How Marissa Went from the Couch to a Half-Marathon

When Marissa was in high school, she didn’t have enough stamina to run a mile — even though it was mandatory for gym class. “I was completely sedentary [and I didn’t have a gym membership,” she recalled. Once Marissa got her driver’s licence, it was harder for her to incorporate physical activity into her life. “I found myself eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on some days,” she lamented. “That’s when I realized that something had to change.” 

For the past two and a half years, Marissa has been documenting her progress on PumpUp. “I’ve [started] using PumpUp right around the time that my personal fitness journey began,” she remembered. “The reason I started using the app was because I loved the idea of a primarily fitness-based community for photos and workouts. It is definitely a great way to keep myself accountable.” 

Not only can Marissa run more than a mile now, she also ran her first half marathon. “Growing up, I was never someone to compete in sports and I couldn’t run for very long without stopping to wheeze,” she shared. “Transforming from someone who couldn’t run up the stairs without being winded to someone who can proudly say that they completed a half marathon is one of the most unbelievable and marvellous feelings in the world."

Each week, Marissa spends her time tracking her intake of food and limiting the amount of fast food that she consumes. She does a mix of cardio and weight training six days a week, and she’s currently training for her second half-marathon. “I’m trying my best to live the healthiest lifestyle that I can while going to university,” she admitted. “PumpUp definitely helps me live the lifestyle that I want. I hope to accomplish my weight loss goal while using PumpUp. I hit my goal weight about a year and a half ago, but I gained back some of the weight. With the help of PumpUp, I'm going to make it back to that weight, and move on to bigger and better goals!"

Marissa’s best Advice

"Be consistent. Everybody wants progress to happen overnight - even though we all know that it takes time and hard work. Consistency is key in this journey because the results will come over time as long as the work is there." 

Marissa’s Biggest Source of Motivation

"[It’s] definitely my sisters. We started this fitness journey together and have not looked back since. I'm so incredibly blessed and grateful to have my sisters by my side. They're constantly motivating me to go deeper or faster. For example, I was at the gym with one of my sisters the other day, and when I thought I had maxed out my weight, she made me add ten more pounds. She believed in me and I was able to do it! They're so strong, both mentally and physically, and I definitely would not be able to do this without them."

Marissa’s Greatest Obstacle

"The most physically and mentally demanding challenge I've faced during my journey was definitely the Glass Slipper Challenge that I ran in Disney World this past February. The Glass Slipper Challenge is a 10k race followed by a half marathon the following day which results in the three most beautiful medals I have ever laid my eyes on. Being from Canada, I was not acclimatized to the heat of Florida. The half marathon was the farthest I had ever run. My knees ached from the 10k the day before, I had blisters bleeding through my socks on both my feet, the heat was agonizing. However, I didn't let that stop me. There were blood, sweat and tears left on the course, but I crossed the finish line hand in hand with my sisters and smiled and cried as I received my medals. I'd run the race all over again just to have the chance to run through Cinderella's castle as the sun is rising again."

Marissa’s Favorite Workout

"Definitely squats! I wish every day was leg day. I love working on my legs because they're my strongest muscles so I can really push myself. I'm currently working on squatting my body weight and I'm only about 25 pounds away!"

More about Marissa

"I'm currently in University for Criminology! It is so intriguing and makes me love studying and going to school. I'm hoping to one day get a job with the police!"

Keep Marissa pumped! Find her on PumpUp and Instagram @fitnesswithriss