Friday, July 16, 2010

Tri-Fit Friday! Meet Mary.

It's Tri-Fit Friday!  
The Women's Tri-Fitness organization hosted the Ultimate Fitness Challenge last weekend in Las Vegas, and that means the countdown to November (the next UFC event) is on!  Since I am cheap and lazy, competing in a locale/season that I can both drive to and not sweat in trumps flying to Vegas and exercising in 100+ heat.  So November it is!

And this year, I am counting down by featuring some of the inspirational women of tri-fit that motivate me to do things that force me to use unladylike language at the gym.   

The first of these lovely ladies is Mary Parrett, a geriatric health services manager by day and tri-fit competitor on the weekends who caught my eye at my first Tri-Fit Camp back in March 2009.  Not only is she a dynamo on the obstacle course, her positive attitude, encouragement, and can-do spirit really helps competitors remember that Tri-Fit is about competing with yourself, which is such a great experience.

And, she does it all as a later-in-life athlete in her 50s.  As someone with no athletic background whatsoever, she really serves as a lesson that we can learn new tricks at any age.

I sat down (virtually) with Mary to find out what drew her to Tri-Fit.  Read more to find out about what motivates her, how she trains, and why she chose such a unique sport.

WWOP: Why do you compete in tri-fitness?
Mary:Tri-fitness is an unusual event which has concrete results and allows you to compete with yourself. Very little is left to judgment. Your time is your time and only YOU can control your growth and development in this sport. The best part is the sisterhood which develops from this sport. We all cheer for each other; we all support each other; we share secrets of self-development and improvement. Tri-fitness is not about competing. It IS about believing in yourself. It IS about setting goals and improving. It IS about recognizing the obstacles in your own life and learning how to hurdle them most efficiently every time.

WWOP: What about tri-fitness caught your attention?
Mary: I learned of Tri-fitness from a girlfriend at the gym (age 38 or 39 at the time). I looked into it and went to visit Al Rosen for a private session (I was 52 at the time and wanted to private intro to be sure I didn't kill myself on the course). After an hour, I immediately joined in the Wednesday evening practice and met a handful of the girls. They were wonderful! I was so taken by the whole experience, I've been there since.

WWOP: Do you have an athletic background? If so, what kinds of sports did you play? Mary: No real sporting background... just girls phys ed in school and some intramural sports after school. Never really made too much on any teams... if I was chosen, it was for my enthusiasm and not skills!

WWOP: What is your typical training program for tri-fit?
Mary: I go to practice with Al and the girls on Saturdays to work on all the obstacles and do lots and lots of conditioning drills for speed and power. In fact, even in the gym, my weight lifting work outs are either power and strength or power and speed. Lots of explosions of power work coupled with either speed work or strength work. I have a wonderful trainer with whom I have worked since 2001. With every new thing I want he changes my training to meet the needs of the sport.

WWOP: What is your favorite part of tri-fit?
Mary: The energy created by the event... lots of cheering and positive pushes to go forward. The people are terrific! Everyone gives 110% and hopes for the best for everyone else. It's a really positive experience.

WWOP: What part of tri-fit is the most challenging for you and why?
Mary: Are you kidding? It's ALL challenging! I love it though and won't quit until I can't do it anymore!

Thanks Mary!  Find out more about Tri-Fitness and the Ultimate Fitness Challenge here or read about my experience here.  And stay tuned for more profiles of uber-inspirational Tri-Fit Ladies!


Anonymous said...

Love Mary! She's so amazing and an inspiration to women of all ages.

Karen said...

Love the post Heather! Mary truely is an inspiration!!