Moderator Interview: 10 Questions with Melinda Sarkis
Melinda Sarkis is a powerhouse: eight time marathoner, FlyWheel/certified yoga instructor, Legacy Lululemon Brand Ambassador and, as an award-winning realtor, always ready to sell you the Boston home of your dreams. We love her laid back approach to wellness and cannot wait to have her moderating our REST panel on April 8th.
Check out our interview below and learn the heartwarming way she got into running marathons, and the one reason you shouldn’t eat broccoli, and the best way to start a wellness journey.
Q: How did you get involved in fitness and wellness as a career? Is a fitness and wellness career something you saw yourself in when you were younger?
I was a ballet dancer for many years. That translated to my love of yoga. I studied Iyengar Yoga for 10+ years. I was always active and got into Triathlons in my 20’s and 30’s. After one to many triathlons I started having knee problems unfortunately so needed to take a break for a bit. A close girlfriend asked me to take a fitness class she was obsessed with. I unfortunately was quite adverse to group classes and working out with others, but I went to spend time with her. When I did, I realized I loved the class and it was one of the hardest things I had done physically. That being said, I ended up teaching that very class and was one of the very first BARRE instructors in Boston. I taught at Exhale for many years and that’s when I got the fitness bug.
Unfortunately, during that time of teaching my mom had a major debilitating stroke which motivated me even more. She was in the hospital for over 6+ months and I made a bet with her. I told her if she could ever walk again, I’d train for the Boston marathon. I have never really run any long distance besides a 10k before in my life, but when you want your mom to get better excuse is NOT an option. Well, my mom started walking again. . . and in 2011 I finished my first Boston Marathon. I now have 8 marathons total under my belt. I am honored and proud to say I have raised over 125k for the American Heart and Stroke Association. I was fortunate to be recognized for my accomplishments and was asked to be a Lululemon Ambassador, an honor I don’t take for granted.
I always knew I’d be active but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think fitness would take me in the direction and path that I have been lead down. I am grateful.
Q: What made you want to be a moderator for the Strong Process Forum?
It wasn’t even a question. I am passionate about nutrition, fitness, and wellbeing. It’s a way of life for me and I am honored to be included. I deeply respect [founder] Rachele Pojednic. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity.
Q: What do you hope attendees get out of it?
It’s simple: cold hard facts and KNOWLEDGE! It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to ask questions of doctors and scientists and experts in each field. And THAT’S one of the benefits of attending this forum.
Q: What is a typical day like for you in terms of food and movement?
Great question. Depends what day it is. Let’s just say I do BOTH every day. Work out… AND… EAT! (laughs). Just depends on what mood I’m in as to what I do with both. Sometimes its Pilates, Yoga, Boxing, Spin, paddle boarding running, hiking, etc. I like to mix it up. Just like food: GREENS, fruits, veggies, fish, but then there IS WINE and CHEESE in my diet too. Everything in moderation.
Q: How do you incorporate rest and/or self-care into your daily and weekly routine?
I work on meditating every day. It helps me in so many ways. I learned it last year in Bali and it’s a staple in my daily routine. It’s like brushing your teeth, and sleeping. You just HAVE to do it. Rest? Well that’s still a work in progress and I admit it. I always feel there is ONE more thing I can do in my day and that leads to LATE nights and EARLY mornings unfortunately. I NEED to work on my sleep habits for sure. If not for anything but superficially. I don’t want to look like a Seahag by the times I’m 50! (laughs)
Q: Why do you think it’s important to do this?
Q: I’m sure you hear all the time: “I like the idea of meditation, but I can’t just sit there for 10 minutes breathing”. Any advice for those who think they aren’t calm enough for meditation?
Yet again, it’s simple: you can’t afford NOT to meditate. There are SO many apps and tools that can help. And the only WRONG way to meditate is to NOT meditate. It’s like anything; it just takes practice. Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you’ll do it for 30 minutes. Start with 5. Then 10. Then 15. And so on. Confucius says “If you want to do something you will. Otherwise you’ll make an excuse.” You have to want to do it. Here’s my first suggestion: Go online and read about all of the BENEFITS! I bet THAT will help you start!
Q: Any advice for someone just starting a wellness journey?
Just make the decision to want to be healthy and then commit and START! Here’s one simple little way to start: Eat a colorful plate, drink more water, MOVE for 30 minutes to an hour every day, go to bed an hour earlier, and meditate for 5 minutes a day. Start with this for a month, make a practice of it then ADD on!
Q: If I could tell people one thing about health and wellness, it would be ______________.
Find something that makes you happy and smile. Even if it’s hard. And stick to THAT! If you don’t like spinning, don’t do it. If you don’t like broccoli, don’t eat it. BUT don’t throw everything away because running hurts your knees and kale bores you. There are PLENTY of other options out there. Just pick something that makes you happy that is HEALTHY and start THERE!
Q: What is your personal motto?
In 2018 it is #trusttheprocess. So true, right? It’s all a process but with that being said, you have to have patience.
Check Melinda out on Instagram!