Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good thing it's Camp Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre...and not Camp Crystal Lake!

Upon getting out of the car one morning (from time to time I bum a ride instead of walking or riding my bike...I know, sounds lazy...for me anyway) my husband makes a joke about dropping me off at day camp.  The sign on the door of the Crystal says Summer camps - meet in park.  And going to the gym, well, it's kinda like camp...and no, I haven't graduated to bootcamp yet. 

Monday through Friday I go to the gym early in the morning with a backpack that is far too big for me, though it doesn't dwarf me like some of the bags on the other kids.  Inside, I have a packed lunch which is full of healthy snacks and, generally, a sammi that is prepared for me by someone other than myself...thank you to my darling husband.  I brown bag it so that I am not tempted by the vending machines that line the walls of the lobby.  The sign above says Stay Active Eat Healthy at the Crystal Pool & Fitness CentreFrom what I've seen in the halls of this rec centre, the sign does not deter small children from begging their parents for chips, candy, and chocolate, but then again...they can't it's not their fault.  Dear parents, please think of your little ones and offer them an apple instead of the junk that they desire, you don't want them to end up like me (DISCLAIMER: My parents always offered apples, it was I who got addicted to junk food much later in life!)   At least if the kiddies are at the pool, they're active.  I myself currently suffer from episodic tantrums when I am not allowed to drink wine.  What?  I need wine, I gave up everything else I liked to ingest...and I am certainly active. 

Camp clown, nerd, and instigator...Suzie Spitfyre.
After entering the building, I check-in by swiping my card at the front desk....just in case there's a head count.  As you can probably imagine I have made many friends at the Crystal over the last 7 months; I know the administrators, the front desk peeps, the counsellors...erm...trainers, and some of the other  Plays well with others - that's me.  I start my day at camp unsupervised (I know, it scares me too).  I run, ride, walk, dance, or skip my way through 1 or 2 hours of cardio, while my counsellor presides over everyone in the entire fitness centre (you know he's important because his shirt says FITNESS STAFF.) Occasionally, the ninja/counsellor/trainer/Jonathan comes over to talk to me, give me further instruction, or simply to punch me in the's okay, it just means he likes me.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, after my preliminary play time (i.e. sweating on some sort of cardio equipment) there's recess!  I eat my snack of fresh fruits, veggies, or puffed crispy rice things that come in chip flavours because I am an adult and I can read that sign in the lobby...and you don't what to see what kind of hissy fit I would throw if I didn't have a little dill, barbecue, salt 'n' vinegar, or sour cream and onion in my life.  

The ninja shares his wisdom...hiiiiyyyaaa!
My camp counsellor's name is Jonathan...and he pays me special attention on both of these days.  He makes me play fun games like Duck, Duck, wait, it's called Stairs, Stairs, Burpees...and then you run back and forth with a 25 pound dumbbell in each hand...weird how I'm the only one playing though.  Sometimes he teaches me to fight, just in case things get out of control on the playground, I guess...I have a mean left hook, but I particularly enjoy the shin kicks.  We've done some skipping (never in the hallways as it's verboten...and there's a sign) but I can't seem to get it right...even when I sing: "Cinderella dressed in yella, went downtown to meet her fella!"  Truth be told, I think he makes things up as he goes along, and I like that, it keeps things interesting.  What I don't understand is why I keep getting time-outs!  Wall sit for a minute, plank for 45 seconds - Why am I being punished for doing everything he says!?

My week days at Camp Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre are filled with free athletics, recess, guided activities, and lunch.  And what do I do after breaking for a meal and before I go home?  Well, I get to play on the computer and write ridiculous nonsense like this.  Though all that I do at the moment seems like play, it has been and continues to be an unexpected and welcome education.  My counsellor has guided me through both physical and mental challenges with such care and attention that I don't think I'll ever be able to express my gratitude for all that he has done.  For me, summer camp has lasted for an entire 7 months, and I really don't want it to end...I'm simply not ready to go back to school.    


  1. I stumbled across your blog by accident last week. I don't even remember what my original search was for, something fitness/weight related. I'm also an Island girl fighting the good fight. I've been living in Northern Alberta for work the last 2 years, which just sucks, and I turned to my buddies Lay's Ripple Chips and Sawmill Creek Merlot a little too often. As a result I'm about the weight you are now but I'm only 5'1 which is not so cool. I've got at least 80-lbs to ditch over the next year to get back to my BC (before children) body. Your positive attitude towards exercise is very motivating. Congrats on your great results!

    1. Yay! A happy accident indeed...I hear you on that one! Gahh...chips and wine, my favourite. How's the fight going, Louise? I'm only 5'2" - so I totally get it. Keep going!