For Halloween this year (2008), I dressed as I looked in 1983 at the age of 28. The costume was “80’s Aerobic Instructor”. I found photos of myself taken in the aerobics studio complete with moustache, headband and striped knee-high socks. As I went from party to party, I carried the photos to help illustrate the “then” and “now” comparative. Through the evening I heard a variety of comments from “I can’t believe you held on to the clothes all these years and can actually fit in them” to “you look better today at 53 then you did then”.

Well, 25 years later I’m still working out consistently. While I’ve always had interest in a variety of exercise programs, my latest passion is BootCamp SF. This program is inspiring and challenging. The workouts are fun and diverse and the instructors professional and encouraging. There’s also a strong sense of community amongst participants, which helps on rainy, cold December mornings, when it would be far easier to hit the snooze.

I recently joined the ranks of the unemployed. While some might think BootCamp is a luxury in these tough economic times, I find it essential. Surely, a strong mind and fit body will get me through the next 25 years, it may even help me land a job.


I’m a fifty-six year old San Francisco native who retired after 32 years as a peace officer. Post retirement, I began looking for a workout program that would break the boredom of going to the gym, climbing on a treadmill or stationary bike, and obtain some observable results before I was eligible for social security. God, I had the 24-Hour Fitness blues.

I read the blogs and reviews about bootcampsf and it looked like a program that might interest me. I emailed and called the office staff, mostly with concerns about my ability as a fifty-six year old non-runner to keep up with the workouts. I was assured that the program was designed to work with participants at different levels, I wasn’t the oldest human being who had entered the program, and should give it a try.

It was the best advice I could have gotten! On my first couple of foggy mornings at Golden Gate Park, I was assessed, timed, evaluated and placed in the intermediate workout group. The first week was an eye-opener. I was sore in places I didn’t know existed, but I was able to keep up with the group. Our trainer (Nairn) was outstanding. He mixed the workouts so that different muscles were used during the week, and I could feel the increase in my stamina and strength. From the first timed mile and a half run at the beginning of the session to my last six weeks later, I was able to decrease my time by two minutes and thirty seconds. This from someone who hasn’t run for time since an original boot camp during the Vietnam War!


I signed up for Bootcamp SF after slowing losing my stamina to go to the gym. At 6am, I found it easy to tell myself I would go to the gym in the evening, but by the time I got home from a long day at the office and a long commute, I was in no mood. I knew I needed something that was more regimented to force me to workout on a regular basis and something that challenged me – reading magazines while on the elliptical just wasn’t cutting it anymore. So, I did some research and found Bootcamp SF online. I read the reviews, all of which sounded promising and I took the plunge.

Gwen was my instructor for my first Bootcamp session. She was awesome – she pushed us all to try harder and achieve more, yet she tailored the activities to our varying levels of athleticism. Any temptation to shut off that alarm in the morning was quickly shut out by the thought of Gwen and the rest of the people in my group – they would know I had slept in and would hold me accountable the next time. It’s not so easy to slack off when everyone notices you are gone! During the session I found that I had more energy during the day and the best part was going to work knowing I had already accomplished something.

I would highly recommend Bootcamp SF. After 6 weeks, I lost 3.5 inches around my waist, dropped 2 minutes on my timed run and gained muscle definition all over. I loved it so much, I signed up for a second session. If you really want to see a difference in your body, this is a great way to do just that.


I initially started BCSF to get into shape. My partner had been going and had really gotten fit and lost a lot of weight so I knew bootcamp worked. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and a lot lighter than I was in high school.

But I stay with BCSF because I enjoy it. I don’t worry about my work- out. I don’t keep logs, study exercises, or remember which body part to work next. I just show up and do what ever Raul tells me to do. That takes a huge amout of work away from me. All I have to do is work-out, someone else has the plan. Plus the trainers correct form and keep things varied. Just as soon as something gets easy, Raul mixes it up. And sessions are progressive. Every six-week cycle is about ramping up the intensity. Each session always seems as hard or harder than the last.

And each work-out I’m just trying to keep pace with my group. That’s another reason I stay with bootcamp. I work out with a group of people who make me work out harder than I ever would on my own. Every session my group gets faster and stronger, so I have to work hard every workout just to make sure I can keep pace with them. But that keeps it fun. BCSF is like advanced “follow the leader”, and it just gets harder, faster, and more challenging the more you play.

BCSF has worked great for me. I trust the trainers and really like the people I work out with. I know I’m getting a varied, complete, and progressive workout. Plus it’s outside!


