Know Bodies


By William Yelles

(Published in the June 2010 issue)

Meet eight model citizens-a Chargers cornerback, a ballerina from City Ballet, a yoga teacher, a partial-amputee triathlete/mountain climber, a pole-dancing instructor, a personal trainer from Russia, a Turkish bodybuilder and San Diego’s Mayor of Yelp. Individually, these athletes have unique bodies and different ways of keeping them in shape. As a group, they could almost change San Diego’s nickname to America’s Fittest City.
Quentin Jammer , 30, san diego chargers cornerback (turns 31 on june 19)

A veteran leader of the Chargers defense and one of the NFL ‘s top all-around cornerbacks, Quentin Jammer was named most inspirational player by his teammates in 2008. Last year, as part of the team’s 50th anniversary celebration, San Diego fans voted him one of the greatest Bolts players of all time.

Jammer was the team’s 2002 first-round draft pick and is now entering his ninth season with the Chargers, but he didn’t always know that an NFL career was in his future.

“I was definitely a knucklehead the first two years in college,” he says. Luckily for the young athlete, legendary University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown spoke with him about his attitude.

“They sat me down, and that’s when I figured I had a career in professional football,” he says. “They recognized the talent in me.” Today, Jammer’s home team has grown. “I have three sons, Kaden, Kaleb and Kasen, with my wife Alicia,” he says.

“During the season we lift weights quite a bit,” Jammer says. “Plus, I’m a defensive back, so 100 percent of the time that I’m working, I’m running. I always get a lot of cardio in. In the offseason, I try not to do too much. I want to try to let my body heal. It’s a tough game.”

“I can’t lie-God blessed me with great genes and a great metabolism,” Jammer says. “Luckily, my wife likes to eat a lot of healthy food, so I eat a lot of fish, a lot of greens and a lot of vegetables. I use to eat whatever I wanted, but because she’s eating healthy, I adopted her same diet.”

Jammer says to “eat lots of protein and vegetables and mix in a fair amount of cardio.” His advice for Chargers rookies? “Try to not to get too heavy. Try not to be working out for the strong-man competition. Come in and get some light weight, high rep work in.”

Janica Smith, 23, ballerina
City Ballet of San Diego

About to enter her ninth year with City Ballet, Janica Smith has performed in prominent roles including Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and Kitri in Don Quixote.

Despite all this experience, and the fact that she’s been dancing since age five, Smith still practices constantly. During the 27-week ballet season, she’s in the studio from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week, usually rehearsing two productions at a time. After perfecting body positions at the ballet barre all day, she goes to work at one of two other bars, The Corner in East Village and Bub’s Dive Bar in Pacific Beach.


During the off-season, Smith’s primary workout is a 90-minute ballet class. She also hits the gym daily, focusing on cardio. Working at two bar/restaurants “keeps me on my feet as well,” she says.


Smith is weight-conscious. She says she practices portion control and keeps food intake to a minimum. “You can’t eat a big sandwich if someone’s going to throw you around in a leotard,” she says. When she does eat, it’s usually salads and proteins. She avoids sugars and carbs; especially during ballet season, alcohol is off limits.

Smith says you must commit to hard work, “even on days when you don’t feel like it. No excuses-it’s important to stay active as much as you can.”

Danny Wurst, 26, Mayor of Yelp,

Danny Wurst’s job requires him to eat and drink things that he describes as “less than healthy.” As San Diego’s Mayor of Yelp (according to the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great-and not so great, in your area). As Mayor, Wurst spends a lot of his time searching for cool local businesses, often finding ones that serve “delicious but fattening” food, he says. Nevertheless, the Chicago native, who moved West three years ago, manages to stay in shape.


“I work hard so I can play hard,” Wurst says. “While the social networking review website I work for is a fun way to find food and beverage, it’s also led me towards some of the things in San Diego that keep me fit.” Those things include his gym (Fit Athletic in East Village), favorite running path (Mission Bay Boardwalk), hiking trails, bike store and soccer league.


“I pretty much eat whatever I want and in large quantities. I recently won a charity wing-eating competition at Dirty Birds (in Pacific Beach) with a total of 45,” Wurst says.



t recommends finding fun activities like pickup basketball or group hikes. “My personal favorite is when I find cool bar crawls or beer pong tournaments,” he says. “Gotta love being able to stay active in between adult beverages.”

Lacy McGarry, “Early 20s,” pole dancing fitness instructor
Pole Sinsation


Lacy McGarry fell in love with pole dancing when she took her first class at the stylish Crunch Gym in Los Angeles two years ago. Within months, she was teaching advanced classes there.

Having moved to San Diego about a year ago to spend time with her boyfriend before he deployed to Iraq, McGarry now practices on a pole in her living room and teaches pole dancing fitness classes at Pole Sinsations in Hillcrest.

Frequently headover- heels during her routines, McGarry says, “I find the world more interesting upside down.”


McGarry prefers the acrobatic nature of pole dancing to its sensual side, and says the workouts substitute for arm, back, core and leg training at the gym. “Pole dancing is work in itself,” she says. “You don’t really have to do too much else.”


