Maria Finnegan is a certified fitness professional in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Maria offers private and group fitness/wellness training with a focus on the mind-body connection and benefits of movement and exercise. She is an instructor and full-time faculty in the Department of Health, Wellness and PE at Duke University and specializes in stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) yoga, TRX, bootcamp, and yoga. Maria believes that we have an amazing inner strength that we tap into through movement and fitness. She provides students and clients with authentic messages of hope that inspires change and provokes a realization of the true strength that lies within us. Through exercise, she focuses on the principle that our bodies are tremendous tools capable of overcoming physical and emotional struggles.
About Maria Finnegan
A few years ago, I was chosen as the Athleta locally-sponsored athlete here in Durham, NC. The first question on my application was: “Tell us your story. Tell us your athletic journey.” We were supposed to answer in 200 words or less. I got through one paragraph and had already exceeded the word count. So I deleted everything and started over.....
This is me…in 200 words: Varsity athlete. Soccer. Basketball. Track. MVP. “Most-athletic.” All-conference/county teams. Fit, active, healthy. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease. 16 years of age. Innocent and naive about the disease. Still fit and active through college and graduate school. Not always healthy with flare ups. Club teams. Intramurals. Bachelors degree in Biology. Sick. Medicine. Doctors. Masters degree in Neuroscience. Job. Friends. Soccer. Yoga. Love. Wedding. Life-altering moment. Emergency room. Mistreated/undiagnosed skin condition related to Crohn’s disease. Emergency surgery to remove infected/dying tissue in leg. Mortal. Very mortal. Four subsequent hospitalizations. 34 days total. Scariest and most challenging days of my life. Skin graft. Scar. Recovery. Strength. Setbacks. Strength. Career change. School and work. Teacher. Yoga and fitness instructor. Finally healthy enough to get pregnant. Baby. Flare up of crohn’s disease and skin condition in my leg. Hospitalized again during my son’s 7th and 10th weeks of life. Recovery. Strength. Gratitude. Determination and will. Good doctors. Good medicine. Life-style changes. Yoga. Running. Fitness. Nutrition. 2 more children. Lucky. Mother. Wife. Healthy. Remission for 8 years. Happy. Healthy.
Motivate. Inspire. Be thankful. Get up and do something. Everyone Has a Day One. Breathe. You are stronger than you think.
Founder of Maria Finnegan Fitness
Faculty, Dept. of Health, Wellness and PE, Duke University