There are few people whose vivaciousness and unyielding drive is noticeable from a mile away. One of those very few is Marcela Perea. If it’s not the bull tattoo that’s brazenly painted across her back – that now dually serves as the logo of CrossFit100 – you certainly can’t miss the firecracker’s chiseled form and spunky, electric energy.
But our very own Wonder Woman of the North Shore didn’t start out in fitness. It was fashion design that first called to her – moving from Miami to the industry’s epicenter, Paris, for school. When she had an opportunity to put her talents in unique, ornamental, artistic women’s wear to work in the US, where her family was, it’s an opportunity she took quickly.
In 2001, had the opportunity to start something new. She’d learned about CrossFit at a vitamin store and, ever passionate, dove in. After ample research and self-teach, Marcela started running boot camp-style classes in parks; the first iteration of CrossFit100 was born. It quickly grew to a group of ten women. She found herself inspired and full of purpose, which lead her to get certified. At the conclusion of Summer, she knew she had enough momentum to rent a space and begin hosting classes. Over the years, her spaces grew incrementally until she found her current home in 2013.
I sat down with Marcela to gain a better understanding of where she’s been, what she loves most about her work now, what continues to inspire here and how the heck she does it all.
From fashion design to CrossFit… why the move?
Marcela says once she ‘drank the Kool-Aid,’ she was hooked. She loved the intensity, the ever-evolving journey, the constant challenge and the feeling of satisfying accomplishment at the conclusion of a workout. Unlike a lot of other fitness disciplines she’s tried, the progress is noticeable, and it’s not all physical… “my attitude was changing. I was noticing that I was mentally getting stronger, too.”
How do you channel your creativity in the work you’re doing now?
I enjoy getting creative about the way I approach challenging situations. I love finding fresh and different ways to educate people. Figuring out how to keep them motivated and improving is always something I’ve got my mind on. There’s a lot of creativity that goes into the programming, too – and how to give people the best hour of their day.
Tell me about your logo.
It’s my tattoo. I love the bull because it’s a symbol of empowerment. I like to empower people. Determination. Determined to do the best I can to help people – make them the best they can be.
Can you define your guiding principles in the work you do here at CrossFit100? Always do the best I can. Never give up. Ride the roller coaster… not even just ride it. Embrace it. Never be afraid.
What is workout for you?
What’s your one diet-busting treat?
I don’t really have one! People will often ask me that – what food to I crave or what’s my “cheat” food. I guess tequila?
Well then let’s talk about nutrition. What do you eat?
I know my body and what makes me feel good so I eliminated everything that doesn’t make me feel great. Stick with what gives me best energy, best clarity, what sustains me. Don’t skip meals. Straying from routine messes me up. Everything in balance. I only eat whole foods and protein shakes. Chicken. Fish. Nuts. Avocados. Sweet potatoes. Whatever it is, I always make sure it’s balanced.
What characteristics do you want to instill in your kids?
I just want them to be go – getters and self-driven. I always want them to do the best that they can.
You’ve come a long way since your time with a few women at the park. What is one of your most beloved accomplishments?
Dozens of the original group from the park are still with us today at CrossFit100. In fact, Jessie, one of her first clients was inspired enough to pursue her own certification and now coaches at CrossFit100.
Overall though, I’m just so proud of the members. They work so hard. They trust me. I’m really proud of the supportive community that we’ve created.
Do you have any moments that stand out as your proudest?
Every day is a proud moment. Seeing commitment. seeing people give the gift of fitness to themselves.
What’s next for CrossFit100?
I’d like to make some changes in the facility. I’m always looking for ways to improvement my coaching and offer our members better service.
Alright – one of my favorite questions to ask. Describe CrossFit100 in five words.
Happy place. Fun. Sweat. Challenging. Amazing people.