“I definitely keep it light,” McGarry says. She drinks “tons of protein shakes” and was cooking a chicken and rice stir-fry for dinner during her telephone interview for this story.


McGarry says women should “keep an open mind” and realize that pole dancing isn’t just for strippers. “I can teach strippers,

” she says. “I’ll take their money, but women should know: you’re not demeaning yourself at all to check it out. It’s a fun workout.”

Tara Butcher, 27, triathalete

Tara Butcher says she was “not an athlete at all” before an incident that nearly claimed her life. In 2005, the La Jolla resident was involved in a car accident on the freeway. When she got out of her car to check the damage, she was hit by another speeding car, propelling her across two lanes of traffic. She suffered severe internal injuries that nearly left her paralyzed, and her left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

Ironically, it wasn’t until after her accident that Butcher discovered running and fitness. Supported by the San Diego-based Challenged Athletes Foundatio (, which paid for her prosthetic leg, she has since competed in one marathon, four half-marathons and four triathalons, and is currently training for the San Diego International Triathlon on June 27.

Earlier this year, Butcher climbed Tanzania’s famed Mt. Kilimanjaro. “It was very hard, physically and mentally,” she says of the eightday trek to the summit. “It was the hardest thing, but also the best thing, I’ve ever done. Tough, but amazing.”

REGIMEN: Butcher typically runs, bikes and/or swims six days a week. To build strength and prevent injuries, she also does pilates three days a week.

NUTRITION: Despite “splurges here and there to stay sane,” fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables are Butcher’s staples. She avoids processed foods and sugars, and has recently been trying a gluten-free diet.

TO GET A BODY LIKE HERS, Butcher says, “the best thing is to find something you enjoy and stick to it until it doesn’t become a chore. Then you consistently reap the benefits.”
Steve Hubbard, 33, yoga instructor,

Steve Hubbard has been teaching yoga for nearly seven years. Besides conducting studio classes in La Jolla, Ocean Beach and Point Loma (and moonlighting as a manager at Pacific Beach Bar & Grill), he also offers a weekly outdoor yoga session on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Pacific Beach. The just-pay-as-much-as-you-want class attracts upwards of 50 people almost every Saturday morning. One Saturday each month, Hubbard donates 100 percent of proceeds to a local charity. “The most satisfying thing is being able to give to and help others while doing something I love, teaching yoga,” he says.


“Yoga is the core of my fitness and feeling good,” Hubbard says. “I try to practice every day, but I miss a few here and there. Besides that, I like to mix it up with running, playing volleyball, swinging kettle bells or just going to the gym. I try to do one of these workouts along with my yoga practice every day. Yoga usually ends up being the toughest, though.”


“I like to eat foods that make me feel good. I’ve been an avid juicer since I was 14, so I’ve got to have my wheat grass and vegetable juices. That alone keeps me energized for hours. I’m not a calorie counter, because I like to eat a ton. It’s usually something pretty healthy, but I’m not too strict. I’m addicted to spinach salads but indulge in the occasional carne asada burrito. Some things in life are meant to be enjoyed. Oh, I do own a pig, though, so I try to stay away from pork.”


Steve says, “give yoga a try. It strengthens and lengthens, so our bodies work better. My advice on fitness would be to simply find something that works for you and make it a habit. Habit is a really powerful force.”

Magdalena Cernouskova, 32, personal trainer
fit athletic club

If you want to stay in shape, “you really have to push yourself,” says Magdalena Cernouskova, a personal trainer and boot camp commander at East Village’s upscale Fit Athletic Club.

Cernouskova played volleyball in her hometown of Prague, Czech Republic, before coming to the U.S. a decade ago. Today, she says, “I’m a fat-burning machine.”

Focusing on “lots of core and athletic training,” Cernouskova works out three times a week for an hour, often under the guidance of another personal trainer. She says people usually find it surprising that she works out so little.


Cernouskova says she eats healthy (primarily lean, organic protein) 90 percent of the time, but allows herself the chance to “eat out and have a glass of wine.” It’s important to have some balance, she says. “Life would be no fun. Why else would you work out and look good?”



rnouskova recommends people new to working out try boot camp or other group-exercise options. “It builds a spirit of camaraderie,” she says, “and it’s harder to miss a session when you have a responsibility to another person.”

Ozzy Kirdar, 32, personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder

Ozzy Kirdar moved to San Diego from his native Istanbul, Turkey, in 1999. He began lifting weights while enrolled at SDSU, then became a fitness coach at various local gyms before branching out on his own as a full-time personal trainer. As a competitive bodybuilder, Kirdar takes fitness seriously, working hard on not only his own body but also his clients’. “I enjoy helping people and motivating them,” he says.

“As a fitness coach, I’m active all day long,” Kirdar says. “I want to get the best out of me, so I train smart as much as I train hard.” Whether exercising himself or training others, “smart” training for Kirdar means focusing on “functional activity,” movements that activate multiple muscle groups at the same time. He says he does isolation exercises for “cosmetic” reasons.


“I eat for purpose, mainly protein, carbohydrates and minerals,” Kirdar says.


Kirdar says to work out a few times a week. “And if stronger muscles somehow lead you to stronger relations

hips and professional success,” he says, “that only makes it better.”