Jim is the current Master of the Training Universe for Nerd Fitness, having previously been CrossFit Director for CrossFit Foggy Bottom for a number of years (where it won Best CrossFit Gym in Washington DC). Before that, he was a full time Personal Trainer (who won Best Personal Trainer in DC from the Washington City Paper). Before even that he started the site BeastSkills.com, which provides tutorials for advanced bodyweight skills. Through BeastSkills, he was internationally requested to give gymnastic seminars at numerous CrossFit gyms. The site also reached number one in Google search results for “handstand”.
Going further back in time, he was a member of Gymkana, a gymnastics club team at the University of Maryland. There he learned how to do regular college-y things, like handstands on tall stacks of chairs, and flipping through hoops of fire. In high school, he ran for 12 seasons, as well as completed multiple 40 mile races, so please don’t ask why he doesn’t run much today.
He’s competed in both Powerlifting and Olympic lifting. His training currently consists of gymnastics, grip strength, and weightlifting, which he loves. With more time, he’d definitely get back into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, rock climbing, and slacklining, which he also loves. Always looking to get better, he has sought out Las Vegas acrobats to help him perfect his one arm handstand, and Olympic athletes to help him with his clean and snatch. He taught Steve Kamb how to do his first muscle-up, seriously.
Nutrition & Sexual Health
Boot Camp & Mental Wellness
Amy Clover is a writer, speaker, mental health advocate and the force behind Strong Inside Out, a site that inspires and gives you tools to become stronger than your struggle. After battling with depression and suicide, Amy turned it all around with the help of consistent movement and adopting a proactive mindset. Now she hopes to help Strongies rise above their obstacles with fitness, mindfulness and simple mindset shifts. Over the last 2 years, she’s crowdfunded thousands of dollars for tours in which she taught her mantra-based fitness bootcamp to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention charity. Nerd Facts: she’s obsessed with X-Men (just check out the post she wrote for us here!) and was president of anime club in high school. Fit Nerds Unite!
Sword Fighting & Martial Arts
Dakao loves to move—be it dancing, running, jumping, or fighting. An avid gamer for the first 20 years of his life and a voracious student of history, Dakao stumbled upon European swordsmanship in 2001 and has since led an action-packed life. His 16-year martial arts background includes German longsword, Italian rapier, parkour, 2 styles of kung fu, muay thai, and capoeira.
Beyond the merely physical, Dakao uses movement under pressure to teach decision, perception, precision, adaptation—but most importantly, fun and passion because those are what really keep us going.
Rachael Fraser is a small package that packs a mighty punch! Years of training and teaching TaeKwon-Do, kickboxing, and boxing taught her the self discipline, power, and self confidence that she is excited to share with anyone whose willing. Don’t be misled by thinking it takes an aggressive personality and natural abilities to master the skill and stamina of combat. As a 5th degree black belt (!), Rachael will prove to you that all it takes is knowledge, discipline, and a passion for learning. If you find yourself in need of more power, balance, mobility, and overall badassery, come let her show you what you are capable of.
Mobility & Foundational Movement
Kate Galliett is the all-around powerhouse behind Fit For Real Life. Not only will she help you with mobility, strength training, and body awareness, she’s full of advice and tips to recover from and avoid injury – allowing you to be fully strong, functional, and prepared to tackle anything that comes your way (figuratively, that is. Though…maybe literally too).
Meet Peter Keller, aka Jason Bourne for hacking life for adventure + happiness. Peter founded FringeSport, which designs and ships functional fitness gear across the US (and world). While growing FringeSport from his garage to 15 full-time employees, he learned how to hack airline, hotel, and vacation spots, adventuring across the world for pennies on the dollar. He’s jumped off a building in Macao, been featured on the front page of a newspaper in Hefei, smuggled banned political material into Guangzhou, talked his way into the hottest nightclub in Shanghai, and spoken at conferences in the US and Asia.
The only thing that Rog Law loves more than fitness are Cinnabons, Dragon Ball Z, and laughing like a 5 year old on the playground. Using his unique style of hilarity, gaming references and an unyielding sense of positivity, his goal is to show people how to use fitness as a tool to not only get in shape and feel amazing, but to enhance ALL areas of their life.
Legend has it that if you turn off the lights and say “Rog Law” in the mirror three times, he will show up and eat all the food in your refrigerator.
Yoga & Body Image
Equal parts fierceness, playfulness, and magic sparkles, Kate Marolt is a badass yogi, long time NF community member, and founder of Sacred Body Playground. She works with visionaries, creatives, academics, and other brilliant world-changers to ground their ideas into their bodies, hone their power and energy, and to heal any trauma, blocks, and pain so that there is no limit on how far they can go in their lives.
She believes movement is our natural state, and playful curiosity is the key to success in strength, mobility, alignment, and freedom – both in our physical bodies and in our lives. Between her countless fitness certifications, over 1000 hours of yoga training, and years of energy work, Kate uses her knowledge of the body to create fun, dynamic yoga classes and to lead workshops all about body image, body positivity, and connecting to the magic and wild within you.
