Below you’ll find inspirational stories from our campers all over South Africa.
Read everyone’s unique story about their journey with ABC.
My achievementI've lost weight. I'm fitter than I have ever been before and I have more energy!
My boot camp story starts on New Year’s Eve. After a year of stress-eating my way through a new business venture, I looked at holiday photos and no longer recognised myself. Although my friends and family were too nice to say anything, I had put on weight and was struggling to fit into many of my clothes.
I decided to sign up to Adventure Boot Camp that evening. My sister-in-law offered to join me for support. Thank goodness! We went online just before midnight and registered and the rest is history...well, almost...Any form of regular exercise has always been difficult for me. Not only am I self-conscious, but my A-type personality means that I won’t do anything unless I am really good at it and exercise just wasn’t my thing. Also, I have a genetic disorder where my body develops growths on the bones that can interfere with normal movement, causing pain and making me even more self-conscious. All this meant that I had joined lots of classes (Pilates, Yoga, Ice-Skating etc.) previously, but had always given up pretty quickly. As I would develop strength, the bone growths would start to irritate my muscles. Exercise would become increasingly painful. I honestly didn’t think boot camp would be any different, but it was.
We signed up for just one month as we thought we would give it a shot. Here we are in August, eight months later and still going strong. With the help of our phenomenal trainer, Theo, I have learnt to focus on my own journey without comparing myself to others. I was and still am sometimes behind the pack, but it doesn’t bother me. I have learnt to recognise and acknowledge my own progress. A learning that I am trying to apply in other areas of my life.About three months into boot camp, I was the fittest I have ever been and I had also lost weight. I felt like I had more energy and was now wearing a size smaller. For the first time in forever, I passed all of the dreaded Discovery Vitality Assessments! Then as always, the pain started. My muscles were getting stronger and were starting to tear from the bone growths. I thought I would have to stop bootcamp. To my surprise, I didn’t! Theo devised a routine to ensure that I can keep exercising without pain. As a result, this is the first time I have been able to keep active for more than just a couple of months.
I am really enjoying bootcamp. It helps me manage the stress associated with running my own business. The people I train with are encouraging and supportive. We do a lot of complaining together, but we also have a lot of fun. We give Theo a hard time, but he never gives up on us. I am so grateful to my sister-in-law, Theo, the people I train with and Adventure Boot Camp. I think it’s the first New Year’s Resolution I’ve ever kept and plan on rolling over to many more years. If you’re like me and exercise never stuck before, I recommend giving Adventure Boot Camp a try. As my sister-in-law says “I think we’re addicted.”
My tipsIt's all about your own progress!
My achievementWeight loss 6.3 kg, Feeling Awesome, Looking stunning
My Story in the last few months of 2017: I was stressed and depressed, then I started reading, my first book was 5Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It got me curious and I wanted to know more about me and my capability. So in January 2018 I was at work it was quiet and I thought about Mel Robbins talking about finding courage to do the things that I want so as I sat there in my office I went to Google looking for something. I then ended on the Bootcamp page. So I read it and I was curious, I then took the one day voucher and I decided to try it out. Ohhhh my gosh it was so hectic I was huffing and puffing thinking to my self what the hell was I thinking, the ladies kept on encouraging me through out the class it was longest one hour I had and every time I think we were about to finish a work out the instructor would say 1 minute left and I could not understand why is the minute taking so long to finish, yooooo it was hell. I got home took a bath and decided I am going back and the reason was that when I got home I suddenly had this new energy. I started cleaning my house at 8:00 pm I felt so good even though my body was aching. Then I registered for first camp, I had my share of discovering how unfit I was but I that month of January I became the most energetic effective ,happy person and I was starting to feel good about my self.
My dress code changed, I just had unlimited loads of energy at work. My colleague would ask me what was happening and I told I discovered bootcamp. Then I registered for camp 2 and I saw my mood was constantly on a high note, when things were not working at work I would still be energetic and had this approach of nothing is impossible. Then I registered for 40 day challenge oh my gosh I really loved sweating each class, never wanted to miss a class, I had to even change my working hours to get to class. Now bootcamp is my new lifestyle. I will not manage if I don’t go for classes. It has made me realise to prioritize the one thing that is important in life which is me. I can cope with any kind of stress I am getting physically stronger each day, I am mentally fit and I love the fact that it’s just women, I made friends and the instructor is the tough but she is the best.
