Early Start Boot Camp Update

It’s over a month since I first started my early start boot camp experiment. In that time I have tried all sorts of variations of it ranging from regimental fixed start time to downright random and spontaneous.

I’m not much wiser really, although I’ve done a lot more walking, taking photos and seabird-worrying. One of the complications is that we have just finished the annual ‘summer arrives in March’ thing (which was nice, especially on the tennis courts) but we have now moved into the predictable ‘April showers’ season.

With this, we often get very nice periods in the mornings where the weather can fool Easter tourists into getting ready, packing all of their beach gear up and making sandwiches only to find that once they hit the beach at ten-thirty it turns into a hailstorm or a sideways rain ‘blow your brolly inside-out’ type of affair.

So the problem for me is that even though early start boot camp is great, it’s a bit dark and cold but as soon as I get back, it turns into summertime for about an hour or so before the inevitable grey clouds and hailstorms arrive and as a sun-lover, I like to feel the sun on my skin and to make some vitamin D, so I don’t like missing that sunny spell.

I’m still having early starts, but the boot camp (walk) is either delayed or sometimes cancelled. Although there’s not as much blogging going on here as I would like, I’m pretty busy with work and when I get into productive mode, I don’t like to snap myself out of it for a walk.

So as I said above, overall it’s a bit unorganised and difficult to draw too many conclusions about the long term plan at this stage but one thing is for sure – it’s been a fun and beneficial experiment.

After the initial boot camps, I had taken a short break from it to see how I felt in comparison to just previously when I was getting up early and going straight out (well after a cup of tea of course, that goes without saying around here) every morning.

No surprises, I felt tired, demotivated and unproductive without the boot camp and by contrasting the two experiences directly, it provided a very clear lesson – early starts and brisk walks as the sun rises are excellent for providing the right mindset for working from home and getting things done.

I’ve built up a couple of galleries that I’d like to post here, so here’s the first one which is from the sixth of April when it was high tide and therefore I couldn’t actually walk along the seafront walkway without getting soaked, but it provided some different photo opportunities.

It’s really awe-inspiring experiencing the power of the sea as it continually splashes, slurps and explodes onto the walkway, then drains off again down the steps with a rushing/sucking sound. There’s quite a loud booming sound as the waves break onto the steps all of the way along and you can’t help but imagine how mangled you’d be if you fell in and got smashed onto the steps over and over – it’s a bit like a washing machine, but you’d probably end up dirtier rather than cleaner, I guess.

You get to see some funny things down there, especially at the moment (winter season) when dogs are still allowed on the beach. The other day there was a small, yappy dog who obviously had a problem with the waves breaking on the walkway steps and as well as barking at the sea (surprisingly, this didn’t scare the sea away), each time the sea receded in between waves the dog would run down a few steps and try to bite the incoming wave and then run back up the steps, just about managing not to get soaked and dragged into the swell.

Then it would do the same all over again with the next wave. Silly dog, but funny and cute. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera handy that time for a ‘dog bites wave’ and ‘wave tries to soak dog in revenge’ gallery.

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Back to the boot camp – I need to find some kind of routine with the boot camp which is kind of half and half in terms of being regimented but flexible and variable. Doing it at the same time every day just gets boring and tedious.

I’m not sure yet, but I suppose the ideal solution is to have a set amount of boot camps per week. For example, three or four days of early start boot camp (up at 6 AM, leave at 6.15AM) and two or three days of variable times (but must be sometime in the morning) and one day off.

I’ll let you know when I have come up with something concrete along with any lessons learnt. Here’s the next gallery from the twelfth of April –

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Finally, a big shout out to the best son in the world, (my one and only son, well as far as I am aware) Jamie, who becomes a man today on his sixteenth birthday. Unfortunately, I can’t be with him today but I had a chat with him earlier and he was chuffed to bits that one of his mates got the people on Kerrang Radio to give him a birthday shout over the airwaves. Happy birthday son!

The last gallery is a handful of photographs I took showing the view from here in ExRat Towers.  They are mainly the sea-view as I see it from over my computer monitor except for the fourth one which is the side-view looking towards the main town in Torquay. The first three are at night, with the moonlight lighting up the sea and the last two are in the morning. On photograph number two, you can see the lights of Torquay harbour area on the far left plus the lights of Brixham on the far right, in the distance.

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I’ll be back soon with some proper work related posts, I’m just in ‘the lab’ making some business plans at the moment and planning to get out of there soon and to start making some posts which are more in line with what this blog is really meant to be about – helping others to escape the rat race.

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4 Responses to Early Start Boot Camp Update

  1. John Kennedy says:


    Great to see you back, your posts and pics are very inspiring.
    What a fantastic place you wake up to every day..

    Speak soon


  2. ExRat says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for dropping by and I’m glad you liked the pictures. Yep, it’s fantastic here, but I’ve always got my eye on something even better 😉

  3. Bern says:

    Hi Roger

    I will be popping down your neck of the woods in the Summer – I love going abroad because of the guaranteed sun (it makes the world feel a better place when the sun is out!) but I also love Devon and Cornwall, so it’s North Cornwall in June and South Cornwall in August.

    Now to your early start bootcamps – I have always got more work done in the morning but I also struggle with going to bed ‘early’. Did you change your night time sleeping patterns to counter the early morning starts?


  4. ExRat says:

    Hi Bern,

    You asked – ‘Did you change your night time sleeping patterns to counter the early morning starts?’

    That’s a good question. I’m going to post an update shortly which summarises some of my conclusions and should answer your question at the same time.

    Thanks a lot for reading and commenting, it’s always appreciated.

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