Jonathan Mead is an irreverent pioneer, champion for human wildness and professional instigator. He quit his job at age 23 after moonlighting on his own terms. Now in his early 30’s and a full-time renegade, he’s passionate about helping people reawaken the giants sleeping within them. He’s found that by helping people reconnect with nature, they discover their own true nature and wild strength.
He believes that you can take the man out of nature, but you can’t take nature out of the man — and that no matter how many TPS reports we’re fed and fluorescent lighting we absorb, the wildness is always just underneath the surface.
He believes that unwavering brotherhood, undeniable bravery, and unapologetic wildness, can not only change, but heal the world.
His deepest mission is to instigate a worldwide movement of wild brotherhood, focusing on helping men uncage, one at a time.
Ned and his wife started Crow’s Head Archery in 2006 to offer unique bows and well known brands to the world, but his passion for Traditional Archery started years before. While watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring in 2002, he became completely obsessed with the bows and arrows that were used in the film. The desire to make and shoot one of those bows consumed him – so he did! – and his adventure in Traditional Archery has been going strong ever since.
With a specialty in Fantasy bows and building bows that bring an archer’s vision to life, he not only shoots for fun, he can also be found on set providing archery equipment and training for actors. Recently, he’s created Robin Hood’s bow from Once Upon a Time and has provided his expertise for television and film projects like AMC’s Turn, Ren, Born of Hope, Rangers, and The Hunt for Gollum.
Stephanie & Shawn
Stephanie Schoenherr is a classically trained dancer with a BA in Dance from the University of Iowa. After graduation, she discovered ballroom dance, and in 2007 she challenged herself to start competing. From 2007-2011, Stephanie competed and performed with May I Have This Dance around the Midwest. In 2012, she decided to take the leap and quit her corporate job to become a professional instructor for May I. It was there she met her dance partner, Shawn.
Shawn is a current student and dance host for May I and studies all forms of partner dance. He has been assisting Stephanie for two years now and considers it his mission to make everyone leave with a smile on their face after every class. They are known at the studio for coming up with the best costumes at the theme parties from Ozzy and Sharon Osborne to Michelangelo and Shredder. Both Stephanie and Shawn are excited to join the Nerd Fitness team this year and look forward to working with everyone at camp!
Jen Sinkler is a longtime fitness writer and personal trainer who talks about jacking steel, hefting iron, and lifting weights at her website, Unapologetically Strong. The former editorial director of fitness for Experience Life magazine likes to play with all the toys in the gym, and is a certified RKC 2 and KBA kettlebell instructor, a powerlifting coach through USA Powerlifting, and an Olympic lifting coach through USA Weightlifting. She also holds coaching certs through Ground Force Method, Progressive Calisthenics, Onnit Academy, and DVRT (Ultimate Sandbag).
Jen played rugby for 13 years, a decade of those for the U.S. women’s national 7s and 15s teams, but if you suggest any type of game, she’ll play it with you. She co-owns the gym The Movement Minneapolis with her husband, David Dellanave, where their mutty little dogs, Zoey and Franklin, also make periodic appearances.
On a whim, she entered a chicken-calling contest at the Iowa State Fair last year and took third place. It’s a gift.
Robin Friend Stift
Robin was born and raised in Bellingham, WA where he first started training in Competitive Men’s Gymnastics at the ripe old age of 8. He moved to Philadelphia in the fall of 2009 and spent the last six and a half years of his life acting and parkouring up and down the East Coast. Currently, he manages and teaches at NYC’s only dedicated parkour gym, Brooklyn Zoo NY, where he was ever so lucky to meet the Nerd Fitness team on the book tour for Level Up Your Life. He’s thrilled to be fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming a Headmaster, and is ever so excited to take part in his first ever Camp Nerd Fitness!
Cooking & Nutrition
Michelle Tam is the food nerd and working mom behind Nom Nom Paleo, a popular food blog that was recognized by Saveur Magazine as the world’s Best Special Diets Food Blog in 2012. Along with her husband, Henry Fong, Michelle wrote a cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, which became a New York Times best seller and a 2015 James Beard Award nominee. Michelle also created the Webby Award-winning Nom Nom Paleo cooking app, available for iPhone and iPad, which is one of the App Store’s all-time bestselling Food & Drink apps. Her family recently launched the Nom Nom Paleo Podcast where they gather around the dining room table and discuss how they make a real food lifestyle fun, sustainable, and nomtastic. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco. Along with her husband and two young sons, she lives (to eat!) in Palo Alto, California.
Barbara Tushbant is an improviser from Atlanta, GA. She’s aware that sounds like a made up job, but that’s what improv is- making stuff up and getting away with it, no matter how ridiculous. She’s been on stage since she was a child as a dancer and actor, and has been studying and performing the art of improv for around 10 years with companies from all over Atlanta including Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Automatic Improv, and Laughing Matters. Improv is not only hilarious when performed, it’s also a tool that can benefit anyone, no matter how you -vert (intro or extro). She believes in the power of saying yes; improv is the building block upon which great communication is built, and can build confidence, help tackle that pesky fear of public speaking, and is a killer way to make new friends.