Joni Colburn

She Sees Your Full Potential

    Like most fitness fanatics, Joni Colburn gives the impression that she's perpetually high on life. Not only does she have the constant endorphins provided by early morning work-outs, she's also buoyed by the knowledge that what she does for a living truly makes a difference in peoples' lives. As director of Adventure Boot Camp, her job is to help women experience new heights of physical fitness-plus all the other benefits that come along with it.
    "For some women, it may just be about losing five or ten pounds so they can fit into their skinny jeans," said Joni, who is a former college basketball star. "But for others, it can change their whole lives. They become better mothers, better wives, and their self-esteem just rises. I love working with women and helping them reach their full potential."
    During four weeks of Boot Camp, Joni's clients willingly subject themselves to 5:30 a.m. workouts, as well as attending nutrition seminars and reading daily inspirational/educational e-mails. Their highly varied exercise regimen is likely to include everything from Pilates and yoga, to obstacle courses and resistance training. Joni's followers cover the full spectrum of age, size and shape-no woman is ever left behind, regardless of ability level.
    "One of the things that I love about Boot Camp is the camaraderie among women," said Joni, who makes sure her camps stay judgment-free. "They inspire each other to be the best that they can. Even though they're all busy with careers and families, they're setting aside time to better themselves."
    Last April, Joni and her family moved to Hilton Head from California in order to be near relatives after her husband was diagnosed with melanoma stage four cancer and given less than a year to live. It's possible that she will never need those endorphins quite as much as she does now, coping with this reality while starting a business and trying to raise two young daughters. But she credits the boot camp gals with being a tremendous support; and despite the challenges she now faces, Joni's certain she's on the right path.
    "I am so passionate about what I do," she said. "To me, it's not just about losing fat or getting stronger muscles; it's about being whole on the inside. My goal is to get women to love themselves without paying attention to societal pressures. I've been more successful than I ever thought possible, and I feel so blessed."

Up Close

Hometown: Irvine, CA Hobbies: golf, sports, anything outdoors Family includes: husband, Steve and daughters, Faith, 10, and Grace, 7 Highlight of her college ball days: named All-American, All Pac-10 and Athlete of the Year at University of Southern California her senior year Career that could have been: Joni was offered the chance to play pro basketball but "there was something in me that said this isn't what I want to do long-term." Learned the ins-and-outs of running an Adventure Boot Camp from: none other than the company's founder, her former trainer Why she works out in the morning: "You get the fresh air; you feel good and you do something good for yourself so you can focus on the rest of your day." Guilty pleasure: cheesecake Advice: "Those women in magazines, that's not real. Appreciate what your body does for you every day: how you can walk around and give birth to your children. Just say, I'm enough."