I think people are looking for something new, something different

WAILUA — A chilly, overcast morning doesn’t stop Stacy Ricciardi and her boot campers from meeting for a workout.

“Alright, we’re going to do a basic crunch, everybody,” she tells them.

They lie around her in a circle on their mats or towels.

“And up … and down, and up and hold it,” she said. “And down.”

The 38-year-old mother of two started Boot Camp by Stacy back in October. At the time, there were only three people, or boot campers, as she calls them. Now, she officially has 20.

The group meets at Lydgate Park, three times a week at 8:30 a.m. They start off with warm-ups, then run the bike path along the ocean and down to the first pavilion. From there, they exercise for about 10 minutes before crossing the Kamalani Kai Bridge and running to the next pavilion. Then they turn around and start heading to the starting position to work on their abs.

Ricciardi started this boot camp as a way to better herself.

“I’d been a stay at home mom and I wanted to reclaim my fitness,” she said. “I did a little research and got certified by ACE, the American Council on Exercise, as a personal trainer.”

Not happy with the traditional gym setting, Ricciardi wanted to bring the workout outdoors.

“I felt like, being at this age and stage of my life, I just didn’t want exercising to be a chore, another thing to do,” she said. “There are so many different ways to get fit and exercise outside. You don’t need all that heavy equipment.”

Ricciardi decided on the boot camp style, but she points out that she doesn’t yell at anybody.

Carrie Riley is one of Ricciardi’s regulars.

“I love working out outside,” Riley said. “Stacy has such a great combination of pushing us and encouraging us. Plus, I get to work out with these women.”

The program, though, is open to everyone, every age and fitness level.

“I think people are looking for something new, something different,” she said. “This is a good option for them. For every exercise I show them a modification. That way someone at every fitness level can do the exercise.”

The first workout session is always free. From then on, each session is $10.

The boot campers generally purchase a six-hole punch card.

“This is great,” she said. “There’s no music playing on speakers, there are no mirrors for you to look at. You just work out and all of a sudden a conversation will start up.”

To find more about Boot Camp by Stacy, call 823-6566 or 635-1143.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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