OzSquad 2020 round up and awards!

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2020 – The year that must not be named!

Wow. I’m not quite sure where to start with this year’s round up. I did see a meme that said:

“Cannot believe Tiger King was the most normal part of 2020.”

Which does just about sum it up!

Let’s scroll back to January – do you all remember what your plans were for the year? I turned 40 in March so had plans for a huge party. Nope. Plans for meeting friends in Rome. Nope. Plans for ticking off a big bucket list challenge like a triathlon. Nope.

(But the triathlon is happening this year Euan, thought delivering a speech in a crowded room was a good/safe time to tell you this!).

At bootcamp, January was the month when ironically we should already have been wearing facemasks because the air was so thick and orange from the bushfire smoke. We also probably should have cancelled sessions but didn’t as we didn’t have an indoor or online option as an alternative (and I HATE cancelling sessions!) – and again ironically we now do have a zoom alternative! Instead we gallantly (foolishly?) braved on – gasping for air a little more than normal after stair runs and sand sprints.

February I can’t even remember. What happened in February people?

It was the last month that we arrived at bootcamp and stood around in a messy huddle rather than at an orange cone (my OCD quite likes COVID’s cone formations). A session last week proved that yours does too. No orange cones laid out on the grass = no idea how/where to stand. Or what to do with your hands.


When sh*t started going down.  The month gradually got weirder until on Sunday 29th March our outdoor sessions, and basically OzSquad as we all know it, got closed down. But not before I had sent you 57 emails with my every thought, worry and vision. I did shed a few tears when we were finally closed – but they may have still been left over tears from having to cancel my big party.

Then in April, we all got the hell on with it! I was blown away by everyone’s support and willingness to roll with the punches to keep squatting, running, burpee-ing in whichever way we could. Zoom sessions, outdoor challenges, virtual 5ks, our Friday night Gym and Tonic work-out and trivia sessions.

How good was Gym and Tonic – although it’s all relative I guess, the G&T’s popularity quickly decreased as soon as we were allowed out for proper Friday nights again!

In fact, now we’re (hopefully) at the end of all this madness, April might just have been my favourite month of the year. There you go, go figure.

On the emotional note for the year, I’m proud of us all – through the whole of the Covid lockdown/restricted group sizes debacle – we only lost 4 members between March and July and gained 6 old members back from various corners of the world for our virtual stuff. We have then re-emerged stronger and bigger in terms of members numbers and have a healthy waitlist too.

On a more personal note, I have chilled out a bit about running my own business. I now know that whatever is thrown at us, we can adapt, ‘pivot’ (urgh) and handle it. The bad news therefore, is that there will always be a way to do burpees. So, I guess thanks COVID!

Switching overnight to online classes was always going to come with its’ fails though. Especially when you have technology phobic Lynsay as your head trainer! Ah Lyns, I could feel your palatable stress!! How much do you reckon zoom has aged you?! Having to teach you how to use my old laptop and how to log onto zoom AND regularly update the software has aged me at least 10 years.

However, Lyns does not win the ‘COVID fail award’.  A lamp fell on my head during a zoom session – like right square on the top, but in my defence I did catch it and carry on. And I forgot to mute myself when hosting a session for Lyns (cause she was still to nervous just to log on and be the host without me!) so you all got me and Euan ‘discussing’ childcare in the background.

Thankfully there was no zoom nudity, although Blair dialling in from Brisbane clearly always forgot he is quite tall and his laptop was always groin height. And Simon’s girlfriend was walking around in her bra in the background briefly before Simon slapped his computer shut. Not quite quick enough Si. 😉

I also LOVE the story of Mel doing one of the solo outdoor work-outs which included bunny hops – and instead of doing them down on the ground as do at sessions, she hopped around like a rabbit complete with paws. More than once apparently too!

The COVID fail winner though – is our lovely Kate! I’m not sure how many people picked up on it, but Kate lived every yoga teachers nightmare and farted whilst teaching an online yoga class. Bad enough anyway, but now it’s on record for ever more. I’ll keep an eye on the viewing numbers to see if you are now all juvenile enough to go back and find it!

By the middle of May we were back outside, albeit in groups of 10 for another month and then it was back to a ‘new’-normal socially distanced and sanitised OzSquad from mid June. What a bloody rollercoaster that few months was. I think I also set a new record in ‘sending member emails’.

The rest of the year gave rise to a few comedy stories as always.

I’d usually feel bad taking the piss out of someone who isn’t here, but in true Anna P form, she wouldn’t give a toss! This year Anna got lost going around Manly dam (and we didn’t notice until she called me a good 30 minutes later!), turned up for parkrun in a rain jacket, which it wasn’t really rainy enough for, and underneath, just a sports bra, which it wasn’t really warm enough for. Ran our version of the coastal classic in brand new shoes (surprise, surprise got blisters), and of course, got lost. We’ve even lost her on a normal Tuesday session between North Steyne and the harbour. And finally, Anna recently turned up for a Friday swim like she was going on an under water expedition around Antartica. Tim (in his speedos) was particularly bemused by this one.

We’ve found ourselves a new local nutter – the bloke on the bike who rides by hurling abuse. The best of which “You should be in a f*cking gym, not ruining the world and taking everyone’s sunshine”. Say what?

I’ve finally hired some admin help and Euan is very happy to finally be demoted from OzSquad bitch.

The Winter challenge was a success – I always get jittery and think these things aren’t going to work, but time and time again you prove me wrong! This year it was one session a day for as long as possible – I thought they’d never bloody stop! My favourite story is how Nic went out in city for a friend’s big birthday bash on a Friday night, stayed in a hotel in the CBD and still ubered back at 6am to do the Saturday session (worse for wear).

