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Marilyn is the reason we’re doing the 2017 Challenge… we all want to “Be Like Marilyn” & be Younger Next Year. So we asked her a couple of questions because we want you all to know some things YOU can do to be more like Marilyn, Pacific Strength’s Student Spotlight for February.

Pacific Strength: As you know, Marilyn, you’re the inspiration for this “Younger Next Year” challenge. Not only do you act younger (in a good way) than most people half your age, you have more energy too! What’s your secret?

Marilyn: Compulsivity. Like it or not I am a tightly wound ball of endless energy, not really accepting limits to what I can or should do.

PS: You brought me an article on the “Younger Next Year” book and then talked to me about it several times. You were so excited about it that I HAD to read it! Why do you think this book resonated with you so much?

M: The book and their subject just fits my psyche. It is how I have felt about exercise and food for quite some time but needed to see it written in a fantastic, intelligent, book format.  I have always needed to feel like I should exercise all the time but most of my friends and acquaintances would tell me I was “nuts”. I know that most food is full of preservatives and is poison to our bodies, (my favorite quote is “the whiter the bread the sooner you’re dead”) but when I would tell others they would roll their eyes and of course I would talk about the deadliness of white flour and sugar and on and on and on.  So with this book I feel somewhat normal. Along with my many quirks I am a compulsive overeater, white flour and sugar are a serious drug to me, I am a recovering alcoholic, sober 47 years. So I understand obsessive behavior, of which I possess.

PS: In our 2017 Challenge, February’s focus is on getting Exercise Six (6) days every week. In the book, he says that actually 7 is preferable, but they don’t want to scare people away. We know you have been committed to your exercise routine for a while now. How long have you been exercising 6-7 days/week? Is it ever a challenge to get it in? Or is it just your routine now?

M: Not sure how long, I have always been compulsively (there is that word again) active. Once I decided to enter the first LA Marathon in 1986, I was 47 yrs old at the time, never ever running, I walked and thought I would die, my feet were bleeding and I was a wreck, so I decided to run (jog slowly and walk quickly) 10 marathons by the time I turned 50, I did in fact I went on to do 7 more after turning 50. So daily exercise, if possible became a habit in my busy life, working full time and caring for my family and husband.

The total freedom to really dedicate myself to exercise every day happened when I retired from a full time job in Dec. 2016,  I know that doing this and eating correctly and less portions will carry me on to a very long lifetime.

PS: You started at Pacific Strength back in 2009. What has made you come back all these years and if I can quote you, “Actually pay for this kind of torture!?!”.

M: Val, Gina, Sharon & Gabby make me come back for MORE.  I have found a place where I fit in and belong and that is the secret of Pacific Strength. My children are grown and gone, my husband has gone, hopefully to heaven, my grandchildren and great children are mostly grown, so the family I have found at Pacific Strength makes me feel complete.  I am waiting to achieve more and more and possibly grow up with all of you.

PS: For someone who is intimidated by kettlebells or thinks our classes might be too challenging, what would you say to them?

M: There is no limit to what you can accomplish when you bring “strength training” into your lives, it is what will keep you fueled as you age (a word we don’t like) but so true.  Any age you enter into a strength training program is the right age!! I began at 70 . . . in April I will be 78 (good grief)


Marilyn is truly one of my favorite people on earth. I’m glad we asked her these questions and I hope you all picked up on her honesty and sense of humor. There are gems in there that I highlighted so that we don’t skip over them. To be like Marilyn:

  1. Do not accept limits.
  2. Do what you know you need to do to feel better and be stronger, no matter what other people say.
  3. Face your fears and challenges head on and don’t give up because it’s tough.
    After doing her first marathon at 47-years-old where she “walked and thought (she) would die, (her) feet were bleeding and (she) was a wreck”, she decided to run 9 more marathons in the next 3 years. She IS NUTS! But that’s why we love her. She doesn’t accept limits and no challenge is too difficult for her.
  4. Find something you care about and do it with people you care about. We are family here at Pacific Strength.
  5. Every age is a good age to start strength training!

Thank you, Marilyn! We love you!

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