Former Cardinals cheerleader to give women a life boost SanTan Sun News

Former Cardinals cheerleader to give women a life boost

October 6th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Former Cardinals cheerleader to give women a life boost
Opinion
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By COLLEEN SPARKS

Staff

When life knocks down Andrea Goodman, the former Arizona Cardinals cheerleader is quick to get back in the game.

The energetic mother of three, who has cared for her parents through their serious medical battles and overcome a painful divorce and hurdled other obstacles, wants to help other women bounce back from painful experiences and boost their health.

Combining her extensive dance and fitness background, along with a mental toughness and empathy for fellow mothers struggling to reclaim their inner goddesses, Goodman is relaunching her Boot Camp Babes company in Chandler on Oct. 23. She will lead students through workouts at Desert Breeze Park on North Desert Breeze Boulevard, just south of Ray Road and west of the Loop 101.

They will do frog jumps, lunges, plank poses and push-ups as they participate in competitive relays, interval training and other activities designed to be fun but make them sweat. Campers can expect high-intensity interval training, including sprinting through scavenger hunts and water balloon fights to increase heart rates.

Students of all levels, shapes and sizes can come to the classes. The program is only for women as Goodman wants to offer a nurturing place for females to focus on themselves, which is “less intimidating” than taking coed classes can be.

“We’re definitely about the camaraderie,” said Goodman, 41, of south Tempe. “I always hear from past clients that Boot Camp Babes was a savior for them during a specific time in their lives. After taking time off to reassess my own goals and get things in order, I realized I need to get back to work helping other women achieve their dreams.

“It’s nurturing, but you still work hard,” she added. “I really focus on the emotional wellbeing in my clients.”

Stephanie Jones of Gilbert took the Boot Camp Babes classes for about three years and can’t wait to get back again. An avid runner, she loves exercising outside.

“It was honestly, it was like one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Jones, a mother of five said. “I had just had my last baby and I’m older. We moved out here in 2006. I hadn’t really met a lot of people that liked to work out and do the kind of stuff that I liked to do. I loved it immediately because it was just a great camaraderie of women. Other people had little babies and they had childcare.”

Jones said she was suffering from postpartum depression after having her son Ashton.

“It definitely cured my postpartum depression,” she said. “I met so many people through Boot Camp Babes. I got in the best shape of my life that I’d ever been in. I felt so awesome afterwards.”

The classes will be offered Monday and Wednesday from 6 to about 7 a.m. and then from 9 to 10 a.m.

Childcare will be provided during the 9 a.m. classes at the park, where a former school teacher and her staff members will engage the kids in crafts and their own workouts. It costs $20 a month for the childcare per family regardless of the number of kids. The classes cost $100 for 30 days, including whichever classes they choose, as well as one-on-one nutritional consulting, Family Fun days and Babe community events.

On certain Saturdays, Boot Camp Babes will have Family Fun days, also included in the overall cost, where the women and their families can play field games, go on a picnic and do other activities.

Goodman said the women in the class can focus on themselves and relax knowing their kids are in good hands during the 9 a.m. classes, rather than trying to watch their kids at the same time they work out. Women will also get fitness tips, recipes and advice to eat healthy.

While the classes offer “traditional fitness aspects” of a boot camp, Goodman said she offers women “a bunch of muscle confusion.”

“I focus on different body parts, but I do different exercises each time,” she said. “I try to make it fun. They’re sprinting and they don’t realize it. We offer a personalized approach to working out that anyone can benefit from.

“With this re-opening, I am hoping to bring my unique program to a new section of Chandler, while also attracting my past clients whose needs may have changed over the years.”

Goodman, who has a bachelor’s degree in child development from Arizona State University, originally launched Boot Camp Babes in 2008 with classes at Veterans Oasis Park. Having studied dance at Tempe Dance Academy as a child and danced as an Arizona Cardinals cheerleader from 1995-99, Goodman also worked as a sideline coach for the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders from 2005-2007.

Growing up, she swam and played softball and soccer, as well as performed as cheerleading captain at Corona del Sol High School, where she graduated in 1994.

