We've done it - we've really got to the end of the boot camp.
We really are going to miss our weekly training sessions and we might even miss John shouting at us to work harder and stop slacking.
We definitely got the most out of our last session, though, with the glorious weather meaning we could do our hour-long workout out on the lawn instead of cooped up in the fitness studio.
I mean, the fitness studio is nice and all that, and there's music and air conditioning, but there's nothing quite like being out in the fresh air.
It meant the people using the hot tub got some entertainment too. Yes hot tub users, we saw you watching us, almost certainly chuckling to yourselves and thinking "rather them than me".
By the time we got outside we'd got the scariest part of the session over with - the weigh-in and body measurements.
I knew I'd lost a bit of weight and I was hoping it would be more than a couple of pounds so I was really pleased with the result.
Since we started the boot camp back at the start of February (Was it really that recently? Feels like forever) I've lost 7kg.
When John announced the result Clare and I looked at each other a bit puzzled. Sorry but we don't get kilograms when it comes to weighing people.
I can visualise 500g of lean beef mince but 7kg of person is out of my understanding.
So I looked up a conversion website when I got home and discovered that it was just over a stone.
I'm actually now below 11st and I had better keep up my fitness now because I don't want to creep back over it.
My body mass index has reduced too, which is probably more important than the weight side of things.
Apart from that I can see just by looking in the mirror that my body is more toned.
I never thought I'd be able to do a Popeye-type pose and actually see biceps.
Don't get me wrong, there's still some work to do on the old bingo wings but I'm getting there.
Today's session involved some running across the lawn and around trees, kettlebell swings and walking lunges carrying a weighted pole.
If the good weather hangs around I might even venture into my garden for the odd workout (maybe really early in the mornings at weekends before the neighbours get up).
It's certainly a lovely way to train.
I've got a bit of a painful hamstring at the moment (think I pulled it when I jogged and walked to Whitehaven on Saturday) so I don't want to do too much before it's feeling right again in case I do any lasting damage.
Hopefully by the weekend it'll be back to normal so I can get some decent jogging practice in.
John, if you're reading this (and I know you will be because you like to get our reactions to the pain you inflict) thank you for all your help over the last few weeks.
I know we've complained about you making us do another set of kettlebell swings when are arms were aching or walking lunges down the fitness studio and back when our legs felt like jelly but really we knew it was all for our own good.
I'll keep following the nutrition advice you gave (I actually quite enjoy making soup now) and I'll stick with my regular workouts, combining the stuff you taught us with my now numerous Wii fitness games and the tips I pick up in my magazine.
Oh, and I'll keep giving Clare that disapproving look and saying, "What would John say?" if I spot her looking longingly at something bad to eat. She doesn't do it often, though.
If anyone is thinking about taking up the boot camp challenge, John's not half as bad as we make him sound.
Yes, he's a task master and, yes, he'll really push you but if he didn't the benefits of doing the boot camp wouldn't be nearly as great.
Thank you John and thank you Armathwaite Hall.
Published: March 27, 2012
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