As I neared the big 30 I made the decision that the whisky and cigarette days of Alicia Jenish were over. My first task was to quit smoking which I did, cold turkey five months ago. The next task was to get “healthy.” I needed to learn how to direct all the energy and stress that comes from my job as a chef to something more productive then late nights and late starts the next day. I found a boot camp post card and signed up. I was incredibly nervous; I am not a runner; I hate gyms, but I knew I needed this in my life. After being pinched and measured I learned about the one and half mile test. I was petrified; I have never run that far in my life, let alone with someone timing me. With advice and well wishes from my friends I did it, very slowly, but I didn’t stop. Now I’m sold, I’m in my third session and I could not imagine my life with out boot camp in it. I am changing my body and my life style. I look forward to getting up early even on my days off!!! I really enjoy feeling stronger and I love the energy that I have throughout the day.


I’ve been going to Bootcampsf since April ‘07. I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner. I feel more fit now than I ever have (scary that I’m saying this in my late 30’s). Working out with Keith, I saw & felt muscles in my arms that I didn’t even know existed. Many sore days to get there, but worth it. I’ve never stuck with any sort of work out program or diet (unless you call anything with chocolate a diet), but I’ve been going to boot camp consistently for the last 7 months. That means getting up @ 5:30 am to be at the 7am class because I live by the border of San Leandro and Oakland, but I digress. I like the group workouts because we do partner exercises that really push you, and I don’t want to be the one that poops out on the other person.

Recently I’ve been working out with Gwen who is FANTASTIC. She is very enthusiastic (but not so much that it makes you ill) and pushes you when she sees you slacking. (Thanks Keith for hiring her!)

I also like Bootcampsf because they plan group activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, & kayaking so that we can meet people from other camps & still get a work out in. I’ve met some great people during this time & many of them have also repeated their sessions. I plan to continue going to boot camp until the money runs out… even then, I might beg, borrow, or steal to try & stick with it.


A few months ago a good friend of mine recommended BootCampSF to me, and the thought of it absolutely terrified me! But the more I considered it, the more I thought “You know what? If this scares me so much, I should probably do it.”

I’ve been able to keep up some semblence of a gym routine over the last few years, but I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t push myself there as hard as I could. I often got in a rut just doing the elliptical machine or walking on the treadmill. I’ve never considered myself a runner before, but having the trainers at BootCampSF believe in me has helped me to run farther, faster and longer than I have in probably twelve years. My arms are so much stronger than when I first started! Overall, I am toning up and walking taller.

As a small business owner, I have a very long list of things to do every day. Doing BootCampSF lightens that list, because now the looming “to do” item of working out is automatically taken care of for me! I just show up & an hour later, I’ve not only gotten myself up and out of my house (I work from home), but I’ve spent an hour outdoors getting an absolutely amazing work out. Now I’m in my second 6-week camp and have turned four of my friends on to it!


I had not worked out regularly for more than a year before joining Bootcampsf. I was bored at the gym whenever I did go and life was too busy. When my son was born in April, I decided that I needed to commit to getting in shape. I owed this to my son and to myself. Bootcampsf is great. The workouts are rigorous and challenging; plus they are varied so I don’t get bored. Also, I love working out in Golden Gate Park early in the morning. It gives me a chance to be outside and to get home in the afternoon to play with my son.


Over the past three months, my coworkers and I have participated in BootcampSFs fitness training program. I previously hired a personal trainer and have purchased several fitness machines in order to improve my fitness level. Unfortunately, neither the personal training or exercise equpiment provided me with much results. When a coworker of mine mentioned that she had joined BootcampSF, I was pretty skeptical and thought it would be one of those programs where I would go for the first week and eventually give up. I did plenty of research (Google news, Yelp reviews, etc) and decided to sign up. When signing up on the website, there was a question that asked if I was able to jog 3 miles. At that time, I did not even think I could WALK 3 miles, haha! Of course, my answer was “No.” During the first two days of Bootcamp, Gwen took our measurements and timed my mile and a half run (I had to stop and walk on several occassions). My main goal for the six week session was to be able to run the mile in a half run without stopping. After the first two weeks have passed, I have never been so sore in my life (This could be an exaggerated statement, but probably not). When I walked down stairs going to BART, I would have to slowly go down each step because my legs were aching. People who were rushing to catch the train had to go around me because I was so slow! I was asking myself “What did I get myself into.” Well, six weeks have passed and I have improved my sit ups per minute, push ups, timed run and ran the mile and a half without walking. I have also become stronger (through resistance training) and have lost my excess weight. The training session was not easy, but the personal gratification and sense of accomplishment I got from this program is well worth it.

