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Community Highlights: Meet Maria Luque of Fitness in Menopause

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Luque.

Hi Maria, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
In a nutshell, I’m a fitness expert, health science professor, military veteran, and menopause researcher. I’m always up for an adventure, so I love keeping myself challenged with my different roles. But if I had to sum up what I’m most passionate about, it’s to help women in midlife live their best life. That’s why I created Fitness in Menopause, LLC.

I grew up in Germany as a child (one younger sister) of Spanish immigrants, so I had the great fortune to be inundated with multiple cultures, languages, and a lifestyle that promoted movement. This is where I gained my passion for fitness and love for the outdoors.

During my service in the US Air Force, I was part of creating the new Air Force’s Fitness Program and had the privilege of helping hundreds of military members to be healthier. During that time, I knew my passion for fitness had to be my focus, and I left the USAF to pursue my passion – fitness.

I immersed myself in studying health sciences while starting and growing my training business. During my Ph.D. studies, I found my true calling – helping menopausal women. I decided to study the impact of physical activity on quality of life during the menopausal transition. Since then, I’ve dedicated all of my education and professional services to menopause and the impact of physical activity on improving women’s lives. I have been fortunate to have very long-standing clients (some for over 15 years). I credit this long-term relationship to the meaningful and deep connections I’m lucky to have with my clients.

I currently hold graduate and post-graduate degrees in health sciences and certifications as Certified Health Education Specialist and ACE Certified Personal Trainer. I’m an IDEA Fitness Association presenter and fitness expert and teach workshops for fitness professionals. I also created a course called “Menopausal Fitness: Training the Menopausal Client,” an accredited continuing education course for fitness professionals and a new Fitness in Menopause Masterclass. Additionally, I teach at the College of Health and Human Services at Trident University International and am a freelance writer for fitness publications.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve had my personal and professional struggles but have always been fortunate to have a robust support system to help me through. When I first left the Air Force and decided to pursue fitness, it wasn’t easy to start from scratch. I left a successful career without any security or safety net to pursue my dream. But I was passionate about it (and still am). So when I moved here in 2006, I didn’t know anyone. Slowly, I grew my clientele and my friend circle and the most amazing thing that happened was that most of my clients became my family away from home; I saw an incredible group of women come together from all walks of life to become a tight-knit group of Fitness Fairies, which is what we call ourselves. We’ve been doing outdoor camps for 15 years now and will continue hopefully forever.

I also had a baby at 41, which was quite challenging because single parenting and a career are not the best ingredients for success. Still, I would not change anything about my journey. I am who I am because of the challenges, and I love who I’ve become.

As you know, we’re big fans of Fitness in Menopause. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
Thank you for the support. 😉 I created my company, Fitness in Menopause, to help women in menopause and peri-menopause maximize their quality of life. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about menopause, which is why my goal is to help women understand what menopause is, dicipher all the myths around it, and explore the role that movement, exercise, joy, and fun play during menopause and beyond. It’s also why I created and recently launched a 12-week Masterclass to guide women through what I call a voyage of self-exploration. It’s so much fun!

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m not a big risk-taker, but I have taken risks before, and quite big ones. The two most significant chances I’ve taken were to leave the USAF, a successful career with a steady paycheck and safety net, to start a career from scratch without any help. The second risk was having a baby late in life and juggling the responsibilities of single parenting and career development. Regardless of the risks, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every day I get to wake up and do what I love, I interact with amazing women, and my daughter is pretty amazing. Risks do pay off. 🙂

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Image Credits
Weston Carls http://www.westoncarls.com/

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