Making a Difference: Downtown Austin Boot Camp Instructor Enriches the Hearing-Impaired Community

Austin sign language boot campIn Central Austin, boot camp instructor Jackie Petersen is changing people’s lives, one crunch at a time. They call her the “Jillian Michaels of the hearing-impaired community,” and she’s an Austinite making a positive difference in the community. “When I first joined the boot camp, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” confesses Susan, a business owner from Legend Oaks who catches Jackie’s class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “Having attended boot camps in other metro areas, I was prepared to find the usual gung-ho instructor with a mean mouth and basic-level training.” Her face brightens into smile. “But what I experienced that first afternoon blew me away. Jackie was a total force of nature—funny, fiery, and full of energy. Yet she was also warm, supportive and patient with her training. It was icing on the cake that I could use sign language in class! I’ve NEVER been able to find an ASL-friendly trainer, let alone boot camp. I’ve been attending weekly every since.” Regent Property Group interviewed Petersen to learn more about the ASL community in Austin and her boot camp: Pura Vida Physique Boot CampRPG: Tell us about you. What led you to personal training/boot camp instruction? Petersen: I co-founded the boot camp with my business partner, Michael Navarro, in February, 2012. We are certified through the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association and in First Aid and CPR. We are hard of hearing but can speak and hear very well. We both know ASL. Fitness and helping people is our passion! I have always been athletic, and as I became more involved in athletics and fitness, I became more involved in a healthier way of life. This led me to where I am today. I think it's helped me deal with being hard of hearing in some way. Whether it made it easier for me to meet people, or to "fit in," I’m not sure. I just know I’m here to help others! I’m here because I understand their needs and feelings. My business is dedicated to helping women and men achieve their health and fitness goals. RPG: What's your goal when it comes to training others? austin boot camp hearing impairedPetersen: I started Boot Camp Fitness and Training as a way to help people get in shape and improve their conditioning in the shortest and safest amount of time possible. Our goal is to help people not only work out safely and correctly but to work out in an environment that challenges them both physically and mentally. We want to get them doing things they never thought possible and to go beyond what they thought they were incapable of achieving. Whether you want to lose weight, get stronger or just feel better about yourself, we will be there every step of the way to help you reach your goals. RPG: Tell us about your boot camp. What sets your boot camp apart? Petersen: The boot camp is very affordable. It is also “buy one get one free” in that while I get you in shape, you get to learn ASL simultaneously! During our workouts, Mike and I sign. This means you get the benefit of a second language. Most importantly, we are able to communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Our boot camp also caters to clients at every fitness level. My goal is to correctly push, motivate and encourage clients to dig deeper and accomplish more than they imagined and obtain the goals they have set. And when they've reached those goals, we help them reach higher. RPG: What do you love about living and working in Austin? Petersen: In 2008, I met a few of my good friends while working on a job. I met my friend Lisa from McAllen, Texas. She told me a lot of positive things about living in Austin, especially that it had a much larger hearing impaired population. Instantly, I knew it would be a good move for me to relocate to Austin! So, my friends and I made the move to Austin together in 2010. We have all started a new life here. I currently work at Texas School for the Deaf. For almost two years, I have worked with special needs girls in high school. I love what I do. Being an entrepreneur and helping people every day is extremely fulfilling. The opportunities are endless, and I'm very excited for the future! austin boot campRPG: How can people find you/sign up? Tell us the what/when/where, and the cost, etc. Petersen: You can find us at our Pura Vida Physique website or on Facebook under PuraVidaPhys. As far as cost, we charge $5 per session. Why so inexpensive, you ask? We realize the cost of living is high, and with fuel prices, childcare expense, bills and even pet expenses, we want to make it more affordable for people. We also compared other boot camps and found their costs too expensive. I would like for people to feel comfortable and able to budget their money. To me it is not about money, it is about how we can help people set goals and achieve them. More importantly, to help hearing impaired clients have the opportunity to communicate through learning ASL. That is a huge plus! As far as the location, the boot camp was located at Zilker Park initially, but now we have moved to a different location: Festival Beach on Lady Bird Lake. Check out our website for detailed maps. People can contact me directly via e-mail, Austin Realtors at Regent Property Group like to recognize local professionals who are making a difference in the Austin community. Looking for an Austin Luxury Home for sale? Whether you’re looking in Lost Creek or on Lake Austin, we help home-buyers stay on top of the latest in real estate trends.