Aventure Camp by Brian
Ten bootcampers were able to swindle the time and courage to have a go at Fitter Faster’s first adventure camp. Jo, Tim, Raelene, Gayle, Tara, Gretta, Wendy, Naomi, Tania and Brian all woke Saturday morning wondering what the weekend had in store for them. Wendy had certainly selected a challenging way to spend her birthday.
We departed at 7.55am from Maryborough in search of a mystery location with Brian and Tim up front steering and navigating the bus. After negotiating the bus to Stawell the girls up the back of the bus were starting to get restless and were referring to Tim and Brian as the two old blokes off the Muppets. They were soon silenced when skilful navigation and driving averted a potential collision with another car. All was saved as the McDonalds sign and coffee was in sight. Apart from the occasional gear cleaning the bus was working well.
After a coffee in Stawell we continued up the highway towards our mystery destination at Roses Gap on the Northern end of the Grampians. As we entered the Recreation Reserve we were greeted by our hosts and headed towards our accommodation. On the way we noticed some tall pine posts in the ground which we were to get a closer look at that afternoon.
The weather was perfect and after a quick settle in period and a snack of fruit, yogurt and protein Jo was ready to get us active and into our first boot camp session. We completed a solid 1 hour session of exercise including belly blasters, lunges and kettle bell runs. Just to finish off Jo decided we would compete in some relays where we set up in a triangle and stole kettle bells and cones from each other (this brought back memories of a challenge from the last greatest loser competition). This session set the scene for an active weekend.
We then had lunch of cold meats and salads and eagerly discussed our mystery activity for the afternoon. Photos in the dining area had us wondering which of these things we were to tackle.
As we let lunch settle we headed to the giant swing area where our host was eagerly awaiting our arrival. The camp are used to carrying out this activity with Primary School children who scream and yell, not like our group of mature adults with dignity and composure. Raelene was keen to be first and bravely harnessed up for the swing and was clipped on to then be left dangling about 1 metre off the ground. The rest of the crew were to pull on the rope to lift Raelene 19 metres off the ground. Everyone steadied and Raelene pulled the rope to release herself for a 3 metre free fall and then swing capturing the views of the Grampians (backwards at first). We thought the school kids were there with screams of excitement and a yes please for another go.
Those who followed screamed with joy and the occasional sh*t, most said how good it was, this enticed most people to have a go until Gretta told the truth and explained how it was one of the most horrible things she had ever experienced. Anyone who wasn’t sure about having a go, now really weren’t sure, but a couple continued on, some wished they had listened to Gretta. Anyway no one showed us lunch again which was a good effort.
The next activity was to climb vertically up an obstacle course, the group decided not to have a rest and launch straight into it before we changed our minds. The obstacles included a cargo net, spinning posts with foot holds on them and a rock wall before you could touch the top post 15-20 m off the ground.
This offered extra challenges to those with less reach and those not so comfortable off the ground. Everyone had a go at this and did a great job of negotiating the difficult course. Again those on the ground were not standing around this was the support crew who kept the rope tight and secure in case of a slip. Excellent teamwork was shown and many personal barriers were pushed through.
After some afternoon tea we headed off on a walk into the Grampians to find a waterfall. The track was very narrow, single file a lot of the way and at times it felt like you were in the jungle. At the end of the walk was a beautiful waterfall and a peaceful spot on a rock with a wallaby up above keeping an eye on us. With some skipping, jogging, walking and for some reason Jo wanting us to canter like horses, we made it back to camp for some free time to shower and get ready for tea.
After tea we had a go at some yoga, Tim and Brian were in their element showing off their graceful flexibility (not). The many different positions provided a relaxing stretch to end the day feeling fantastic. This did also offer entertainment to the other group staying at the camp who were walking past with their drinks for their evening meal while we had our bums in the air saluting something or posing as some sort of warrior.
We then retreated around the fire with a drink and celebrated Wendy’s birthday with some healthy snacks and cake before retreating for an early nights sleep.
The camp next door turned up the music as it got later (by now it must have been 9.30) which kept a couple of boot campers awake for a few hours.
Rise and shine early (6.25am for some while others got up earlier) on Sunday ready for a 6.30am boot camp session with the wallabies. The camp next door was quiet by now so it was only fair that we warm up by running along the road across the front of their cabins. Tim seemed to have trouble lifting his feet through this section ( I think the scuffing noise may have woken some people in the camp – we were sorry about that!).
This was voted one of the toughest boot camp session people had participated in and was finished off with runs up a hill that Jo thought we just had to use.
Now it was breakfast time and we were hungry. Bacon, eggs and tomatoes on toast along with fruit and yogurt satisfied our appetites much to the surprise of our hosts who thought we would like some muesli and other cereals. At least they were getting to know us now, thoughts of those healthy weirdo’s that were coming who don’t want to eat regular camp food of carbs and grains must have been starting to fade.
After a quick shower we headed on a hike to beehive waterfalls. This track was a bit wider and provided the opportunity for people to walk along chatting the whole way. The weather was fantastic which allowed for poses for the boot camper of the month calendar to be practiced under the waterfall. Unfortunately due to a malfunction of one of the cameras disc some of these and other photos have been lost.
We wandered back to camp for a fantastic snack of heaps of different fruits, yogurt flavours, protein flavours, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds. More fuel to tackle the low ropes course of challenges which involved climbing, swinging, balancing and laughter (sometimes all at once). Tara clearly had balancing skills on the tight rope, she’s ready for the circus.
After some not so elegant or smooth dismounts, a few laughs and some great teamwork we were ready for lunch and home (not yet apparently).
Following lunch many boot campers then took to the water on canoes for a relaxing paddle on the camps lake. Some water splashing occurred and then tactics came into play to avoid being rammed by Gayle and Raelene who thought the best way to steer the canoes was to paddle faster even though a collision with the bank was inevitable (not once but twice).
Just when we thought we might have been winding down for departure – Jo had one last boot camp session for us to complete, it was a special kettle bell boot camp. We did many things with these kettle bells including squat thrusts with a kettle bell in each hand, those things where you lay down and try and stand up while holding the kettle bell (Naomi, Tara and Tania were some of the few who mastered this), lunges while passing the kettle bell between your legs and many others things that hurt. (Really there was only one place where we wanted to put the kettle bells in the end but it may not have been comfortable for Jo.)
Now its home time – yes. We packed up, showered and hit the road home. The trip home was very quiet until Brian went to drive past Stawell McDonalds in a bid to get home but no, Tania and a small brigade of caffeine addicted boot campers ordered the bus be turned around and pulled in so that they could get a coffee.
The rest of the trip went smoothly with less chat than there was on the previous day.
We did so much – were we gone for just 33 hours or a week?
The weekend was a great success, with many personal challenges conquered. Despite some bruises and complete exhaustion everyone agreed that they would be back again next time. Thanks to Jo for organising this exhilarating and inspirational weekend which challenged us all – achieving all that we did is another feather in our cap of our fitterfaster lifestyle.