When I started bootcamp I weighed 77.4 and now I weigh 71.1 I look amazing, I feel awesome, I am the sexiest lady at work, I will turning 40 years in September but I look 30 years.I am never stopping bootcamp it’s the best decision I have ever made about taking charge of my life and wanting the best for me#Bootcamp it’s best form of exercise for any women .# Bootcamp rocks. # To looking fabulous and feeling awesome.
My tipsBoot Camp is the best me time you can ever find and it makes you realise that you a priority because when you are fine then all is well
My achievementLost 25 cms over all, down in 1.1 kg, MUCH fitter than ever before
I was part of Adventure Boot Camp in 2010/2011 but when I started fertility treatment in order to try and fall pregnant I dropped out. After the baby was born in 2012 I was consumed by all the trials and challenges of being a new mom and there just never seemed to be time to fit in exercise.At the beginning of 2017 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes which was a huge wake-up call for me and I knew that I had to start to make my health a priority. I started exercising on my own and eating better but the demands of single motherhood and full-time work meant that I eventually lost track of my goal to get healthy.In April 2018 a close friend of mine who was only 45 had a stroke. This shocked me into realizing that as we get older we can’t become complacent about our health and I knew that I had to make a change. That same week I signed up for the 40 Day Dare. I wasn’t sure how I would juggle the nightly sessions and my 5-year-old and it was a huge financial commitment but I decided I needed to do something drastic.I am proud to say I managed to complete the entire 40 Day Dare without missing a single session. One Friday, halfway through the dare, I went to a meeting in Cape Town which was on the 12th floor and when I arrived I discovered the lift wasn’t working. To my utter amazement I made it up 12 flights of stairs to my meeting – something that there was no way I could ever have done before boot camp! I have lost centimeters and weight but the biggest achievement for me from my time at boot camp is the sense of well-being knowing that I am progressing towards a healthy lifestyle.Boot camp has become my non-negotiable and I now go three times a week. The support of an incredible trainer, Janine Wyatt-Mair, and the encouragement of the rest of the ladies at Fish Hoek Boot Camp is what keeps me going. The camaraderie of being part of a group where we get to cajole, tease and encourage each other is what makes me keep coming back. We have a WhatsApp group where we send messages and keep track of how each of us are doing – as well as moaning about the stiffness the next day 😊.The way I keep convincing my daughter that it is worth the time it takes away from her is I tell her that if she lets me go to boot camp I can stay strong enough to keep carrying her around (something she still likes me to do even though she is so big). One of the rewards most felt by myself is the way I have more energy to keep up with her and physical fitness to enjoy playing with her.
My tipsBuild relationships with the other ladies at camp - that keeps you coming back and involved.
My achievementI lost cm's and toned up my muscle. I dropped 4kg's from 64 to 60kg, which is not alot of weight but I picked up arm and leg muscles. I really enjoyed my bootcamp experience. There is no better feeling than feeling fit and the satisfaction of improving yourself, being confident within your body. The increase in confidence and self motivation was my biggest achievement.
Balancing your university life/work life, family and friends life within your health and fitness life is always tricky and often we loose balance, with our health and fitness life often taking the back seat. This was the space I was in. Not only did I loose motivation but I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue after suffering from glandular fever for months as result of overworking. I drove my immune system to the ground by studying a bachelors degree, waitressing as well as running my own dance studio, in order to keep up with my financial commitments. I took the decision to move back in with my parents, close my studio and stop waitressing and invest in my health and my studies. I could not have made a better decision. We underestimate the daily effects of life on our bodies and thus the biggest and best contribution we can make is into our health and our fitness. Moving to somerset west and starting Bootcamp was the best decision I could have made. So far I have done 2 camps, and ready for my third! Not only is my chronic fatigue gone, my family and I workout together on weekends, Parkrun, which kills 2 birds with one stone. I feel like I have my confidence and motivation back and packed with energy. I saw small results but just the results I wanted. I loved the community of woman I worked out with. Recently, I have had a motorbike accident so i've been unable to exercise but Ive kept up the nutritional advice from ABC and thus had so little change to my weight. I am a better woman now than I was before ABC. I am strong, I am confident and I am motivated, watch out world.
My tipsIn todays busy and stressful world, There is no greater investment than one into your health and fitness. Most often this is the first thing to take a back seat because of work commitments, but if you really want it, you can make it happen, you can do those 5.30am cold mornings, and you will not regret it. We feel so much pressure to have a certain body shape and look, but when working out you truly realise what your unique body shape is, and you start appreciating what your body is and what it can do for you. Dont wait to start on Monday, make a decision, plan it in your life and give it your best shot, no one expects more than that.
