Our awesome FF member, Laurel has been working with us since October 2014. We wanted to get to know her a little better, so we asked her some fun questions. Enjoy!

1. Hi Laurel, please tell us about yourself! 

I was born at Humana Hospital (now Regional) at 1:31 am on January 11th.  Anchorage has been my home since day 1.  I grew up right near Valley of the Moon Park, later rented my childhood home from my dad (post-college) and I now inhabit the “lower hillside” area – a 5-minute run from Far North Bicentennial Park!

A few of my true loves are running, LAUGHING, x-c skiing, scrap booking, interior decorating, FAMILY TIME, financial planning, game nights and Zak.  Zak and I are getting married on June 19th.  We plan to live happily ever after : )

2. What are some of your favorite things about your career?

Relationships!  Helping people!  More specifically, I work with people to make smart choices about their money, for the reasons that are important to them.  My philosophy is “values-based” financial planning – it is VERY much like the FF philosophy.  It is vital to examine your goals and determine WHY they are important to you.

If you don’t know the why, it is often difficult to make progress and accomplish those goals.  When a client tells me that they have less stress in their life because I take the money piece off of their plate, it brings me tremendous satisfaction.  When someone reaches and perhaps surpasses their goals and I have a tiny part in that, it feels great!

I could go on and on about the parallels between what I do and what Charlene, Lela & Steph do.  Getting in great physical shape is just like getting in great financial shape.  It takes time, focus, clear goals, sacrifice, hard work and sometimes a coach or trainer!  Maybe I’ll rename my business Financial Fitness!  Then I could also go by FF ; )

3. How did you find FF, and what do you remember about your first workout with us?

My best friend and running buddy mentioned Figarelle’s casually one day during a run.  We were talking about strength training and how it would be great to do other workouts in addition to running.  She is not an FF member, but heard about FF through Holly S-T!  After looking at their website, I was excited to try a class.

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My first class was Tuesday 6:00 PM on October…  I remember meeting Steph for the first time and feeling immediately at home.  After the AWESOME workout, I signed up for a year membership on the spot.  I remember the workout being everything I wanted AND MORE.  We high-fived afterwards, I felt energized and excited and my muscles sure felt it the next few days : )

4. What are a few of your favorite things about FF Boot Camps?

Boot Camps fill a void in my heart, body and soul of once being a “competitive” athlete and a team player.  After high school and college ended, I spent years doing absolutely NO strength training of any kind OR team involvement.  I missed both.  I missed the challenge of pushing your body to the max (in a different way than running does) and I missed being around an awesome group of people working towards a common goal.

I now see FF as a cornerstone in my life.  Not only does it push me to be a better athlete overall, I can accomplish this in a supportive environment with expert coaching and the absolute BEST cheering squad and teammates imaginable.  I see Charlene, Lela and Steph as the coaches of an AMAZING FF team!

5. What FF Boot Camp classes do you attend?

I attend Charlene’s 6:00AM classes on Tuesday and Thursday and MOST 9:30 classes on Saturday (sometimes out of town weekends trump BC).  I am proud to stay that I haven’t missed an early workout since joining FF – unless of course I was out of the state.  Several of us 6AMers believe a workout is better than coffee (that’s not to say that we don’t go home and have a cup, but…) (sorry for that double-negative).

6. What’s the last great book you read? What was it about?

Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  Gosh, I can’t recommend this book enough.  You will learn about yourself, your partner, everyone in your life and how they might perceive and process the world differently.  Any book where you learn something helpful, powerful, insightful is on my A list.  It’s about introverts – and occasionally extroverts.

7. What are the top 5 things you have on your bucket list? What is important about each of them?

In no particular order…

1)  Visit at least 100 countries during my lifetime.  It took me 25 years to get out of this country (not counting Canada and Mexico) and I’m hooked!  So far I’ve been to China, Laos & Thailand (all in one trip) and Ireland, England & France (also in one trip).  So I guess I have 94 to go!  This is important because you learn so much from other cultures…few books or documentaries can replace EXPERIENCES!  I believe that travel changes your life.  It might be subtle, but it changes you.

2)  Be a mother.  I would like to have a baby someday…I just can’t imagine a greater feeling than watching your child grow up and seeing what they do and who they become!

3)  Jump out of a plane.  Preferably with a parachute.  This seems like a fun thing to do and I would like to experience free fall (even for just a few seconds).

4)  I have grand plans for my business.  It’s hard to capture but basically I want to continue developing a GREAT team of people that work together in servicing a fantastic group of clients.  Eventually I would like to buy an office building and design it specifically to look and feel inspirational!  This is hugely important because I want to help more people and provide endless value (like FF does!)

5)  Writing a book or at least collaborating on one.  People have stories and these stories, if told, might help someone else going through a similar struggle.  I think our society is nearing a time and place where it isn’t taboo to share struggles and triumphs equally.  When we can be honest about tough stuff, that is when we can be our true selves and reach our full potential.  I want to be part of making this happen!  It’s the UPWARD SPIRAL!

8. What is your favorite genre of music? Why?

According to iTunes, my favorite genre is “alternative.”  I don’t think this captures the music I love.  I really enjoy songs that I can both sing AND dance to.  I would re-name my favorite genre “upbeat lyrical with a splash of pop.”  A few bands that dominate my playlists are Matt & Kim, Imagine Dragons, Michael Franti, Neon Trees, Smallpools, Josh Ritter, ROBYN!, Ke$ha…I must also admit that I probably wouldn’t want to live without Taylor Swift and a handful of country tunes.

9. Are you currently training for anything?

YES!  ALWAYS!  Right now I am less than a month away from the Big Sur Marathon.  SO EXCITED!  It is going to be a gorgeous race.

Laurel - Fun Photo!

After that…I’m sure something will come up between the marathon and Lost Lake.  I’ll be doing some more hill workouts and trail running May, June, July if anyone wants to join : )

10. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? Why?

Wow…for someone who struggled with history this is tough.  I honestly think it would be really interesting to go back to the farm days when people made everything themselves: houses, clothing, churning cream into butter…those people worked hard!  I think I could handle that.

Another fun time would be the Italian Renaissance.  Except for the not showering aspect of things, all the artwork and feasting would be pretty sweet!

11. Anything else we should know? Please share! 🙂

11 is my favorite number so I’m glad we are on question 11.  My license plate says “HO0RAY” which just about sums up my attitude towards life.