Face of FITNESS Contest Finalists
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- GRAND-PRIZE WINNER: Phylicia Jackson, 27, Los Angeles
- READERS' CHOICE FINALIST: Melissa Bender, 30, Pittsburgh
- Trinity Salazar, 28, Spring Lake, North Carolina
- Sunita Goldstein, 43, Foster City, California
- Jessica Mason, 27, San Diego
Trinity Salazar, 28, Spring Lake, North Carolina
A recent fitness accomplishment: Running my second half-marathon in Washington, D.C., on March 16, 2013. It was the first major fitness event since having bilateral hernia surgery in my pelvic area, a few months ago.
Personal "I Did It!" moment: Running my first half-marathon in November of 2012, as a way to honor a friend who I lost to cystic fibrosis.
Favorite (healthy) things to eat: Pretty much anything green is my absolute favorite -- my mom used to call me a little rabbit when I was growing up.
Favorite workouts: Aside from running, I really enjoy kickboxing and hot yoga. Also, because I subscribe to FITNESS on my tablet, I am able to use the video exercises that come along with the subscription each month!
Personal mission statement: I have this one life and the quality of my life is indicative of how well I take care of myself -- physically, mentally, and emotionally. When my mom was on the waiting list to receive her double lung transplant at Duke, I would go with her to her workout sessions. I would look around and see individuals carrying oxygen tanks, all due to illnesses that they could not help. I would think about how I am still perfectly healthy, and I should not take that for granted. I owe it to myself -- and others -- to remember this.
How she stays motivated: When I want to stop running or give up, I usually think about how much worse off I could be. I think about the people who are more than survivors, they are overcomers. I'll think about my mom, or the fight my friend put up before she passed. When I ran my first half marathon, I will never forget how I thinking that my foot was starting to bother me. And right as that thought was becoming louder in my mind, I looked over to see a man fixing music on his iPod; however, when I looked at him in his entirety, he was running with a prosthetic leg. Instantly my mission came back to my mind.
On her fitness bucket list: To run in all 50 states, US territories, and perhaps a few countries! I will tackle Seattle in June and, if I am lucky, Ireland in August. In the meantime, I am looking at running Tennessee and Virginia within the next few months!
Potential professional ambitions: I'll receive my Masters in Social Work in May and currently work at Fort Bragg, for the Join Special Operations Command Social Work Department. I'm humbled and honored to serve the population that allows me to breathe easy because they are willing to give their last breaths for me.
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