Welcome to my newly redesigned website! I hope it will prove a good vehicle for continuing
to share the many exciting things going on in my world, and the exciting classes and opportunities
that I share with you all.
I’ve reorganized my site with the goal of making it easier to use and to enjoy. You will now see:
While starting afresh with my blog postings, I have retained the best of my posts from 2012 to
2015 in this first posting,, below. They are organized by category.
I hope you enjoy my new site, and I’d love to hear what you think.
Again, welcome! -- Maria
Favorite Posts from 2012 to 2015
Jackie’s Story – 200 words
This is my friend and bootcamp buddy, Jackie.
I’m honored to tell her story in 200 words.
Tried to exercise in high school.
Couldn’t breathe. Stopped.
No emphasis on exercise/fitness in my family.
Tried aerobics classes in college.
In the days of leotards and leg warmers.
Had a friend and went together.
3 times a week. Fun.
Graduated. Nursing degree.
Friend moved. Stopped exercising.
Work. Pregnancy. Too hard to start an exercise program when pregnant.
Years of yo-yo exercise. Hectic. Busy life.
Mom of three. Wife.
Full-time Nurse Practitioner.
Start. Had a goal. Look good on a family vacation. Vacation over. Stop.
Two years ago. First day of bootcamp in my neighborhood.
So scared to try another exercise program. Fear of failure.
Showed up late. Started to cry. Walked away.
Pep talk from a friend. Came back to the group. Finished the class.
Felt sore but good. Went back again. Again. Again.
Friends. Motivation. Accountability.
Signed up for a mud race. First race ever in my life. Finished. Wanted more.
Started running on my “off” days.
Ankle injury while running. Setback. Depression. One month. Healed.
Started exercising again. No more stopping.
If I can do this, anyone can do it.
A Story in 200 Words?
I’ve had some questions about the idea/evolution of my “200 words” stories so I thought I would repost something I wrote a few weeks ago and add a few more comments.
When I applied for the sponsorship in the fall last year, the first question was “Tell us your story…your athletic journey.” (You can read what I wrote on my “Home/About” page.)
We had a 200 word limit which was challenging but also incredibly insightful. Sifting through so many memories and life-experiences, I really had to choose only those that were the most important. It took a lot of self-reflection and I discovered that in telling my athletic journey, I really was telling the story of my life. Through the ups and downs and twists and turns of life, sports, fitness and athletics have always meandered along with me. For that, I am so very grateful.
Now I want to tell other stories. I have met many amazing and inspirational women through my fitness career and I want them to have a voice too. These women are not famous; they are not celebrities; but they are total rock stars to me and to their families and friends I started this week with my friend Jackie who discovered the physical and mental benefits of exercise through bootcamp and running. Jackie shared her story with me here at my kitchen counter. She spoke and I typed. After she left, my challenge was to pull the most important 200 words from our dialogue that would accurately tell about her journey. It was a privilege to write about this exceptional woman and it has been really fun reading all the positive comments we received after we posted her story.
I hope to write as many stories as possible this year. I have already interviewed two more fabulous ladies and would love to hear from you if you want to nominate someone or would like to share your own journey. I need about 30 minutes of your time for the interview and a photograph. Contact me or message me on Facebook.
Thank you. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Lynda’s story – 200 words
This is my friend and neighbor, Lynda. She has lost 50 pounds with exercise and healthy eating. I’m honored to write her 200 word story.
Athlete. Small village in England.
Biked everywhere. 3 miles to and from school.
Gym membership. 70 mile bike race.
Exercise was never a chore.
It was a way of life.
Baby. Priority shift. Babyweight. Work.
Second baby. More babyweight.
Less time for exercise.
Family time vs. Exercise time.
Family time won.
Home gym = expensive coat rack.
International move to U.S.
Wake-up call at doctor’s office. Seriously high cholesterol.
Family history of high cholesterol and heart problems.
Wanted to be healthy for my kids.
Role model for them.
Started walking with husband. Workout buddy. Accountability.
Began “Couch to 5K” app.
Was hard to run even 5 minutes at first.
Everyday. 5 days a week.
Walk. Run. Walk. Run.
Cold. Hot. Rain. Sun.