Annemarie du Plooy
I was never severely overweight, but also not the slimmest girl in the group. My smallest size was a size 10 and the biggest was a size 16. But even in my size 10 denim jeans I was uncomfortable, never liked the person staring back at me in the mirror.
During the years I tried a few different measures to lose weight, or rather to feel better about the way I feel inside. I signed up for gym memberships, but I could not motivate myself to go on a regular basis. When I walk in there I felt like an outcast, staring at all the equipment and don’t even have a clue how some of them operates. I fool around on the treadmill and bicycles just to look busy for a while. But I knew I was fooling myself. I could not afford a personal trainer to show me around. A lot of money went wasted, because I didn’t complete any one of the two year contracts that I ever subscribe to.
Then I tried some fitness dvd’s. I’ve got one serious collection going on. Jillian Michaels, Zumba, The Firm, Woman’s Health dvd’s. Name it and I have it. But still…… all those dvd’s came with a remote control to stop and pause whenever I wanted to. It was just not challenging enough. I was still searching for that something….that game changer!
One day I was paging through a Woman’s Health magazine and I notice the advert about Adventure Boot camp. I went on the webpage and find that one of the camps is very close to my home. I signed up for my first camp in January 2016. That year was also the year I turned 40. And I needed change in all levels of my personal life. I know I had to do something. I’ve done only three camps and then I left Boot camp. Big mistake! I left it for all the wrong reasons. I gave up on myself! I gave up on my dream! I gave up on life!
2018 I started again for the same reasons as I started in 2016! I needed change so desperately that I would give anything. I’ve done 2 camps, rest one and for the first time in my life I’ve done something totally out of my comfort zone. The winter camp! It did not happen without a few challenges, but that was my game changer that I needed so badly. To get up every morning from Monday to Friday for 40 days was so totally out of my comfort zone. But I did it and I proved to myself that I can accomplish the things I set my mind to. The first time in years I will not be heavier after the winter months. Actually, I cannot wait to take off the winter layers!
I am still not in my ideal BMI range, but this time it is different. I am stronger. I can feel the difference in my body and mind. It is not important to me to fit in skinny jeans. I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever felt in my entire life. I am doing things that I never done before. I say yes to coffee requests and functions. I know it might sound ridiculous. But a simple invite to get out of my house was difficult. Still difficult at times, but I am no longer hiding.
I kept showing up for the following reasons:
· The special bond between our ladies. Unexpected friendships!
· Workouts are always challenging and you never know what to expect!
· Our coach and mentor – Barbara Gouws (even if you are unable to use the remote control on her, like my old friend Jillian Michaels)
· My thigh gap that is getting more visible
· I am stronger in body, mind and soul
· No need to sign up for a ridiculous two year contract
· My deepest desire to change…
The rest is still unwritten…..Only I can decide how my story will end. I choose LIFE!
In 2013 I was having a good year. I had just visited the Kruger National Park for my annual bush 'fix', and had turned the Big 5 Oh! - that's a whole half a century! Life had been good to me, with relatively good health...
Within a month the good life became a vague memory. I was critically ill and in excrutiating pain. Ironically, just when I started celebrating, what I thought were the good times again, I experienced the most fearful, debilitating, humiliating and humbling experience of my life. I became paralysed virtually overnight (with a nerve condition), with limbs that had taken on a life of their own! I was hospitalised as a medical emergency, with a bed in ICU on standby, as they feared I may require life support during the night...
I could not walk or wash myself, needed a wheelchair commode and assistance in the loo, and could only eat and drink 'bibbed', making a frightful mess of my hospital linen. I could barely brush my hair or teeth without resting in between. The nerve jerks exacerbated my already all-time low levels of self-esteem and lack of confidence. I realised, with utter horror, that people had very little regard, compassion and consideration for the wheelchair brigade, and seemed to accept that if you were physically disabled, and twitched, then you were also mentally retarded. My stint in rehab lasted 2 months...and then the slow journey to recovery began (and continues to this very day).
My career and hopes and dreams were shattered. Let's be honest, no one wants a twitching lawyer in a wheelchair! I wondered if I would ever walk again or be able to function normally.The condition causes severe muscle weakness, numbness and serious balance and coordination problems, and a host of other complications...
