Heulwen’s Bootcamp Diary – Thursday!


Fast asleep! I’ve been up at this time every day this week in order to get to the TGIF Bootcamp in Aberystwyth on time, but I’m doing the evening session tonight, so no need to get up in the dark!


Not much of a lie in! My husband left early for work and unlike me, he hasn’t mastered the art of getting dressed QUIETLY!


I had a lazy morning with my daughter Elsi, that was my plan for today ahead of tonight’s Bootcamp. I had my car cleaned – I know it’s bad to pay someone to do this, but I’ve tried doing it, it takes ages and it looks terrible at the end, so in my mind it’s £6 well spent (£5 today as Elsi was with me, and the guy told her to keep the other £1 as she was so cute! Mental note, take her with me every time!)

I took my niece Hana who’s 5 and my nephew Dylan who’s 8 for lunch in Aberdyfi and then to the lovely Magic Lantern Cinema in Tywyn, to watch Despicable Me 3 – (which was really good by the way).


Drive 18 miles to Aberystwyth for my fourth Bootcamp session. I felt extremely tired on the way and could have easily pulled into a lay by for a snooze, but I knew I’d feel a lot better and more energised on the way home, the last three days are testament to this!

The prom looked very different today, no rain and lots of people! Before having Elsi, I used to feel really self-conscious about exercising in public. I remember going for my first run outdoors and wearing a baseball cap and ‘sporty’ sunglasses, thinking no one would recognise me. The thing is, when you live in rural Wales, everyone knows you and you can’t hide!  They were beeping their horns and when I arrived home, I even had messages on Facebook from people who had seen me!  I now tell myself ‘At least I’m doing something which is better than staring at someone else doing it or driving past in a car!’.


I met Bridget and the Lycra ladies. There were only 9 of us today. We walked away from Constitution Hill for the warm up, which made me think (and hope) that we were not going up there today!

Stage 1 – Warm up. This was a tougher warm up than usual but I really liked it. We ran along the prom and the castle grounds and then stopped every other lamp post to do a bar press up on the prom railings or triceps dips. It was quite hard towards the end but it got my heart rate up and I was already sweating! We had a few cheeky comments by passers-by but being ‘hardcore’ ladies in training, we weren’t phased!

Stage 2 – Partner work…in the shelter! Bridget is really good at incorporating the landscape around the beach and the castle into the sessions. It was nice to be standing in the shelter, rather than amongst all the tourists and kids on the prom – (even though one tourist did take a photo of us! Made me think of the muscle men I saw training on Miami Beach – I have photos of them, but they looked a lot better than me!!)

In our pairs, we had to do some HIIT style training and core work. Sit ups from side to side with a heavy ball, skipping and high knees. I struggled with the press ups and dips – my arms were still aching from lifting and tipping the tractor tyre in Tuesday’s session, and for the first time this week, I couldn’t complete the full sets. (That felt frustrating!)

There were also a lot of giggles, funny squeals and a general sense of panic during this session! These ‘core’ exercises are not ideal for some Mums – pelvic floor muscles are not what they used to be after having kids! I’ll leave it there!

Stage 3 – Boxing. Due to a serious car accident a few years ago, which left me with no knuckle under my third finger, on my right hand, (thanks to the air bag smashing it) I can’t carry heavy weights or put any pressure on it, so boxing with my right hand was a no, no!

I have never punched anything or anyone (so far!), so I wasn’t really sure what to do either! I had a go with my left hand and just did the move with the right hand. My partner was really lovely and encouraging, and it was quite a satisfying feeling to hit the pads, really hard, with my left hand! This mixed in with the high knees was a good all over workout! When it came to swapping over with my partner and taking the hits, Bridget kindly stepped in and I got to step into her shoes and did the timing…(but I did do the high knees throughout because I’m a good girl!)

Stage 4 – Arms. We were told to lengthen our arms to the side and swirl them around in big circles. This sounds nice, but after the dips, press ups and (one arm) boxing, it was painful and by the end of the minute my arms were ready to drop off! We then had to do another minute in the opposite direction and then to finish off – press ups on the bar! This was a killer and I had a tendency to stick my big bum out rather than ‘tuck and take it with me’ as Bridget said! I need to work on this! (If I’m walking funny around the Eisteddfod next week, you know I’m practicing!).

That’s it! I’ve completed day 4 of my 5-day Bootcamp! Did I feel better? Without doubt, I ran back to the car and I was even singing in the car on the way home, what a difference an hour makes! Am I feeling the burn? Same answer, but no singing this time!

Tomorrow I’m doing the lunchtime session, it’s indoors so I have no idea what to expect! But I do have a feeling that I will be having withdrawal symptoms after my final session tomorrow, never thought I’d say that!

Diolch Bridget!  Bring on that final session!

By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.

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