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The (other) Intergen boot camp experience

When the words ‘boot camp’ and ‘Intergen’ are mentioned in the same breath, it’s usually the annual Intergen grad boot camp we’re talking about. But now there’s a whole new Intergen boot camp in town… Phil Warin, Intergen’s Northern Office Manager, shares her (other) boot camp journey.

Boot camp started the last week of July. Initially an Auckland Sales Team initiative for ‘The Biggest Loser’, the rules were lax and then opened up to a few more in the office. As someone who had been doing Weight Watchers for seven months at that point, but not a lot of exercise, I was terrified. I was starting as very much as the weightiest team member, and with no sleep, I was so scared I didn’t sleep the night before.  Never fear, Kyle Haskins, Auckland Sales team member, crazy CrossFitter and weight lifter was gentle on us mangy bunch.

After the Sales team challenge was up, boot camp was opened even wider to the rest of the office. A couple of ‘old hats’ stayed with it (myself included) and were joined by half a dozen newbies. We average four people a session, but laugh enough for six – no matter who was there, we laughed, lots, probably the best ab workout we had for a few weeks, initially.

Kyle was awesome and super encouraging, one of the main reasons I went back time after time. So much so, we agreed my secret goal (not so secret now: I wanted to walk the Auckland half marathon in 2017) needed to be offset by smaller, but gradually mounting goals to keep me motivated. Since that was agreed, I’ve signed up to do the 6km Rangitoto duel in March, the RUN Auckland series through winter, starting with the 5kms and building to the final four being 10kms each. And probably the biggest test before the main event, walking the North Shore half marathon in September!

We’ve done lots of various movements, activities and stretches, some of which leave me questioning my sanity and what I’m doing there, but like Kyle says, “Give it 15 minutes and you’ll feel great”. As usual, he’s right, and I go from thinking this is my last session to wondering what we’ll be doing next time. Learning to love the hurt is not something I thought I’d ever understand, but, after walking bow-legged after 50 full depth squats, it’s now reality.

I said to Kyle at the beginning I’d try anything once, so he suggested I try a new way of eating for four weeks.  Super strict six days a week; we’re talking low fat meats and veggies, no sugar, no dairy etc. Then one cheat day. I learnt to love mixed beans in my breakfast, and, to be fair, I still have the same breakfast 12 weeks later. I’m no longer such a fan of hummus and chick peas; they’re hard to stomach at 6am…

I’ve started “running” (it’s more of a jog/walk combo), but it becomes more jog, less walk each week. It’s a 3.7km loop, so by February I need to be able to do this twice comfortably to ensure completion of goal one. 

We wouldn’t have achieved any of this without the amazing yellow team behind us, and embracing the Intergen value “you can feel the passion”. We’re very lucky Kyle is so passionate about the health and wellbeing of his colleagues – he’s giving up his time to help us do this (which also helps us to “unite as one team” in a whole new way, another of Intergen’s values). We’ve never had a session that hasn’t involved cheering each other on. Whether someone is minutes behind finishing a time trial (usually me) or we’re doing a team exercise, it’s all about everyone helping each other to achieve their very best.

I started slow, and in the last five months I have built up to what I can only describe as probably the fittest (that wasn’t hard), strongest and lightest – 20+ kgs down so far – I’ve been in the last 10 years.  The biggest change, both from the inside and people’s comments, has been confidence, I now finally have some – like everything we’re doing, it’s building slowly.

Thanks to Kyle and the team for the experience – and bring on boot camp (and all the other events I’ve committed to) in 2017!

Posted by: Phil Warin, Office Manager, Northern | 21 December 2016

Tags: Bootcamp

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