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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.


SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.
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Alumni and FriendsAlum Keith Wholwend steps his left knee forward to do a lunge, his arms are stretched high above his head in this large photo.


Getting Fit in the Great Outdoors

Well before dawn on a Thursday morning at Golden Gate Park, Keith Wohlwend (B.A., Psychology, '99) hands out headlamps to the men and women of Boot Camp San Francisco. The group of 20, clad in sweatpants and T-shirts, rub their hands together for warmth as they await the day's instructions.

"Everyone, grab a jump rope and a rubber band," Wohlwend calls. He takes his group on a warm-up jog. His partner, Boot Camp instructor Stevan Krstic (B.S., Kinesiology, '99), leads his group to an open field. Some of his charges climb a hill to jump rope. The rest run crab-like and do a series of hip-swiveling about-face turns.

"Boot Camp is about becoming a better athlete -- not just getting trim," says Krstic, who also works as a part-time strength and conditioning coach at State.

Approximately 50 participants gather four days a week at 5:45 a.m. for Boot Camp. Never mind the name -- all have come on their own accord, paying anywhere from $375 for six weeks of training to $2,520 for a full year. Some have joined to supplement their marathon training, others to improve their fitness or lose weight.

It's more pricey than a membership at the Y, but, says Krstic, "There's only so much you can do in a gym." The human dog sled, for example, is definitely an outdoor activity. In this event, Boot Campers attempt high-speed sprints while partners pull them in the opposite direction via large rubber bands around their waists.

In designing the program three years ago, Krstic and Wohlwend, both certified personal trainers, drew from their track and field experience at State. Krstic was an All American in the hammer throw. Wohlwend threw shot put. His record throw of 57 feet, 6 inches remains unbroken.

"We got to know the entire [track and field] team's work-outs -- from the distance runners to the sprinters," says Wohlwend, who is pursuing his master's of science in kinesiology at State.

The duo tailors the program for each individual. After assessing cardiovascular condition and muscle strength, participants are placed in beginner or intermediate/ advanced groups. As the days progress, there are more sprints, more jump roping, and more sweating.

"A program needs to adapt as your fitness level changes," Krstic says.

The session is, by all observations, a thorough workout. At the end of the hour, faces are flushed. Sweat is pouring.

"My car is so gross from the drive home after doing this," a female Boot Camper whispers to her friend.

As sunlight spreads across the park, Krstic's group heads to a set of stairs, taking them briskly, two at a time. Then it's back down and up again.

Lastly, there are dips to do. Several sets. A dip is similar to a push-up and requires a reserve of energy. At the moment, Boot Camper Rob Rynski appears to have a short supply. He sighs repeatedly as he pushes through the pain to dip #30.

"It feels great when you're finished," he says as he rises, wipes his brow and staggers with the rest of the group back to the parking lot.

Amazingly enough, Boot Campers call out to Krstic and Wohlwend "thanks" and "see you soon," reassuring them that they will return in 48 hours for more.

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Last modified August 15, 2003, by the Office of Publications