, Newburyport, MA


January 24, 2014

Making fitness fun

Boot camp participants left with lasting memories


At the restaurant, McCarthy told them to doff their coats and freshen up their lipstick — “I wanted them to make a grand entrance,” she said.

As the driver guided each woman inside, they quickly realized that, in addition to signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the biggest surprise was still to be revealed.

“Our significant others were waiting for us,” Cuticchia said.

“They were all so proud,” Gamble said. “That was the big finale, to see all their smiling faces. It made it such a complete package.

“To have the limo and the elements of surprise, we were tickled,” she said. “It was magical.”

McCarthy, 67, decided to lead her first boot camp geared toward women after a conversation she had with Gamble, who teaches yoga at the fitness club. Gamble was talking about her personal goals, and she said, “I want to be able to wear a little black dress.”

Though she said she usually tells clients that it is what’s inside that counts, McCarthy knew the idea of feeling confident in a little black dress was one that would appeal to a lot of women. She was right, as the class quickly sold out.

Sarah Raleigh, a 54-year-old Newburyport resident who runs a graphic design business with her husband, was working on getting back in shape after some health issues when she heard about the class. She not only signed up, she also designed the poster that was hung around town.

“I never thought I could do a boot camp,” she said. “It’s hard work, but it’s really fun.”

Though she had ordered a little black dress in her new size of 8, Raleigh ended up winning a dress that McCarthy purchased from Rocas to raffle off. She decided to wear that one — a stretchy, figure-flattering cut that showed off her weight loss — to the celebration.

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