Bootcamp for Neopets
As Finn and I approached the Training Academy gates I once again questioned the sanity of the decision to do this. ‘Get Fit Bootcamp’ the flyer posted through the door to my Neohome had exclaimed. Looking down at myself and my pet, I disputed the necessity of this. I mean sure we weren’t exactly the picture of health, and maybe we were slightly overly fond of donuts, yet this seemed a little drastic. Still, the over-the-top encouragement we had received from my other neopets appeared to suggest otherwise.
I knocked hard on the wooden door to the compound. A slat moved across and two beady eyes glared at us from behind the door.
“Hello there, we’re here for the boot camp? Our names are Abs and Finn.” I called out to the ghostly eyes.
The slat shut and the door creaked open; weirdly, there was not a soul to be seen inside. Glancing at each other, Finn and I both took a deep breath before walking forward into the deserted courtyard.
“Ahh!” We screamed in unison as we were ambushed by a platoon of ninja Nimmos.
The first thing I became aware of was some mystical chanting and the heavy smell of incense tickling my nose. I slowly opened my eyes and realised I had come to in a dark mud hut. Several hooded figures encircled me.
“You have epically failed the first task!” boomed a disembodied voice. “Lesson number one: Expect the unexpected!”
My eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness and the person speaking came into focus. A hooded red Nimmo was the pet who addressed me. He twitched a finger and immediately the surrounding chanting was silenced.
“Welcome to the Training School. I am Ori and I have been nominated by the Techo Master to be your instructor for the duration of this course. From your present performance I can see that I will have my work cut out…” At this he looked down at me and Finn. “Now I am sure you would like to rest after your long journey, but we have work to be done. Onto the second lesson!”
The second ‘lesson’ was less of a lesson and more of an exercise in torture in my opinion. Finn and I found ourselves fifteen meters off the ground, attempting to cross over a muddy lake via a set of monkey bars that even the toughest Mynci would struggle with. The ending of this exercise was inevitable, with both us ending up going for a swim.
“Ahh!” I screamed, as I plunged into icy cold water. I suppose swimming to the edge of the lake would provide some exercise at least.
I could see Ori shaking his head from side to side at the state of us.
“You’re going to have to get back up there and do it again until you can pass the obstacle correctly!” He barked at us from the other side of the lake, clearly already tiring of our clumsiness.
We were there for a long time, a very long time in fact. By the time Finn and I emerged back to the camp, everybody else was halfway through dinner.
We’d been looking forward to dinner all day. After all, eating was one of our favourite hobbies and, not to big ourselves up, but something that we excelled at. However even we could not stomach the unappetising big bowls of grey gruel served up to us.
Our morale demolished, it took all our energy to haul ourselves onto the unstable-looking bunkbeds that we had been allocated in the dingy dormitory.
The next morning, we were awoken by a loud banging before Ori marched into the dormitory and shouted at us all to get up. Bleary eyed, I looked over at my watch and was horrified to discover it was not yet five o’clock. This was not an hour I had ever seen before in my life. We hurriedly dressed and made our way to the training room, arriving a little while after everybody else.
“Welcome to your first self defence class, I’m glad some of you decided to join us,” with this Ori looked over in our direction. “Today we will be learning the basics of this ancient art. Now, let’s begin.”
And so began a morning of kicking, punching and blocking our way to a fitter us. Now, I’m not one for exercise (I’m sure you’re beginning to cotton on to this), but I found myself beginning to enjoy myself! Not only that, I was great at it!
Three hours later we were just getting to grips with a complex backwards kick when Ori called on me to demonstrate the kick to the rest of the group. I’ve honestly never felt prouder in my entire life. As I executed a perfect back kick I smirked at the rest of the group, eager for them to realise that my technique was far superior to theirs.
“Hmm, that’s not exactly what we are after. However, well done for effort.” Ori was unimpressed with my attempt. Well done for effort? He may as well have straight up said that I was doing terribly! I returned to my place in the gym in a huff.
“Lesson number three: humility is everything.” I could hear a few snickers from other members of the group. “That was a good kick, however you need to perhaps be a little more modest.” I felt my face glow scarlet and I suddenly became very preoccupied with a spot of dust by my feet.
Lunch was a bit more edible than the previous evening’s meal, consisting mainly of fresh vegetables and plain boiled rice. It wasn’t the tasty burger and chips that we were used to, but we were happy for something to fill our rumbling tummies.
Whilst the morning felt like a bit of a triumph, the afternoon was hellish. It involved a ten mile run across an undulating route through fords, muddy tracks and fields.
“I think this is what dying feels like…” Finn croaked at me as we began the ascent of yet another hill.
As we continued to drag ourselves closer to the summit, our feet constantly slipping due to the mud, something caught my attention. Wait, what was that smell? It couldn’t be, could it?
“Donuts!” I exclaimed at the top of my voice. At the bottom of the hill, next to the beach, the glorious image of a donut van could be seen. Finn’s eyes shot to look towards where I was pointing. Finn and I exchanged a look, and we nodded in agreement. Decision made. Changing course, we sped down the hill towards the van, towards the sublime mouth-watering donut smell.
By the time we arrived at the van we were fully out of puff and our mouths were salivating at the thought of the sugary treats. The jolly Chia in the window of the van seemed a bit taken aback by our appearance.
“Need donuts…” I moaned, leaning on the window for support.
“Two please” Finn completed our request.
The Chia handed us two donuts complete with sprinkles and we tucked in greedily.
“And what do we have here?” Our moment of joy was disturbed by an unfortunately familiar voice. “You two, put those donuts down this instant or you’re off the course!” Ori bellowed.
Finn and I looked at each other. Hmm, to stop eating these delicious donuts and carry on torturous exercise, or to carry on munching delicious melt-in-the-mouth sweet treats? A difficult decision it was not. We met Ori’s gaze as we continued to chomp our way through the delectable pastries.
“Right, that’s it. You two are untrainable! Next boat home for you two!”
Ah, what a shame.