Gwen is an excellent instructor and is a huge resource of knowledge in regards to living a healthy lifestyle. She pushed me to my limits and is very encouraging in each and every sesssion. I tend to complain and give up when things start to become too difficult, but Gwen knows how to properly motivate me and my colleagues. I was extremely satisfied with her training sessions, that my coworker and I brought other coworkers to join another session. Here I am ten weeks later and I am able to jog four miles without walking! I also feel so much better about my fitness level and am very thankful to Gwen and BootcampSF.


Bootcamp really is the best part of my day. The trainers are so knowledgable and so passionate. Having such qualified trainers allows me to have a hour in my day that I don’t have to think. I go and I do. When I’m there I’m not thinking about all the other stuff. I work out hard. The group dynamic is definately key. With bootcamp I look and feel yowza!


I decided to join BCSF about a year ago. At the time, I was at the end long-term relationship. After staring at the BCSF flyer (for about 5 days), I decided the best way for me to get out of my breakup funk was to sign up for a heavy dose of exercise.

Needless to say the first six weeks of bootcamp were super challenging. Every morning I’d wake up at 5:15am, fighting the urge to stay in bed. My daily mantra, “Just get through the first 6 weeks. Just get through the first 6 weeks. Just get through the first 6 weeks”. My muscles were constantly sore. I was always sleep deprived. It was hard for me to change my sleeping habits, as I use to be a night owl. But eventually, I got through my first six weeks! My stats greatly improved. I could do the 1.5 mile timed run w/o feeling nauseous. I learned the importance of eating properly. My clothes went down two sizes. My abs have definition (I haven’t seen this definition since my early twenties). I am constantly getting compliments on my arms. I have a ton of energy. Best of all, I was able to get over my breakup blues!

My trainer Raul Hurtado was the key to my success. He pushed me when I did not want to be pushed. When he first introduced me to the bleacher push-ups at Keezar stadium, I complained, “I can’t do those bleacher push- ups. You must be crazy!” But Raul stayed w/ me and another gal, and did the push up w/ us! Raul is constantly checking on all his bootcampers making sure they are doing their exercises correctly. He keeps his workouts new and challenging. Just when you think he has given you all his workout routines, he throws in something completely different. This week he introduced his new toy…the kettle ball.

Raul is one the main reason I continue working out w/ BCSF. The other reason is the other bootcampers. They are a great bunch of folks. We push each other’s limits. It is motivating to see their improvements. For these two reasons, BCSF has become very habit forming!


I am not a morning person.

Yet, four days a week I roll out of bed, pull on my workout clothes and make my way to South Beach. It takes something pretty special to pull me out of bed before 8am. (I know, the 6am folks are laughing at me now, but as I said, I’m not a morning person.) BootCampSF has become that important. The high quality, always challenging, forever interesting workouts coupled with the camaraderie of my fellow bootcampers and motivating attitude of the instructors have helped me find the dedication to actually commit to a morning workout.

This is my 3rd bootcamp session, and it’s given me the energy and outlet to make it through some incredibly busy work days, without crashing immediately at the end of the day. While I havn’t lost weight, it’s helped reshape my body and made me stronger as well. And on top of all of that, it’s super fun. Yup. Waking up before 8 am to work out is fun. (But, I’m still not a morning person)


I didn’t really think BootCamp would change my life (I mean, seriously, how cheesy!), but I was looking for a way to lose a few pounds, and outdoor workouts (with trainers!) seemed like a much better option than going it alone in a gym. Sure, the first few weeks were filled with sore muscles, but the support from the trainers and fellow bootcampers really made a difference in helping to push myself. By the end of the first session, the improvement was surprising (to me, anyway, but not the trainers): Body Comp went from 29.7% to 25.8% (and 14.2% at last check!), and my sit-ups, push-ups, flexibility and run times were all vastly improved! I thought one session would be enough, but I found myself wanting to push even more and see how fit I could get. I can’t rave enough about how great and supportive all the trainers are, and it was even more motivating to have the camaraderie of a group to get through tough workouts and keep coming back for more. Raul was especially encouraging to me on a personal level, planting the seed for something I was not really in any rush to accomplish – running a marathon. He convinced me not only that it was possible someday, but that someday should be now. He likes to say that there’s an athlete in each one of us, his job is to bring it out. So here I am, one year later, with the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon under my belt (4 hours, 11 minutes, thank you very much!), and about to run the New York City Marathon. The BootCamp fun never stops: I’ve been river rafting, kayaking in the bay, rock climbing, and wine tasting (on a bike tour). I used to be a couch potato. Now I’m a marathoner (but still occasionally a couch potato), and I’m even thinking about a triathlon. I guess I can say, (sheepishly) that BootCamp really did change my life. And I’ve loved every second of it. Thanks guys!


