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As the old saying goes’ when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. Well when life presented Stacy Berman with a boot camp class that taught how to scream more than it did how to get fit, she made a boot camp course of her own that teaches the basics of health and fitness, but in a positive and uplifting manner.

Health and fitness became a part of Stacy’s life from a very young age. Her dad is a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Doe, and as a child she would her father practice his trade. It seems her dad must have been a big influence on her life because at 18 years of age, she started her journey into the world of health and fitness. Stacy started this journey by working out in the gym 5-6 times a week. Working out was not only a hobby for her; however it was the only thing in life she was anywhere near being sure of. She was aware of what benefits working out and trying to live healthy would reap, but she was less sure of what she would do with herself in life. Declaring a major in school was not as clear, so she decided she would try something familiar to her already.

Stacy decided to go into the field of Health Education with a joint venture in Psychology. Even after Stacy graduated with her degree she was still perplexed as to where life would take her, until her roommate suggested one day that she take both of her specializations and her passion and combine them. She suggested to Stacy that she try her hand at training since her degree in both Health Education and Psychology allowed her to become well informed on matters of the body and the mind. With these two factors, she could easily interact with various types of people and help them to become fit. So she became certified and started to train. Stacy possess four different certifications through various institutions that have allowed her to become a master at what she does, the ACE (American Counsel on Exercise), the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), the NSC (Nutrition Specialist Certificate) and the SFS (Sports Fitness Specialization through the NASM).

Moving forward, Stacy decided she needed to up the ante. She could be successful at training and was obviously a fit individual herself, but she wanted something more that would allow her to combine her people skills, her advanced knowledge of health and fitness and her constant need to stay healthy herself all together into one package. She had trained, been a lifeguard and a swim instructor, but soon a chance encounter with an ex-navy seal would change her life for good. Enter the beginnings of Stacy’s Boot Camp.

Two years ago Stacy Berman took a Navy Seal Boot Camp class to increase her knowledge in all areas of fitness and to get herself a really good workout in the process.

What she got instead was a better understanding of how to scream, yell and berate people. She came out of the class wondering what she had just done for 45 minutes, because instead of getting a good challenge, she felt as if she had just been punished. It was a cold a rainy October day, she was told to lie on the cold concrete in the rain as her instructor told the class what losers they were. From then on in, Stacy knew what she wanted to do. She would start a boot camp class of her own, but on her own terms. She would make people fit and healthy, but do it in a way that was motivating and which made people want to come back for more!

So Stacy started posted flyers around town and spreading the word about her class to potential students, and soon she had her first group of willing subjects. Her next hurdle was to figure out where she would house this new boot camp of hers. The answer to that came easier than how to start the class itself, she would teach in the park.

Stacy wanted to incorporate the invigorating atmosphere of the park with its natural beauty and the chance it gave students to see new sites every time they came to workout. It seems the park atmosphere worked out, because students always start their day with Stacy by meeting at 86th and Central Park West and jogging over to the park to begin their full workout.

Stacy’s students can expect to be pushed to their absolute potential. They can also expect a total back to the basics program. Do not expect to find any gym equipment in her regime. But do expect tons of push ups; sit ups, lunges, ab exercises, balance exercises, squats and any other exercise that causes participants to use the full potential of their projected body strength. Classes are also always offered no matter the weather, so long as it is not a blizzard or hail storm outside. As Stacy puts it herself, “Your body can take a lot more than your mind can.”

Stacy’s Boot Camp is offered to both men and women three days a week on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Prospective students can sign up for a three week or twelve week course and can take classes either in the morning (5:30- 6:30am) or in the evenings (6:30-7:30pm). Starting in Spring, an advanced class will be offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, so be on the look-out for those if you are already somewhat in shape and think you can keep up with this health and fitness aficionado.

As Stacy is nearing the two-year anniversary of her boot camp course, she can look back and feel good about what she has created. She is not only a pillar of health who has spread her message of nutrition and fitness to the masses, but an entrepreneur in the most classic sense of the word who started her own business by doing what she loves and who is extremely successful at it. This all from a woman who once felt that if she just worked out she could eat whatever she wanted! Now, two years later, Stacy has come forward with the happiness of knowing she has helped a large amount of women feel they are powerful beings, and in the process has found out how powerful she can be. Because as she puts it herself, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary, is just a little extra.”

-Genevieve Foster