ImageI’ve just returned from a boot camp session at the fabulous Essex Boot Camp ( These comprise an hour session somewhere in the great outdoors across Essex being led in a range of exercises by a fitness instructor. I go to a local park about a mile from me and – now that I’ve got a bit fitter through the sessions – I run there, do the session and then run home. Crazy I know! But I actually enjoy the time outside, the feeling of working hard, and I really do feel better for it afterwards.

Every session is completely different; there are a range of instructors with different styles and approaches and they vary the use of equipment ranging from some sessions with none to those with tyres, ropes, poles, kettle bells, stretchers, cargo nets… everything but the kitchen sink! It means that you never feel yourself slipping into a routine as you might do at the gym, and that you are always challenged to the very limits of your ability. And as your ability improves, the instructors push you ever harder, so sessions never seem to get easier. Hmmm, when I started that sentence I expected that to be a good thing but now that I read “sessions never seem to get easier” back, I’m not so sure!

It’s also a really sociable approach to getting fit as you get to meet lots of different people – usually when you’re giving them a piggy back, or dragging them across a field, or holding hands doing various exercises. It’s quite an icebreaker when you have a stranger on your back and you’re running up a hill trying very hard not to drop them while asking them their name!

The boot camp experience has really enforced for me the surprises that await us in life if we just give something a go. Six months ago I would never have dreamt that I would be voluntarily leaving the house in the middle of winter in order to do sit ups in the snow! I mean, that’s just madness! But this winter that’s exactly what I found myself doing, and I loved it. Essex Boot Camp offers a free first session with no obligation (as does Miller & Miller Consulting Ltd with its coaching sessions!) so you can try before you buy, and find out whether you have a burning desire to do burpees in the mud that you didn’t even know about!

Readers, have you ever tried something new – perhaps something outside your comfort zone – and found an unexpected new passion? If you haven’t and you’d like to, do get in to arrange your free coaching session! Find out more at If you have tried something new and loved it, please comment below and tell us all about it!