A year ago, in June 2017, I joined Adventure Bootcamp, Botanical Gardens (ABC Bots) Pretoria. After almost 4 years, I still had excrutiating backache fairly often, and a frozen shoulder due to weakened back, shoulder and spinal cord muscles. Arm and leg muscles were also still severely affected with total numbness in both hands and feet. I realised I had to keep moving, stay mobile and exercise and maintain muscle and core strength, and bone mass, which deteriorates with age, and I was already at a disadvantage. It was either that or die slowly on my feet...the less mobile I was the more I was inclined to aches and pains and muscle stiffness.
I must admit, I was very apprehensive about joining an able-bodied, healthy group of women, of all ages, for something which sounded quite so strenuous, very militaristic and extremely adventurous, if not downright crazy. And all those women would be fitter and more 'able' and capable than I was. Having a competitive nature, this would not bode well for me, as I would almost invariably always be last, slower and have less stamina and muscle strength than anyone else, no matter what their age...
But, so I figured, just getting up at 4.20 am, five days a week (for a 5-6 am session) come all seasons, and showing up, would most certainly accumulate brownie points, with the added bonus that if we really had a 'sergeant major' in charge (like in Private Benjamin) he/she could bellow out orders, and tell me to 'move it, soldier!', even when nothing felt like moving... as there was no other way I was going to excercise that time of the morning...or any time of the day actually! Oh, and did I mention that I am not a morning person?
I suggested that my partner join me, and was met with an incredulous glare. I suggested that she just try it for a week... She has never been one for group exercises or activities since high school and there was absolutely no way in hell she was going to start now. Ironically, knowing my inability to rise and shine until, well, the sun was shining, she never really believed I would actually join Bootcamp, let alone at such an ungodly hour, and stay committed...
Fast forward a year later...and winter Bootcamp 2018 is almost over. My partner has miraculously turned into a gym bunny, is a dedicated groupie, refuses to miss a session like her life depends on it, and misses it even when we are on holiday...even more so than the Big Five! She has, somehow, in the past year, braved Bootcamp through a bout of flu, a broken toe, a broken ankle and a sprained ankle (fortunately, not all at the same time!).
As for me, to my pleasant surprise, I am now a morning person, and eagerly jump out of bed most mornings. There is something to be said for getting up, making the bed, showing up, exercising and putting in the effort for an hour, and discussing our day's plans en route home, all by 6.15 am!
Being in the Botanical Gardens, we have a wonderful daily excursion in nature, in fresh air, surrounded by delightful creatures. We are also blessed with an energetic, passionate and superb trainer (Lene) and other like-minded ladies, of all shapes and sizes, ages and infirmities, all being their very best selves, in a comfortable, accepting and non-judgemental environment! And don't forget the regular morning giggles...just the feel good tonic one needs to kickstart the day ahead. No gym membership in the world, with state of the art equipment, can replace our venue, varied adventurous exercises focusing on all muscle groups, dedicated trainer, group dynamics and the fun and laughter - indeed food for body and soul.
I attend regular 8 hour meetings and hardly complain of a backache these days. My body is stronger and I am more physically self-confident. I even manage a power walk and slow jog. In general, I am capable of so much more in my day to day tasks, with more core and muscular strength, far less fatigue, more stamina, flexibility and alertness. And I feel good, slim and healthy too. I compete against no one, exercise at my own speed, ask the trainer for an alternative exercise when necessary, and try and improve my own record. I constantly surprise and high five myself!
My tipsBootcamp has become a lifestyle and necessity which we simply cannot fathom a life without...Try it, you won't regret it!
My achievementOver the years I have achieved a healthier body and mind and a drastic reduction in body size from a 20 to 14. Seven 40/40 Winter Challenges completed in 7 years.