Began “Lose It” app. Tracked calories in and out.
Portion control. Subtle diet changes.
Tracked my running with “Nike Plus” app.
Over 700 miles in last year. Cut 3 minutes off average pace.
Ran 5K, then a 5 mile race.
Training for a 10 mile race.
50 pounds lost. Cholesterol normal.
Mantra: You can do it. With every step. You can do it.
Tabitha’s Story – 200 words
This is Tabitha. She told me her story while we both sat, sweat-drenched, after a cardio-interval class at the gym. I am honored to write her 200 words.
Lori’s story – 200 words
This is Lori, my dear friend from college. She told me her story over the phone. I am honored to write her 200 words.
Eleanor’s Story – 200 words
This is my friend and workout buddy, Eleanor. She told me her story sitting at her kitchen counter. I’m honored to share her 200 words.
Mom wanted me to be active. Sports. Enjoyed swimming.
Soccer. Softball. Not good.
High school track. Mean coach. Shin splints. Improper training.
Beginning/end of my high school sports career.
“Sports not for me.”
College. Graduation. Nursing degree.
First job. Stressful. Labor and delivery nurse. Night shift.
Fitness not on the radar.
Graduate school. New job.
Wanted to exercise. Excuses. No consistency.
Masters Degree. Love. Engagement.
Tried running. Injury. Gave up.
Marriage. PhD program.
Wanted to work out.
Illness. Thyroid. Bad back.
“Unhealthy and not athletic”
My mom died.
New home. New state. Joined a running group. Learned how to run. Gained confidence.
Pilates. Routine. Buddies. Ran a 5K and a 10K. Running FINALLY felt good!
More illness. Babies diagnosed with celiac.
I got sick. Lost weight. Two years of tests. Esophageal disorder.
Felt trapped in my body.
Made a promise to myself. Feel better and I WILL live a healthy life.
Medicine. Attitude adjustment. Physical effort.
Started running. Bootcamp. Workout buddies. Accountability. Team-work.
Negative feelings became positive.
Goals. Mud run. Races.
Exercise is me-time.
Proud. Role-model for my girls.
40. Fit. Fabulous.
I now believe I can do it.
Alan’s Story – 200 words
For the next few months, it is my honor to write and share the stories of friends who have lived with and battled cancers and blood cancers.
My first friend is Alan. I have known him almost my entire life. This is his story.
2005. First noticed uncomfortable throbbing in groin. Ignored it.
Noticed my right testicle was enlarged. Ignored it. Pain. Pain got worse.
Started running to get back in shape. Pain.
Couldn’t talk about it. Ashamed. Embarrassed. Hoped it would just go away.
Tried talking to a friend. Denial. It will go away.
East Coast. Sold everything. Moved to West Coast.
New job. New life. It will get better.
Met a girl.
2009. Four years of denial. No medical intervention.
Bachelor party. 2am. Drunk conversation with my best man.
“I think I have testicular cancer.” Tears.
Admission of truth. To myself. To my fiance.
Doctor appointment. Exam. Tests. Scans.
Stage IIB Testicular Cancer. 37 years old.
Metastases to chest and abdomen.
Radiation treatment. Determined. Exhausted. Determined.
Wedding. Love. Happy.
24 radiation treatments. Completed 10/13/2009.
Don’t wait. Don’t be ashamed.
Making up for lost time now. Running. Crossfit. 15K race. Marathon.
Lucky. Strong. Grateful.
This is a busy week for my team!
Please take note of the following dates and join us for any and all of these awesome events! All money goes towards my Woman of the Year campaign!!!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014: Chili’s Give Back Night, Durham, NC
Thursday, April 10, 2014: Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Raleigh, NC
Saturday, April 12, 2014: Yoga Party at Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill, NC
Welcome and thank you for visiting this site. I'm happy and grateful to have a place where I can write about fitness and wellness. In addition to blogging about exercise and sharing workouts, I also use this space to tell 200-word stories about the inspiring and amazing people I encounter in this career. I look forward to sharing as many of these journeys as possible, and would love to hear from you if you would like me to tell your story. You can contact me anytime. Thank you so much for your interest and your effort. Think fit...be fit...stay fit! You are stronger than you think. #STYT