GYMS: MISSION: EXERCISE

As a little girl growing up in New York, Sascha Ferguson wanted to be one of Charlie's Angels. But instead of getting her wings, the now 34-year-old Ferguson married, had a baby boy and settled into a career coaching major corporations and their employees on how to do their jobs more effectively. The American Dream, it would seem, with one small exception--it wasn't Sascha's.

Bored with her 9-to-5 work schedule, Ferguson decided to channel her inner butt kicker. Betting that other women had similar urges, she got together with two of her best friends and came up with an idea to begin her own business: a girl-power gym--or wanna-be spy camp. This year Ferguson launched a six- to eight-week program in Los Angeles that trains women in such spy skills as climbing up the side of a building, rappelling off a 30-foot cliff and performing aerial trapeze stunts. And, of course, what female spy would be prepared without learning the art of belly dancing or how to give a proper lap dance? The program isn't cheap--packages start at $150 and go as high as $1,500--but that hasn't deterred women from packing into the classes. "The main thing we offer is a friendly, female experience where women let their guards down and bond with other women," says Judy Brown, one of Ferguson's partners. "It's about staying active without having to think or worry about it." Charlie would be proud.

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