drenched. But who said hard work was pretty? At least I know it’s going to be worth it.

Running up the steps of Rhodes Memorial felt like a Rocky montage

This week we had another off-site session, taking on the hills and steps of Cape Town’s famous Rhodes Memorial. The workout was grueling, but there was the consolation of a beautiful view – the sun rising over Cape Town.  It really helps to change things up every now and then, when an exercise routine can start to feel repetitive and a new location brings with it new challenges too.

What goes up must come down

Having survived to the halfway mark, we were also awarded with our official Boot Camp with SSISA tshirts this week. It may seem like a small reward, but there is something inspiring about knowing what went in to being able to wear the shirt – one that I’m definitely going to be wearing with pride.