I started this post a few days ago – I was feeling a little nostalgic for Pennsylvania air and then we got the news that one of the guys from the resort had passed suddenly. Isn’t it strange the things that pop into your head at just the right time?
Fat camp is a little difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been there.
Like 8 or 9 years ago, my friend Morgan, this absolute party of a woman, and I were watching MTV, and we fixated on something called Fat Camp. The series was followed up like a summer later with MTV’s Return to Fat Camp. The place seemed magical to me, and something about the concept of this tucked-away place where kids went was incredible to me.
We had Adisa, throwing a birthday party in the rec hall and being monstrous to the other girls during color war. We had Dan and the play. We had the chick with head lice. We had some camp romance. It all looked amazing.
So, I applied, and I’m not sure how this happened, but one October day, I ended up on the phone with Tony Sparber, the boss-man at camp. I knew it was Tony, one, because he told me it was him, and two, because I recognized his voice. Which I’d heard in the documentary, because when you were in trouble, you got the bossin’ from Tony in his office. So anyways, I ended up on the phone with him one day in October after I’d applied. He interviewed me, and he told me right then and there that he would give me a shot.
The following June, I woke up early, and on a beautiful day, I drove my old Taurus up the east coast, and stopped only with enough time to visit my family in New Jersey. I had no money. And off to camp I went!
When I pulled up, the place was straight out of the movies. MTV had not misrepresented it in any way. And it actually was a little more beautiful than I’d imagined. I met someone from the resort, who directed me to the cabin where I’d be living with the other counselors for the next week or so. And when I pulled around to the cabin, I was greeted by this absolutely wondrous sight – the sun getting ready to set over the trees, over the lake, and over the two pools. My mouth was hanging open.
“Have you never been here before?”
I shook my head no.
The first night there, it rained, and I quietly cried into my pillow. I think I was homesick. But as the days went on, and training wrapped up, camp became my home. The kids arrived. I taught classes. And as I slowly, slowly peeled off the pounds I’d put on while in a bad relationship over the years, a new me emerged. I was happy. I wasn’t anxious. I had friends!
I settled into a beautiful routine. Color War Broke. The weather started to cool. And almost as quickly as the magic had started, it was over.
I got into my Taurus. Wove my way back down the east coast. And went back to my old life. Except this time, I was a new me! In the following years I ran. I ran. I ran some more. I ran a marathon. Taught many classes. Branched out and taught Toning, Cycling, Body Pump, Pole Dancing. Won the ever-waging war on anxiety.
I wasn’t a camper at fat camp. I was just a counselor. The fitness girl. And yet, I gained so much that summer. To to the summer of 2010, I owe so much.