Feb ‘06: I was looking for an outdoor exercise activity that would have me doing the same kinds of agility and conditioning work that I remembered from high school and college football. I’d been lifting weights and doing the elliptical at the gym for a couple years, but I’d gotten bored and wanted to get in better shape. At 325 pounds, though, I had no interest in running; I’d never run more than a half mile without stopping in my life, even at track practice.

A friend coincidentally mentioned that he was going to check out BCSF, and I thought okay, may be this it, so I rolled out of bed at 8am to join him in the park for what turned out to be a 1.5 mile timed run. The horror. I completed the “run” (walking most of it) in ~24 minutes and was more exhausted than I could remember since two-a-day football practices in the humid soup of a South Carolina August. Somehow I continued to get out of bed every day and push through the worst muscle soreness imaginable.

Today (Oct 9 ‘07): I finished the timed run in 11:07. Before I left the house I weighed in at 231#. At no point in my life did I ever imagine that I’d be able to shop at normal stores for clothes or run 13 miles in two hours (July ‘07 SF Marathon). I get comments from random girls about my “amazing calves”. I can feel the strength in my abs when making even the most innocuous motions. My friends sometimes get pissed off when I sprint up stairs and hold conversations without breathing heavily while walking up steep hills.

BCSF has truly been life-changing for me. As importantly, my experience has motivated other people to join BCSF and improve their health. You can’t argue with that.


How do I define success for myself? I used to think eating out in a fine restaurant several times a week and drinking a lot of expensive wine was my goal in life. I used to think that my body would be well taken care of under these circumstances. Well, guess what? I was wrong. Being 5’9 and weighing 235 pounds did not make me feel very good. So I thought I would do something about it. I joined BCSF and learned I had to redefine how to live a successful life. With the help of some of the best athletic instructors I have ever had, I learned to look at exercise and food differently. One year later, I am still 5’9 but I weigh 175 pounds and can run a mile and a half in 9 minutes and 41 seconds. The quality of my life has improved dramatically and I feel great.


Remember how fit you were before you became that Silicon Valley nerdball who sits in front of a monitor all day long, spends 1.5 hours commuting on your ass, and maybe now has a kiddo that reduces all your that false memory through many different activities, and so far this has worked the best. I am *not* a morning person but I have enjoyed every one of my 7:00 am workouts with Gwen or Keith – they make it totally fun to exercise again. It’s like old-school P.E.! Everyone is totally motivated and has a great time together, and SF in the morning is a beautiful frickin’ place. Highly recommended.


Weight loss in the new millennium has taken on a life of its own. There are so many different options for people to lose weight, between medication, diet centers, surgery and the zillions of diet formulas that are out there for people to try. Just over three years ago, I made a decision to change my life and I looked at all these different weight loss options. Ultimately, I decided I wanted to try to lose weight “the old fashioned way”, through changing the way I ate and incorporating exercise into my life. I really wasn’t sure at the time that it would have the life changing experience it did, but I am so glad that I chose the route I did.

I was always a fat kid. When I was younger, I was the chubby one among all the other kids around and terribly embarrassed about it. Although, I was always active and spent a lot of time playing, I didn’t eat very well. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was becoming an emotional eater, finding a great deal of comfort in food.

It took me until the end of 1999, when I was 29 years old, for me to decide that I wanted to try to change. I was tired of being the fat girl. I tried many diets, some of them successful for short periods of time, but none of them helped me with the root issue of my eating, and ultimately, I yo-yo’d with mixed results.

In January 2000 I felt encouraged when I started reading the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet book and felt I had found a program I could stick to. Slowly but surely, the weight started to come off and I felt great with every pound I shed. Continuing for about a year on this diet, I was mostly happy with the results, only “falling off the wagon” here and there, such as on holidays. But then in 2001, my mother who had been battling Multiple Myeloma since 1998 started losing her battle with this terrible disease. During this time I became an emotional wreck, and eventually I fell off plan and started to overeat again. It only became worse after my mother passed away on September 26, 2002.