We saw that Dwayne is a competitive force of nature – little did he know he would be taken down at the tie breaker finish line by Mikaela who was harbouring a hidden egg and spoon skill. To his credit though, he didn’t let this stop him on reaching a 50+ OzSquad streak even after the bloody competition had finished.  Have a lie in man!

2020 is also a momentous year as Lynsay got a new car! I’m not sure a barina has had more love, attention, and cash spent on it anywhere else. What’s the one thing you think that a bootcamp instructor would want from a car. A big boot. Yeah, no – it’s the smallest thing I’ve ever seen!

We also welcomed Lara to the team post COVID and she has got stuck in, delivering a spooky Halloween session, only enhanced by the friggin torrential downpour and stormy skies, providing quite simply the best aid stops at our recent Royal National Park Adventure and devised this year’s Runvember challenge – the 7 Summits.

Again, stick the word ‘challenge’ on the end of anything and we’ll do it – even running up Allambie Road, the longest 4km known to man. We did NOT expect people (lead ashtray by Tanya) to do all of the bloody hills in one day on the first weekend!

Lynsay – please note, there was hardly any Lyns bashing/p*ss taking to report this year. Can you please f*ck up more in 2021 it makes for a better speech.

Awards – attendance this year is being judged from July to November only, ie post all the COVID rubbish. So it may also be an award for who is working from home the most!

Our top 25 attendees are here if you want to know if you made it. I’m not including the rest of you as you’ll calculate your cost per session and it won’t be pretty 😉

July Aug Sep Oct Nov Total
1  Lauren Topper 24 27 18 21 24 114
2  Mali  Cutler 24 24 25 15 20 108
3  Dwayne Candy 19 26 21 13 9 88
4  Kea Dent 17 19 20 17 12 85
5  Graham Houston 13 12 20 17 18 80
6  Nicole Gardner 21 26 23 10 0 80
7  Fiona Burke 13 26 15 15 9 78
8  Mikaela Barratt 16 26 11 12 10 75
9  Anthoulla Mohamudally 15 26 9 11 11 72
10  Anna Dear 15 9 10 17 18 69
11  Christian Crawford 8 14 13 16 16 67
12  Alice Carlisle 10 14 12 11 13 60
13  Rachel Lewis 11 8 15 14 9 57
14  Julia Elmes 16 9 14 9 8 56
15  Lauren Batchelor 18 8 8 8 10 52
16  Simone du Toit 6 8 12 13 11 50
17  Glen Masterman 7 15 14 9 4 49
18  Hayden Cargill 17 9 9 7 7 49
19  David Cutts 8 13 13 6 7 47
20  Rebecca Mitchell 10 9 8 9 9 45
21  Charlie Valente 5 12 10 7 10 44
22  Melissa Harrison 9 8 8 9 9 43
23  Lisa Cocks 11 14 9 4 4 42
24  Richard McIntosh 2 17 12 7 4 42
25  Rachel Findlay 6 11 9 5 10 41



OzSquad Swot

Yep this one isn’t just a demon attendee, clocking up more sessions during the winter challenge period than the other guys (she just missed a Saturday to move house – dammit Lauren dammit!). She also took on Runvember like it was a life or death situation to beat Jo’s times 😉 and kills all of the shred sessions, actually every session. Have a rest!


Not-made-of-sugar/OzSquad toughie award

Lynsay’s choice – Lyns choice goes to the one person who turned up for the two most horrific weather days this year. One was with Mali, where Mali nearly got taken out by a falling branch and one was with Mel, at a session that I was meant to be instructing but had got Lyns to cover for me. You’re welcome. David, rain what rain eh?!


Carly’s choice – you will all guess who this one is pretty quickly as no-one else is quite as insane. I mean tough. This one can maintain conversation at any pace, can go for miles and does so daily. She clocked up running 400km in November as part of a work challenge, can most regularly be seen running in circles around the bootcamp spot so her garmin reaches a round number, was the only person to run between the 7 summits rather than roping in someone to drive, and last but not least, probably my favourite, a couple of weeks ago she finished the 400km challenge by packing an overnight bag and running to the hospital for her hernia operation.


OzSquad smart arse

Like the naughty kid in class, Dwayne is always in the back corner not letting instructing standard’s slide! Or on the side of the zoom shot, just in view, but not really. Keep us in check Dwayne with our timings, lefts/rights/ and exercise choices. Lyns got you back I hear though –  Lyns and Dwayne were comparing favourite coffee notes, mid session I note, and Dwayne declared that his favourite is Barrel 1 in Brookvale. Lynsay’s top tips was… Brew and I in Dee Why, a tiny hole in the wall place that as Sue and Dwayne found out is quite hard to find. After searching and finally finding it, Dwayne declared ‘Is that chick crazy’, its’ fucking Barrel 1 coffee.


OzSquad skiver

Everyone has got pretty good at attending now that they don’t have to commute. Except one, Euan. Now I know that yeah yeah, I work most days so you have to look after the boys but you can still come on Tuesday evenings, Thursdays (play golf, NOT exercise), Fridays, most Saturdays.

After watching SAS one evening, he declared he was turning over a new leaf and going to bootcamp in the morning as he’d love to and ‘be great at’ doing something like that. Hit snooze. Didn’t go.


OzSquad late for their own funeral award

It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t have Christian and Jess coming from opposite directions after the warm up had started.

See ya 2020, definitely wouldn’t want to be ya (well maybe I’d be April). 2021 Bring it!

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