By Deborah Hilcove
Andrea Kaye Goodman is on a mission to help women get fit while building friendships in the process. Her fitness workouts, offered in the relaxed, open-air setting of Tempe and other city parks, don’t stop there, though. They revved up at Desert Breeze Park in West Chandler in October, and participants already pursue such widely diverse ventures as the Pat Tillman race, charity and community events, birthday dinners and family hikes.
The birth of Goodman’s passion for fitness dates back to her days as an Arizona Cardinals cheerleader, of which she recalls:
“It was an amazing experience. The rush and adrenaline of being on the field is something that is hard to explain. To a performer, it is addicting. I love to dance. It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it. Practices three times per week, all-day commitment on game days and multiple community service events throughout the season…But I loved it.
“The beautiful women I had the privilege of dancing alongside became my closest friends and many of us are still in contact today.”
Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Goodman hung up her cheerleading outfit and was hired as part of a government-sponsored entertainment group.
“We flew military air, had bodyguards and slept and ate on all different types of bases,” said Goodman. We slept in (the troops’) quarters and showered in their facilities, and we experienced first-hand how they live day-to-day.”
Reflecting again on the experience, Goodman continues:
“During my tours, we participated with the military during their morning fitness training. What a challenging and inspiring way to get fit. It felt so great to get up early and train outdoors. Little did I know this tiny seed that was planted during my tours would lead to an entire business.
Fast forward to 2017, with Goodman’s new venture creating an ongoing means for her to share some of what she learned with other women.
“The camaraderie of a group, bonding together as we push ourselves to accomplish the workout and the amazing feeling of accomplishment when we are finished, are guiding principles I use in my classes.”
Explaining the name of her business, Bootcamp for Babes, Goodman recalls how the idea came to her while attending Bible study during which her classmates jokingly called themselves Bible Babes.
“As I brainstormed (about my new idea), it was important to me that the culture of my company would involve women bonding and feeling like they are part of a team. It seemed only fitting that the group of women I would be bringing together would-be ‘babes’ also. And that’s how Boot Camp Babes was born.”
Although she and her husband Dan, along with their three young children, are active in sports, she says, “We are a self-proclaimed ‘Disney-freak’ family. We have annual passes and go as often as we can to Disneyland.”
While the family eats “clean” and favors simple meals, Goodman says, “I do not love to cook. But I do love to bake cupcakes and treats. The kids love to help bake and decorate. My son prefers to just lick the bowls and be the ‘taste-tester’ for all my frostings.”
Admitting to a busy life as mom, wife, friend, coach and primary caregiver for her father, Goodman says, “I always thrive when my schedule is full. I am very type-A and organized.”
She suggests that would-be entrepreneurs should “Just go for it; fail along the way—who cares? That is when the growth happens. I would rather fail at something I love doing every single day than succeed at doing something I hate.
“Also, seek out mentors that motivate,” she says, listing fitness and lifestyle coaches Angelike Norrie and Lori Harder as “two amazing women.”
Finally, says Goodman, “Confidence is where everything needs to begin. Everything—doesn’t matter what gender or nationality. Smile first, then get it done. ”
Classes are held at Desert Breeze Park in West Chandler at 9 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 660 N. Desert Breeze Boulevard. Childcare is available.