Tracey Roxburgh: Attending the Revive Confessional


Monday, September 21

Day one of Revive and I may or may not still be feeling the effects of two extremely late nights – or should I say extraordinarily early mornings – over the weekend. Fears my sweat would be the exact colour of pinot noir were unfounded. My face, however, was a different story by the end of fitness testing.

There was actual running on the treadmill and then a hideous period of time spent on the rowing machine after which I could no longer get my arms to function properly. That did not bode at all well for the planking and push ups that followed – or washing my hair, getting dressed or moving anything other than my fingers for the rest of the day. By 5pm I am no longer able to form vowel sounds.

Tuesday, September 22

7.49am: Receive text from Haylee reminding us of our date with Lululemon to take us through goal-setting. She asks us to bring a blindfold. I feel immediately uncomfortable.

6.30pm: At Lululemon, with blindfold, and am very apprehensive. We are told by the gorgeous Lululemon ladies to to make “big, hairy audacious” goals for ourselves for 10 years time, then make a plan to get there which we must write down. This is no easy task. I normally spend about half an hour every day working out what I want for lunch, so to think about what I want in 2025 is overwhelming.

After an hour of exercises, where we focus on what we want and don’t want and what’s important to us, we’re told to don the blindfolds, get comfy and imagine it’s 10 years from now, picture our lives and then write it down.
It was simultaneously exciting (my life in my dreams is, quite frankly, exceptional) and incredibly depressing … I have MUCH to do in the next 120 months.

Wednesday, September 23

9am: Am at work and my brain function is severely impaired. I’m not entirely sure what language is coming out of my mouth, but it is categorically not English. This morning Haylee told training buddy Leea and I we were about to be “pushed outside your comfort zones”. Given the early hour, I heard the words but was unable to properly understand what they meant.

Within 30 minutes I got it. We had to exhaust our muscles, then keep going until they started to shake. For an hour. By the end of that 60 minutes my arms had given up on me and I wasn’t entirely sure my legs would get me down the stairs. I nearly fell over while trying to get dressed … and again when trying to move from a seated to standing position at work. I am already dreading tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24

I knew I was in trouble when I went to get out of bed this morning. It did not go according to plan. All of the muscles in my body have seized and my arms and legs feel like dead weights. Just holding my head up is proving difficult and my brain does not want to function. I stupidly thought because I wasn’t ridiculously unfit to start with and my body was already accustomed to doing exercises my muscles would behave themselves. I was so very wrong.

Sunday, September 27

I am a broken human. For most of last week I was well behaved. I now must visit the Revive Confessional. While I tried to be good – I promise I really did try – the latter part of last week saw the wheels well and truly fall off. In fairness, there were extenuating circumstances. What is most unusual is that despite feeling like I’ve aged 10 years in four days, I am actually excited about my visit to the gym tomorrow – I’m confident my penance will be appropriate. And painful.

Monday, September 28

I wasn’t wrong. Half an hour in to my session with Haylee this morning I vowed to NEVER fall off the wagon quite so spectacularly again. There was more running and more rowing – the latter, Haylee says, is designed to get Leea and I fitter than ever as fast as possible. I did not feel like I was getting fit. I felt like I was expiring. And I loved it.

I even loved it when my leg muscles started shaking that badly I had to sit down, and when my arm muscles gave out to the point I narrowly avoided a face plant. I feel strongly I have now paid for my sins over the weekend … and I am going to do my very best to avoid revisiting the Revive Confessional again.