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TCYP Member Spotlight – Marisa Hrbal

What is your day job?

I am a personal trainer at Formative Fitness and yoga teacher at Dharamsala TC.


How long have you lived in the Grand Traverse area?

On and off for almost 4 years.


What is your favorite thing about living/working in the Traverse City area?

I love water.  I have always been attracted to places along lakes, rivers, and oceans.  I also love the small-town vibe and the sense of community that I’ve noticed.  It feels like every other day I realize a connection I have to someone or something or that I know or work with someone who has a connection to something I’m interested in or passionate about.  I’m an avid bike rider, so I love the accessibility I have to bike around town to and from my home, workplaces and the beach!


What do you do for fun?

I love to move my body- so dancing, biking, hiking, yoga, weight lifting, swimming, skiing and rock climbing are activities I do for fun! I want to take sailing lessons this summer!  I like gardening and I help with Carter’s Compost in the summer.  I am a book worm and wish I had a book club every week!  I write for my mental health but also because I’d love to write a book someday.


How do you get involved in the community?

I participate in book clubs through the library and Dharamsala TC yoga studio. I volunteer at the Cherryland Humane Society because I love animals.  In the spring/summer I try to help out with some school gardens I used to work at and other events with the Northwest Ed Farm to School team.  I just took over the role of the TCYP Volunteer Chair and am excited to make more connections with organizations and volunteer more in the community.  As a youth and college student, I was always actively involved in volunteer organizations, so I’m thrilled to get back to something I’ve always been passionate about.


What is your favorite local business (restaurant, shop, service,etc.) and why?

How could I choose just one?! MI Sauna, Brickwheels, Oryana, Horizon, Brilliant Books, The Refillery, Norte.  I think it is easy to see that what makes a business or service memorable and successful is the people.  All of these places have great employees and offer an amazing array of quality services and/or products.


What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I don’t know that I’ve had any “weird” jobs, but during the first few months of the pandemic I tried being a home healthcare aide.  It was a trying position and not something for the faint of heart.  Something kind of out of the ordinary that I’ve done is work and live at a Meditation and Ecological Center in Hawaii.  I got to teach yoga, but also had shifts in the kitchen making food for everyone, cleaning the cabins people stayed in and working on the grounds, fertilizing trees and mulching.


Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I personally don’t like this kind of question because it implies that if you know a few things about me, you know everything!  But let’s see… I am not very good at sports, despite how active I like to be?  All though that could be a self-limiting belief. When I was a kid I wasn’t great at them because I never wanted to let anyone on the team down and that nervous energy did not bode well for hitting a ball or catching one or figuring out strategy.  Oh, how about I think too much? My degree was in philosophy…


What is something you learned in the last week?

That not eating enough foods with zinc can cause low self esteem and depression.


How can other TCYP members support you (personally or professionally)?

I want to hear from fellow members about where they like to volunteer and what they are passionate about supporting in our community.  I am also looking to connect with other people, make friends and have fun in TC!