Monthly Archives: March 2013

Warrior of the Month – March 2013

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Johnny Garica


February 10, 2013, will be the third anniversary of my first time at Warrior Fitness Bootcamp.  Third anniversary?  How could I remember a date so seemingly insignificant?  It’s the date, I realized only in retrospect that I began in earnest to reclaim my life. 


An appreciable number of members that sign up at WFBC are looking to lose weight, and I was no different; but the weight I was trying to lose was in my head.  Emotional distress, brought on by the reality of a sudden, humiliating divorce, had brought with it sleeplessness, anxiety, and a loss of nineteen pounds in ten weeks.  One morning I saw a piece on the morning news about this bootcamp thing.  The correspondent related that after class she felt numb, sore, and halfway dead.  I felt that way already.  What did I have to lose?  I decided to give it a shot.


That first class ended and Ruben remarked that I did “basically okay” for my first time, and did I want to sign up for more classes?  I strained to emit a casual “Uh, let me think about it.” Something important happened afterwards, however: I went home and fell asleep for three hours in the middle of the afternoon.  It was a deep and dreamless sleep, a restful slumber I hadn’t experienced for months; and although I wasn’t yet sold on the idea of going back to that bootcamp, I did feel that if I could sleep like that again, it might perhaps be worth it.


Class after class came and went and I continued making my way home and straight into bed thoroughly exhausted, and I liked the feeling.  I wasn’t able to turn over the circumstances of my divorce and its attendant bitter realities–I was just too tired.  For a few nights a week I could sleep.  There was no insomnia, no need for a six-ounce high octane night cap, and no more need for the amber vial of pills that whispered “loser” to me every time I opened the sock drawer.


And then one day while I was shaving, I noticed a change in the mirror.  “Wow,” I thought, “I’m not a scrawny little punk anymore.”  I was gaining some weight back.  I was adding some muscle. “I must be all the way up to average punk.  Maybe even exceptional punk if I gel my hair up and get a tattoo of some indecipherable symbol on the back of my neck.”  I realized that mine wasn’t a short-lived physical fitness phase; rather, I was becoming dependent upon the rush of that good bootcamp sweat. I signed up for my first 30-pack.


Twenty-two months after my first class at WFBC, my divorce became final.  I’d gained back the weight I’d lost, and it was distributed in much more favorable ways.  I felt better about myself and my circumstances.  I realized that I wasn’t going to die–the end of my marriage wouldn’t kill me, and it should be noted, neither were Alex and Ruben.  I continued to improve physically and more importantly, emotionally; I was steadily losing the weight I came in with.  I began to receive regular visits from my old friend, Optimism.


Hmm, maybe this new life is what I was meant for all along.