As time would pass, I’d find myself with reasons to get back on track with dieting and working out, even hiring a personal trainer through my gym at one point, to bouncing to the flip side and then experience a little setback to find some of the lost weight coming back. At one point, I reached the heaviest weight I’d ever been–370 pounds. The worst blow was when finding out at the age of 33, I had to be put on two types of high blood pressure medication and was told I was pre-diabetic!

I started to look into the South Beach Diet and was skeptical, but decided to try it. Something about this time felt different. I felt as if I was learning more about how to eat, rather than what to eat. I also started going to water aerobics at the gym. It was me and a bunch of old ladies, but it got me moving!

About nine months into my new way of living, I had lost about 80 lbs. I felt great about myself but knew I needed to do something different to kick up my weight loss. At the time my roommate and best friend had been working out with a trainer named Keith and he kept recommending that I start to workout with his trainer. I was terrified and so intimidated. I also thought that Keith would judge me for being so overweight. I never believed that someone like him would want to help someone like me.

So, with much fear, I hired Keith as my personal trainer. I remember the first time we met to talk about my goals. He sat across from me and told me that I would be working out 6 days a week. I wanted to jump across the table and say to him “do you know who you are talking to”? But, I went with his plan, which was for me to go to water aerobics twice a week, to the gym on my own 3 days a week and he and I would do a personal training session 1 time a week. I was to start the plan the following Monday (we had met on a Friday).

So I did it. I got up early on Monday morning and drove myself to the gym. I was terrified. I had not been to the gym in ages and was so worried about what people would think. Of course I thought the gym would be filled with “perfect” people – who would of course judge me for being the “fat chick”. But, I drove there, went in and walked on the treadmill for about half an hour. I can honestly say that the gym was filled with what I would call normal people! It wasn’t filled with hard bodied men and women. It was normal people just like me who wanted to get a little exercise in at the crack of dawn. The workout was not that difficult, but I felt light headed, and ended up throwing up when I got home. That didn’t discourage me. I had started the program that would change my life.

A few days later I had my first training session with Keith, which was tough. I think Keith and I were trying to figure each other out. As I look back at that first session I remember how terribly nervous I was, in fact I think we were both a little nervous. I remember feeling so embarrassed about the way I looked and my lack of physical ability. In hindsight I can honestly say that Keith never judged me–nor made me feel as if I was any less athletic or able than anyone else. He was motivating and tough and really made me want to work out.

I started doing so well with the routine that I decided to attend one Boot Camp SF class a week. I found the classes were so much fun and quite a challenge. Whereby in the past I would have been terrified to attend a group class setting, I found myself being able to compete with the best at the Boot Camp classes. I loved the camaraderie and competitive spirit of the other boot campers.

After a couple of years into my eating and exercise routine I found that I was plateauing and not seeing the results I wanted to continue seeing. After much trepidation, in November of 2006, I decided to start seeing a nutritionist. A friend of mine had recommended a nutritionist to me several months prior and I had held on to the contact info in the event I ever got up the nerve to go see one. I was terrified. The thought of weighing all of my food and measuring things did not please me at all. I love food and the thought of having to measure it was not something I ever thought I wanted to do. But, I knew that portion control was probably an issue for me and if I was truly dedicated to the lifestyle I was living, I needed to make this commitment.

It has now been about a year that I have been seeing a nutritionist–Manuel, who also has ultimately helped me to change my life. He has taught me that there is no guilt in eating and that life is about choices. My relationship with food has completely changed and my roommate even told me he noticed that I no longer live to eat, but rather I eat to live. That was one of the greatest compliments anyone has ever given me.

I still love food, but now, down 162 pounds, I have such a different relationship with it. I know what real portions are supposed to look like and I have a greater understanding of how much fuel my body needs. My relationship with an active lifestyle has also changed. I never imagined I would be a person who planned activity on the weekends which involved exercise! My latest passion is biking…you can barely get me off the thing!

This is my life now. I eat healthy and I live an active lifestyle. I am now off all of my high blood pressure medications. I did this solely through diet, exercise and determination. If a day goes by where I am not at the gym, on my bike, or working out with Keith, it doesn’t feel like a normal day. Also, the days of eating out and ordering take out are no longer. I will occasionally treat myself to dinners out–but they generally include grilled fish and vegetables, instead of pizza and fried chicken. I look at myself differently now–I can truly say that I know that I will never go back to the lifestyle I lived before.

