This week on That Girl, we are celebrating Melissa Marker, a Florida native who loves all things adventurous. Included in her fitness repertoire are mountain biking, hiking, trail running, marathons and triathlons. If you ask Melissa, no day is complete without a “good sweat session”. And because we admire any girl who is fit simply for the love of sport and adventure, we are excited to share her inspiration with you. Oh, and we especially love what she does when she doesn’t feel like working out! Take a look:
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
I will always be most proud of my first marathon at Disney in 2002. But, one of my biggest accomplishments was finishing a 1/2 ironman in my hometown.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
Well, I’m a PE teacher and I believe in order to make a healthy impression on my students, I have to be a healthy role model. You can’t encourage someone to do something unless you believe in it and are doing it yourself. And of course, I love a good sweat session.
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
I work out anyway – ha ha. I have to do something–it’s my wake up call. Some people have to have coffee, I have to have a good sweat–even if it’s a brisk walk or easy bike.
Favorite energizing meal:
Hmmmm, that’s a tough question, but I’m gonna have to go with oatmeal with peanut butter/Greek yogurt and honey. Anything with peanut butter gets me energized. And I love all things chocolate.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
After I finish a grueling workout, I love to make whole wheat pancakes smothered with peanut butter (no syrup). Then I enjoy a good nap either on a nice comfy couch or in a lawn chair at the beach.
What is your top kick-ass workout?
I have two kiss-ass workouts:
1- A long day on my mountain bike out in the woods for about 3-4 hours.
2- A long run followed by a long swim.
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
I’ve been to some really cool places in the U.S. and other countries. But I recently took a trip to North Carolina and did the Tsali mountain bike trails in the Nanahala Forest. Riding the trails with the lake below and staring at the smoky mountains equals total happiness. So peaceful and an amazing “kick your booty workout”. Can’t wait to go back.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
I’ve learned that you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it. I enjoy it for me, not anyone else– just me. And I only compete against myself. I just like to enjoy it. I don’t need a slap on the back from anyone, just a simple note in my head to myself saying, “Nice work girl, way to get it done.”
Photo: courtesy of Melissa Marker