Hi Mary! Please tell us about yourself. 

I’m a loyal and somewhat excitable Kansas City fan living with a New England fan. My victories have been few and far between. Our dog is named Brady, thanks to the Super Bowl in 2015. I only allowed it because I think our pup is as handsome as Tom the quarterback. Our life seems to revolve around getting the dog out. He is four, and just as we think he has mellowed, all this snow has him completely revved up.

I’ve been working for the Anchorage Daily News since 1992, when I came to Alaska with a freshly minted journalism degree. I quickly started helping out the IT guy at the time and have been working in an IT capacity ever since. The ADN has always had a hugely talented group of people – I can’t stress how much of a bargain a subscription is.

For fun, I like to be outside – hiking, running, biking. I want to ski more, but somehow can never get my skis waxed at the right time. I enjoy team sports, too. During the winter I play hockey; summers are for softball.

How long have you been working with us, and what initially inspired you to seek us out?

I went to my first boot camp in December 2015. I was inspired to go by Kari Campbell (again the dog – Kari is the owner of Dog Tired Doggie Day Care). She suggested Figs to gain strength in order to take care of a chronic hurting high hamstring. 

What are a few of your favorite things about training with us?

Going to Small Group makes working out more of an event rather than a chore. I like the variety of exercises, learning new exercises and my favorite is when Charlene is in a retro music mood. 

What accomplishments are your most proud of achieving in 2018?

My fitness goals are fairly tame: 1) do my workouts consistently and 2) stay injury-free. I’ve more or less accomplished that in 2018. There is always the dance between pushing yourself and taking it easy in order to get past a sore spot.

What are a few of your favorite exercises?

My rehab exercises for life: single leg deadlifts with offset weight, goblet squats, Bulgarian split squats, single leg glute bridges.

How about a few of your favorite muscle groups to train?

I’ve bought into the idea that strengthening the posterior chain makes everything else better, so I like to work my back, glutes, hamstrings. 

Optimal health, what does it mean to you?

To, me optimal health means staying active and eating smart. That means regular workouts for strength training, plus running or biking to get the heart beating. Doing this keeps me in shape to do all the things l like to do. 

Good nutrition is important, too – I try to keep away from too much processed food and sugar, with as many veggies as I can stand.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get in shape, but may not know where to start? 

Well, I’d start with walking, then work up to running with walk/run outings. For strength training, start with planks, side planks, pushups, squats, lunges and single leg deadlifts. Once they wanted to start adding weight, I’d talk to someone like the Figs to get direction. It’s too easy to hurt yourself if you just wing it.

Who or what inspires you?

Lately when I think of the word inspiration, I think of the recent ADN series on Kikkan Randall. Kikkan is a person who is relentlessly perseveres, puts in the work, day after day. Training all those years – what incredible focus she had to have – and it paid off with that gold medal. And now she is continuing to work hard to fight cancer. Her accomplishments make me think, yeah, I can do 10 more reps, no problem.

What new goals do you have in store for 2019?

In 2019, I’d like to get up back up to half marathon distance shape and stay injury free.