You've heard the rumors about hellish calisthenics, training runs through downpours and the yelling, yelling, yelling. It's all true. Welcome to Houston's original outdoor boot camp, created in 1997 by best-of-the-best Navy SEAL, Jack Walston. Led by a crew of Special Forces instructors, Walston's class integrates principles of discipline, motivation and team camaraderie into a rigorous physical training course that gives as much as you're willing to take. If you're not a morning person, get it in gear. You'll have to be up before the crack of dawn to make it to Memorial Park in time for the first jumping jack.
Uneasy about committing 110 percent to ten days of extreme physical activity? Begin with Walston's "Body Camp" or "P.E. in the Park," classes designed to challenge even the most sluggish sloth.
Those who get addicted to the adrenaline rush graduate to the "Lifer's Team," an elite, military-style training course that's 200 members strong. Some folks join just for the camaraderie -- members enjoy an annual trip to Belize, and rumor has it several couples have met and married through the program. So shape up. Cut out soft drinks, eat five servings of vegetables every day, and call Jack. The two-week course meets 5 a.m. -- 6:30 a.m., Mondays through Fridays, at Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr. For information, call 281-471-4977 or visit www.sealptcourse.com. $295. -- Margaret Winchell Miller
The Season Swish
Usually, Comets games in late August are about as exciting as watching cow-tipping -- the team merely tunes up for another cyborg-like championship run. Not this time. Our hoops chicks are in a serious scrap over the four Western Conference playoff spots. In the regular season's final home games, the Comets post up against two of the WNBA's best. LA has skills even without injured all-star Lisa Leslie, and Seattle guard Sue Bird set a franchise record on August 9 with 33 points against Portland. Second-year Comets center Michelle Snow has been a big part of Houston's success of late, trapping opponents in the deep-freeze and taking pressure off superstar Sheryl Swoopes. Comets vs. Los Angeles Sparks: 3 p.m., Saturday August 16; Comets vs. Seattle Storm: 7 p.m., Tuesday August 19; Compaq Center, 713-627-9622. $8-$150. -- Greg Barr