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Hometown: Austin, Texas

When and why did you come to Austin? 
I am born and raised in Austin and I have lived here my whole life. I love the fitness community and food scene. 

What is your background? How did you get into personal training?
I have been an athlete my entire life. I started triathlons when I was 9 years old. Since then, I have been a competitive swimmer, played basketball, soccer, ran track and cross country. I got serious about track and cross country my sophomore year in high school and continued my competitive running career on scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin. I had always planned to go to medical school, so I started my career in healthcare before realizing that I wanted to focus on professional running, and I found fulfillment in coaching others to care for their bodies and take control of their health as prevention rather than intervention. Athletics has changed my life and I have always wanted to share that passion with others. While I still hope to attend medical school in the near future, I am content coaching and guiding others to achieve their health goals.

Tell us about your current fitness goals and training. 
I am currently pursuing professional running and I hope to run in the Olympic trials and make an Olympic team. I am a true distance runner and specialize in the 5k and 10k on the track, and marathon/half marathon distances on the road. I also enjoy mountain racing and hope to pursue that in the future as well. Currently, I am focusing on hypertrophy strength training and running daily in order to prepare for the Olympic trials, improve structural imbalances, and improve my overall body strength and composition.  

What is the most common fitness myth you work through with your clients?
The most common challenge I see clients face is their belief that the exercise sessions themselves are the single determinant of their success in reaching their fitness goals. Fitness and health is holistic and multifaceted. From a physiological standpoint, the body views all stress as the same stimulus. Stress from exercise is interpreted in the same way as stress from work, family, lack of sleep, under or over eating, or mental health problems. Training breaks down the body, and recovery is where the gains are made. You can only adapt to what you can recover from. In order to have a successful training program, the other “stressors” in a person’s life have to be dealt with. It is simply not enough to focus solely on the exercise sessions and neglect the other areas in life that make up the majority of the day. Many people believe that exercise alone will solve all of their problems. Exercise is transformative because to reach fitness goals, most individuals have to re-evaluate their habits and start to work on other areas in their life in addition to exercise. A strong foundation is the key to success in the fitness world, but it’s also imperative for a long happy life as well. It has a compounding effect that usually results in healthier eating habits, sleep habits, self-care, and better choices not only for the individual, but also for everyone close to them. 

What do you want your clients to take away from each training session with you?
I want my clients to feel confident that they can do hard things. Regardless of age, fitness level or circumstances, the courage to start is the first step to building confidence in yourself that you can achieve the goals you set. 

What sets you apart from other fitness professionals? 
I will never use shortcuts to success with my clients and I lead by example. I hold myself accountable to the same process that I expect from my clients. I focus on behavior change, integrity, and giving clients the tools to make their own informed decisions about their health and what is best for them. I will always preach doing things the long and hard way to achieve optimal results that support longevity. I hold all of my clients accountable to this process. I believe the most successful client is the client that doesn’t need me anymore because they have the necessary tools and knowledge to make the best choices for themselves. 

How do you, personally, define success? 
I define success as consistency over time and the ability to reinvent yourself and adapt to life’s challenges. 

Favorite quote and who said it? 
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room – Confucius 

I value continuing education and being a lifelong learner. In the world of health and fitness, there is always new research and something to learn. I surround myself with people who will help me level up, see other perspectives, and be a well-rounded coach and individual. 


Follow Marissa on IG: @mflournoyruns