OSSIPEE ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP is celebrating its fifth anniversary and receiving much positive feedback from current and former participants. (Courtesy photo) (click for larger version)
August 29, 2013OSSIPEE — The name might sound a bit intimidating, especially to those who are new to regular exercise, but judging from participant comments, Ossipee Adventure Boot Camp is anything but intimidating.
Celebrating its fifth year in business, owner Ellen Shannon of Effingham is proud of how the business has grown and the positive impact it has had on the lives of people in her community.
After years of managing and supervising in the restaurant industry while always being an avid runner, Shannon started working as a personal trainer. In 2003 she went through the University of Southern Maine at Portland's fitness instructor certificate program. She worked for a time at Red Hill Gym in Moultonborough but knew she wanted to do more though wasn't sure just what that was. At a fitness conference she saw Adventure Boot Camp Kelli Callebrese present and immediately knew an outdoor boot camp would not only be a perfect fit for her but for the community, an area with few opportunities for organized group fitness.
In September 2008, Shannon, working out of the back of her car, opened the camp with 12 individuals. Locals might remember seeing those first groups participating in Shannon's camp in the parking lot behind Whittier House Restaurant or in the field behind West Ossipee Fire Station. She started a second camp in Spring 2009 in Center Harbor. As word spread about the positive experiences her clients were having and how physically fit they were becoming, more classes were added and more people joined. As the business grew, it was time to find a permanent home in Ossipee. That home is now a renovated barn next to Heritage House Salon on Route 16 in West Ossipee.
The "camps" run year-round for four weeks and there is a week off before a new session starts. Participants can attend three, four or five days a week and all workouts are modified to suit each individual, said Shannon. The camps are for all ages and abilities. In fact, she has had campers from age 14 to 74.
"In the five years, there have been no repeats on the workouts. Certain elements might repeat, but not the whole workout. I feel it is important to keep it fresh for the campers. There is a combination of strength, cardiovascular, flexibility and core work in each class. We work as partners, teams and individuals at different times. I am continually learning and growing as an instructor and keeping current with the fitness field," said Shannon, "What I love most about the camps is watching the participants improve every week. Seeing someone perform an exercise that only a short time before seemed impossible is priceless. The camps help people gain confidence, energy, positive attitudes and more while they are learning how to eat supportively and improve their strength, fitness and change their bodies to become closer to optimal health. I love the camaraderie of the group and the incredible dynamic and positive energy that happens during the camp."
Camp is not just a workout but is also an education. Each session begins with a nutrition seminar and measurement. The program includes tracking each participants track body composition, weight, hydration levels, and muscle to be sure that bodies are changing correctly. At the studio, Shannon also works with clients in one-on-one sessions of the Egoscue method of postural therapy and offers personal training, nutritional counseling, coaching, and even yoga. Shannon is assisted by certified instructor Joanna Noyes.
Richard Masse of Center Ossipee, age 65, said he has been going to the boot camp for over a year and now has a lot of energy he didn't have before. Not only has he become more physically fit, he said, but has a lot of laughs and fun while working out.
Gregory Lagios of Center Ossipee said he's a 53-year-old that now feels like a teenager, thanks to Shannon's coaching and nutrition training. Lagios had worked out through other exercise programs for many years, but as a result developed left-sided pain in five main points – ankle, knee, hip, lower back, and shoulder. After just three weeks of postural therapy with Shannon, all the pain points have disappeared; something even years of chiropractic care could not cure.
Aidan Billings has been a Boot Camp client for four years and echoed what many who responded to the request for comment said, that Shannon's enthusiastic and positive encouragement and the support of fellow participants have made getting healthier and stronger challenging and fun.
Michelle Foye has been a member for five years and said that "unless it is 20 degrees outside or raining buckets" the camp sessions are held outdoors which is great for people who are ready to get out of the "stuffy gym" environment and out in to the fresh air.
"Boot Camp and TRX with Ellen has not only decreased my waist line, but has also given me an immeasurable increase in self-confidence. I feel better about my body, my body feels stronger, and I feel more confident in my clothes. When we first start a session, there are often exercises I am unable to do or I can't do very many of. By the end of that session, just a few short weeks later, I am stronger. I can do the exercise and that is a great feeling of accomplishment," said Erin Donnelly.
Forty-five-year-old Xann Teryek of Tamworth had never exercised or dieted. Now, after a year in Boot Camp, she's lost 20 pounds, gained 10 pounds of muscle and said she has learned to eat right to fuel her body. She said she was scared to death that she wouldn't be able to do the program and now calls joining the "best thing she has ever done for herself."
There was a flood of responses from clients willing to share their positive experiences about the programs offered at Ossipee Adventure Boot Camp. While there may be too many to include in this article, based on the responses, it appears Shannon will have no trouble running her successful programs for another five years.
There is more information about Ossipee Adventure Boot Camp on their website at ossipeebootcamp.com or their Facebook page at Ossipee Adventure Boot Camp. Shannon can also be reached at (603)387-9816.