JACOB WATERS is new to Dallas, but the 38-year-old fitness instructor and native of Portland, Ore., already has found his niche here. Last spring, he started Lake Cliff Boot Camp with the tagline: “Get fit without swimming across the Trinity.” He teaches four boot camp classes a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Normally, they meet at the Lake Cliff Park playground, but the classes have been meeting inside Espumoso, the Bishop Arts District coffee shop, until the weather is warmer. Waters live in Winnetka Heights with his partner, Charisse Tasset, and their 18-month-old daughter, Kai Luna.
How did you become a fitness instructor?
I’ve been an athlete all my life. I was in ballet and martial arts as a kid. I had a single mom, and my brother and I were very active, so she had to keep us busy. As I got older, I stayed in tae kwon do and club wrestling. In high school, I was all state in football and third in the state in wrestling. Later, I started doing marathons, and I became a certified personal trainer in 1995.
So, you teach a boot camp. Is it like the boot camp in “Apocalypse Now”?
No. I’m a Marine Corps veteran, so I know there’s nothing fun about that. I have my own style. There are other ways to motivate and encourage people. You can get the same results with other methods.
Your boot camp is outside at Lake Cliff Park usually. Why are you having it inside Espumoso now?
The family who owns Espumoso are friends of mine. They don’t open until 8 anyway, so we’re just going to move all these tables out of the way and do strength training here. I would do boot camp in bars all the time if I could, but we’re just doing it for the winter. When it’s cold outside, you work harder to warm up, so people get fatigued quicker.
What else have you got going on?
I’m doing a monthly workout to support a local charity. Starting in January, every month, I will pick a different charity or fundraiser to benefit. It might be a book drive for the library, or something for Dallas Can Academy, Promise House — you know, local stuff. It’ll be the last Saturday of the month, and we’ll try to have them at different locations. It gets people out and about in the neighborhood. They meet their neighbors. It raises awareness about fitness, and it promotes my business. I’m a one-man operation, so I have to really target my audience.
That’s a good idea. What’s next for you?
I’d like to start doing community boot camps. Like I could do one for Winnetka Heights, Kings Highway and all the neighborhoods. I think it could bring more people out because it’s with people they know, and it’s right in their backyard.
• Find more information about Lake Cliff Boot Camp at lakecliffbootcamp.com.