Thought I would share MY BOOTCAMP STORY with all you ladies out there!! The year 2010 was the most stressful year of my life (which is a whole other story)!! I went through 2011 emotionally drained & just could not get back on track!! I received a leaflet introducing me to Adventure Boot Camp for Women. Well that's where my life changing journey began!! I joined Polokwane Adventure Boot Camp in February 2012 with Anita Gehardt. I was slow & not very strong to start but with Anita's guidance & patience she managed to build me up & I become stronger with every camp. I never missed a day. If I signed up for a 20 session camp, I attended 20 sessions. If I signed up for a 12 session camp, I attended 12 sessions. I found that going for the one hour a day became my ‘drug’ which I was addicted to. My day is not complete without my morning “fix”. During my rest week, I start getting withdraw symptoms and cannot wait to start the next camp. Unfortunately my world was shattered when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2013 BUT it did not stop me from my daily routine. I had two operations within 10 days over July & August 2013 but was determined to finish the 40/40 Challenge which I did complete! After my operations, I underwent six weeks of radiation & had to have a third operation in January 2014 which did lay me back for six weeks. My days were long, my energy levels were very low and I was not in a good frame of mind as I couldn’t get the necessary exercise. My recovery from this ordeal was made easier with the support I received from all my fabulous boot camp buddies – my family away from home, my mother, my husband & my two boys. Liezl, Tracey & Anita visited me regularly and encouraged me to keep going! I had to have an implant every 12 weeks for my cancer treatment for two years. In July 2018 it has been five years that I am in remission!! I have just completed my seventh 40/40 day Winter Challenge. I am back on track with my health & still getting stronger every day. Adventure Boot Camp has become my ‘me time’!! It is just one hour a day where I de-stress & dedicate to myself as I believe a healthy body promotes a healthy mind which helps you cope with all the challenges of every day life!! I have dropped from a size 20 to 14 over the years. My world is not complete without Adventure Boot Camp for Women. Thank you Anita for giving me hope, health & happiness in my life.I highly recommend ABC to all women that need me time and to de-stress at the same time as achieving a healthy body and mind.
My tipsMake a commitment today by signing up with ABC to lead a healthier life with an outdoor program to benefit your body and soul.
My achievementLost 42.3 kilograms improve BMI from 45 to 30 still improving
Hi my name is Angela, I am 45 years old and have been morbid obese all my adult life always struggling to find clothes to fit . I have been on so many different diets and eating plans and they never seemed to work! Frustrated and depressed I returned back to South Africa in January 2018 from living in the UK . Determined to shake the weight for once and for all ! I signed up for boot camp in February 2018 , pushing myself every day at Benoni camp. Leandri driving us every day to do our best and encouraging words resonating in my mind. “You can do this ladies!” With help from an eating plan and not missing a day of camp I have successfully lost 42.3 kilograms to date and BMI was 45 and currently on 30, I am almost at my goal weight and nothing will stop me now!
My tipsYou can do it ladies!
My achievementThis year's 40 Day challenge helped me to lose almost 4 kg and more than 25 cm. But since I restarted ABC in February, I have made even more progress and I am steadily getting closer to my targets. There is still a long way to go, but it is wonderful to know that I am well on my way. Yet, it is not the lost weight or cm's that are my biggest achievements. I feel mentally stronger, happier, fitter and friendlier.
I have never been the "thin one" in the group. In fact, the opposite is probably true. I have tried and failed many times to lose weight. There has been a lot of highs and many lows along the way. Yet I have always known that being healthy and fit is key to a happy and successful life.Now that I am back at Adventure Boot Camp (after moving from Pretoria to Stellenbosch), I have realised that weight is possibly secondary to wellness. Naturally, I want to fit into my "thin days" jean, but I also know that overall physical and mental fitness is just as important. This is especially relevant since I am living with bipolar mood disorder, which can have a debilitating effect on one's general well-being. I have come to realise that ABC has always helped me to stay healthy - both mentally and physically. I will probably still never be the "thin one", but I will be the healthy and happy one.I will always be grateful to my ABC family - especially the one I now have in Stellenbosch. The 5:30 ladies, and our wonderful trainer Christopher Geel, makes it easy to get out of bed. The opportunity to work out in such a supportive and fun environment - without any judgment, but with a lot of encouragement - makes me believe that I can reach my goals - even if it takes a bit longer now that I am on the verge of 40.ABC is definitely my fitness place of comfort!
My tipsSet yourself small goals: They will be easier to reach, and you will feel inspired if you see progress. And don't be too tough on yourself: If you have a set-back, do not give up, see it as an opportunity to get up and get going again.
My achievementI lost 16kg im proud of my self! I have worked hard at Melville camp with with Louise and Liezl and I was 118KG but now im 102kg Yeah
I started camp I think it was October 2016 , before joining the camp I was that kind of person who loved winter because I could always wear a jersey to make me feel comfortable and hide those body bits of myself that I hated. But then summer time comes and I can't wear my jersey the whole day, and hide away. Since I joined Adventure Boot Camp I'm now so much more comfortable to not wear a jersey all the time because of the confidence that I now have. Thank you for my ABC trainers who have helped me feel this way.
My tipsI can say ladies wake up take care of your health and your body/. Join Adventure Boot Camp, you wont regret it and taking from experience I tried a lot of things that never work for me, until now.
our ABC LADIES
have to say?
our ABC LADIES
have to say?
Keep up with us
Receive monthly health tips, special offers & camp schedules. No spamming we promise!