Despite her active lifestyle, she hit a slump while living in Scottsdale when she was pregnant with her first child, Ryder, who was born in 2007. She gained 80 pounds when she was pregnant with her baby boy, and said she was depressed and “embarrassed to go to the gym” after giving birth.

“I couldn’t do any of the exercises I was used to,” Goodman said. “I knew I needed to work out. I don’t do well with a victim’s mentality.”

When the housing market crashed, it caused financial constraints for her and her husband, a mortgage broker. Goodman, a former esthetician, got back in the game, working out at Lifetime Fitness.

“I needed to make some money,” Goodman said. “I wanted to work out outside. I knew I wanted to do something totally different. I wanted to build a community, build friendships. It kind of came out of a need, of necessity. I’ve always empowered others.”

She had joined a women’s Bible study group with her friends, who called themselves “Bible babes,” sparking her idea for her business name.

To plan her business, Goodman tapped into her previous experience as a dancer when she worked for Armed Forces Entertainment in 2001. She had traveled with other dancers to perform for U.S. military troops stationed in Egypt, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Germany, Honduras and other countries. While on the tours, she and the other dancers got up early in the morning to participate in fitness training with the military members.

Goodman earned her certification to teach group fitness classes through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America, as well as her Zumba teaching certification in 2008.

While building her business and taking care of her young son, she was hit with another setback. Her beloved mother, Joanne Archibald, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Goodman stuck by her mother’s side for her chemotherapy treatments, radiation and surgery. Her mother, who she calls her “best friend,” has been cancer-free for 10 years, but the disease left its mark on Goodman.

“It was a hard time,” she said. “Life is precious. I have this gift. I need to use that.”

Archibald, a retired supervisor at the Tempe Police Department, has always been “positive and so encouraging,” Goodman said.

“She’s taught me about being confident,” Goodman added.

She taught her first Boot Camp Babes class with five people. The business later thrived, with Goodman hiring seven trainers, and boot camps being offered in three parks and a church.

However, Goodman suffered another blow when her husband at the time, father to her two oldest children, had a job transfer to McKinney, Texas, in 2011. She sold Boot Camp Babes to two of her trainers and the family moved to Texas, but after a few months there, she and her husband decided to divorce.

“I was just thinking, I had to be home where my mom was,” Goodman said. “I knew I needed to get back on my feet.”

She moved back to the Valley with son Ryder and daughter Reagan, a baby at the time. Since she had sold her rights to the company, Goodman started working at Orangetheory Fitness, in Scottsdale, as a studio manager and head trainer. Later she transferred to a Chandler Orangetheory Fitness store to work as head trainer.

Later the two, new Boot Camp Babes owners moved on to other pursuits and stopped the program. Goodman bought the website and rights to the business name back a few years ago. She remarried in 2012 and later she and her husband, Dan, welcomed a baby girl, Londyn, in 2014.

Besides raising her three children and bonding with her two adult stepdaughters and a baby stepgrandson, Goodman is also a caregiver for her father, Don Archibald, 90. An inspiration to her for his character and past careers as a credit investigator, teacher and minister, he now struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2004, he broke a leg and had to have his leg amputated, and now he has bone cancer and lives in an assisted living home in Gilbert.

“There’s good days and there’s bad days,” Goodman said. “When there’s a good day, he remembers everything. I do the best I can.”

Despite his medical conditions, she said her father and mother, who are divorced, are “the most positive” people and “always persevere and have confidence.”

Goodman’s own optimism and doggedness are motivating her to focus on helping others with Boot Camp Babes. She works out five days a week in her home gym, often running and doing other exercises with Ryder, who is now 10, in the morning. Londyn, 3, and Reagan, 7, take dance classes at Tempe Dance Academy. Goodman is excited to start coaching women again in boot camp and offered advice for other women trying to balance demanding roles.

“You just take it a day at a time,” Goodman said. “Do something for yourself. Your health is so important.”

To sign up for Boot Camp Babes, visit bootcampbabes.com. The first class is free.

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