I do have a host of characters to thank for adding in my success. There is no way on earth I could have done it without them. I owe a huge thank you to Keith and BCSF, who have pushed me in ways no one has ever pushed me before. Keith has taught me how exercise and activity can change a person’s life. I now look forward to working out, and cannot, and I mean cannot, imagine my life without it. He has helped me to totally change my perception of myself. He has helped me gain esteem in my ability to be athletic. He has made me want to live a life filled with activity and movement. He has also become a very good friend and someone I hope to be friends with the rest of my life. I also would not be where I am today without Manuel, who has taught me how to look at food and how to feed my body the way it needs to be fed.

I still have some weight to lose. I am about 10 or 15 pounds from my ultimate goal, and I continue to lose at a very slow rate. But I know from the bottom of my heart that this it the lifestyle I will be living the rest of my life. This is not a diet, or a phase I am gong through. This is a lifestyle that I have chosen to live and cannot imagine living my life any other way. I am so glad that I chose the route I did. I am so glad that I have taught myself how to live a healthy life–one that is filled with nutritious and good food. I am also so glad that I have kept my dedication with my exercise and fitness. It has made me the person I am today.


Somehow between grad school, starting my first professional job, and moving to San Francisco, I forgot that I was an athlete at one point in time, and boy, did it show. I couldn’t even run a mile without getting seriously out of breath. Boot Camp, and Nairn, in particular, helped me get my athleticism back. As the months of camp have progressed, I have not only found that I am pushing myself way harder than I ever have at the gym, but also finally, after years of nutritionists, trainers, diets and fads, I understand the connections between nutrition, workouts and breaking the relationship between stress and food. Now, I not only look forward to working out, it has become a part of what keeps me balanced. So, thank you Nairn for all of the pushups, situps, pull-ups, stairs and for pushing me on those mornings when I wanted to throw you in a deep dark corner of Golden Gate Park and forget I ever have had a whey protein shake for breakfast. If you are looking for a place to jumpstart your workouts, with other fun, motivated people, this is it.


In November last year my daily routine included coming home from work, sitting myself down on the sofa, having a glass of wine or beer and generally not doing anything active. In fact last year a bike ride to the park was a very rare occasion and running was completely out of the question.

So when my friend suggested I join her at Boot Camp my first response was raucous laughter (and fear!) but soon I was persuaded by the idea of starting my day in the park and after all I thought….how bad could it be?

The first day at assessment, we were pinched and measured and I was unable to run the warm up lap around Sharon meadow without stopping to walk and I could not run the 1 ½ mile trial during assessment, in fact it took me a full 17 minutes walking and running occasionally.

I returned after assessment and I stuck it out and every week it got easier. At the end f the first 6 weeks I had shaved off 2 and half minutes off my 1 ½ mile time and I was able to run 4 miles without stopping. I signed up again and again. Within 6 months I completed the 1 ½ mile within 12 and half minutes and I had signed up to run a half marathon.

During the last 8 months I was fortunate enough to train with three trainers, Keith, Raul and Nairn. They all have individual personalities but they have one thing in common and that is to make sure you get fit. They are all great.

I spent most of my time with Raul and he supported me and encouraged me to keep going when I was sure I was unable to. The team spirit and camaraderie within in the group and the knowledge that you are all working hard to get fit and improve health was very encouraging.

Boot Camp is no walk in the park and I was sore for about three months but the hard work pays off and I know I am better off for it. As Keith said to me one day, we are all athletes; it just takes time to find out which one.


I had just paid my gym dues for the upcoming year, but I was not looking forward to another year of feeling forced to be inside for my workouts. I love being outside, hiking, skating, biking, etc. But the weight training aspect was where the gym came in.

Having become so disenchanted with the gym, as soon as I picked out the BCSF postcard from my mailbox, I called and enrolled that Monday for my first 6-week session. I was hooked! When it ended, despite it being January, cold, icy and wet, I enrolled for another six months and it has changed my life in so many ways. At 54, I am in the best shape of my life. This is in very large part due to the amazing instructors who are not only extremely knowledgable and dedicated but also work with each person on an individual basis depending on their needs. If you show up with an injury, ache or pain, they’ll show you how to work around it so you can modify your workouts.

Being in Golden Gate Park (only one of four locations in San Francisco) allows us to work out in many different areas in and around the park. That’s the huge plus for me. Different venues, along with changing the variety and intensity of the workouts every week has allowed me to reach a level of fitness I never thought I’d reach at my age. I can’t recommend BCSF enough–I know that I couldn’t maintain this on my own and the instructors and the camaraderie of the bootcampers (all ages and levels) make it something that I look forward to–it’ll be a part of my life for a very long time.