Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coach begins “urban camping” class in Belltown, sparks an exercise revolution.

The summer always gets people into the mood to get fit and go outside. Even now that Global Warming has done away with what our forefathers thought of as “summer” the innate desire lingers. Each year, Personal Trainer Jason Squatenhold sees enrollment in his outdoor “boot camp” classes soar early in May in anticipation of the legendary sun’s appearance and this year was no different. Except this year, Mr. Squatenhold had an idea that he says is catching on throughout the country now.

Urban Camp

Jason describes how the idea of “Urban Camp” came to him.
“The ideal of beauty in our society is to be tan and ripped, everyone is trying to get to that place where they look like they spend a lot of time outdoors. Staying thin is very important to the style conscious. I hold my boot camp classes in area parks. In Seattle the homeless are encouraged to occupy the parks as well as streets in front of Nordstrom. What I was seeing was that my clients were all chunky and pale, even more so in comparison to the homeless men leering at them. That’s when I came up with Urban Camping.
The Seattle motif is to be at one with the outdoors, recycling and roughing it, and no one does it quite like the homeless. They literally never go indoors. Harnessing this, Mr. Squatenhold’s clients go through the motions of typical homeless activities.
Client Marsha Mellow says she can feel her core burn when she does the “cigarette butt bends” a move where the class simulates picking up used cigarettes from the ground. Jason makes the class do hundreds of this exercise in a class.
Other exercises include “Spinning in a circle shouting at the sky” a move Coach Squatenhold says is a great way to prevent chin muscles from sagging and an excellent method for getting that sun kissed glow on your face.
"There are no lockers here, in the first class I send every one of my students back to their cars to collect the contents of their trunks, they have to carry everything, including the spare, the duration of the class.”
Naturally you can find a Groupon for “Urban Camp” classes so you can try it out yourself, but the savings don’t end there. “Thursday a German tourist gave me $5 out of nowhere,” stated die-hard Urban Camper Dave Flanders.

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