Jamie Klingler is an author, founder of Creative Influence Alliance and The Salon Host’s resident source of personal wellness inspiration who spent all of quarantine quitting booze and getting in shape. Whether you’re looking for a little inspo or a total reality check, Jamie has you covered.

A few weeks ago, while on a trip back to America to visit my family, my friend Caroline invited me to a beach boot camp. She went every day and assured me that I would enjoy it. It was one of those invites that I could have easily brushed aside. She would not have been offended. I’ve always been curious about Barry’s Boot Camp and absolutely terrified of it. 

I don’t sweat daintily when I run, it pours out of my skin. I come home soaked on a daily basis. Part of the reason I like running in the rain or at 5:30 am is that I don’t encounter any other humans. I was sure I would fall over, I was sure I’d make an arse of myself. But if I wanted my transformation to stick and be permanent, it was worth the leap. 

So I walked to 18th Street on the beach in Wildwood New Jersey for @Coachbocolo’s Beach Boot Camp. There were actual dolphins in the sea in front of us. I only needed to survive for 30 minutes. Brandy does this daily for the 15-30 women that show up. I didn’t have a towel or water, which in hindsight was pretty stupid.  But I did the class.  I got through it. And then I got back to Caroline’s and fainted. I had underestimated my lack of hydration in 90-degree weather and hadn’t wanted to jog there while carrying a bag.  A smoothie, a Gatorade and 75 minutes later, I was beginning to feel human again. I recognised that I screwed up, but that wasn’t down to the class.  The class I could do. No one – and I mean NO ONE was looking at me. They were all trying to breathe through the intensity. They were trying to make sure their feet stayed on the harder sand and they kept their knees up. I was sure I was losing steps and looked ridiculous, but my heart rate was up and I was doing the work.

I went every day for the rest of the holiday. The thing I dreaded the most was burpees. I was sure I was going to fall over, I was convinced I looked like I was in a comedy sketch show. And then Brandy shared a 15-second video of us doing the burpees.  It was a quick scan of the crowd. I was only recognizable to myself. No one else would have noticed. But I was fine. I was getting down and back up again at pace. My form was good. I was capable of this. I didn’t stand out at all. It was entirely in my head. 

Speaking of heads. The other practice that I have continually told myself I was incapable of is meditation (shoutout Calm!). About ten years ago, I was on holiday and a very good friend was telling me about his new app all about meditating. He wanted us to try it on the trip. I wasn’t comfortable in the silence. I couldn’t sit still. I was fidgeting. I ended up playing rock paper scissors with another friend while our hippy-dippy lot bought into this mindfulness malarkey.

After the app went on to be incredibly successful (Calm anyone?), I had a subscription but only used it for sleep stories. I still bought into the claims that I wasn’t of the right disposition to be able to meditate. That my “flow” is obtained by reading; but to actually listen to my breath? To stay still? To just be… nah, not for me.  But why not? Why the fear? Why reject something that is helping so many lives? 

I’m not now going to roll out a story about how I meditate for 90 minutes daily. I’ve just started doing the Daily Calm or Daily Trip for 10 minutes after I run. It took me three tries until I completed my first one. And now I’ve done a grand total of four. It is a start. It is a stretching of assumptions or statements I’ve made about myself in the past. It is a way of getting out of my comfort zone. 

What are the restrictions you put on yourself? Because of fear or physicality or time constraints? What little mini-challenges can you set for yourself that will stretch your boundaries? I’m going to do my very first Barry’s Bootcamp this week, I don’t expect dolphins but I’ll bring water. Wish me luck.