Windy City Pulse

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Athlete of the Month: November 2019

Marisa Elizalde

Outgoing, passionate and fearless are the words that come to mind when our coaches describe Marisa. A zookeeper of 17 years, she started at Windy City as part of our 6-Week Challenge and has been extremely dedicated to getting stronger and healthier ever since. Why? Because working with African Safari animals like rhinos and giraffes is quite a physical job. Marisa lives BIG with very BIG animals. Marisa, we're so happy to have you here! Congrats!!

Member Since: 2017

Windy City October 2019 Athlete of the Month

“Live simply so that others may simply live.” – Gandhi

I was born and raised in Chicago. I've always been an athletic individual—started swimming at age 6 and ran cross-country in high school. I did my first triathlon at 19 years old. I've completed several marathons and did my first Iron Man at age 40.

Before Windy City, I've never been a member of any gym. I've always worked out on my own, running biking swimming at park districts and then I heard about CrossFit. So I tried out several in the city but none of them we're a good fit. Then I saw Windy City's 6 week challenge and decided to give it a try… and the rest is history, so to speak.

After finishing the challenge I took away some very good eating habits. I'm at happy a weight and still continue to work out 5 days a week and loving it.

I feel the strongest and healthiest, in body and mind, than I've ever been in my adult life. Windy City is not just a gym but the vibe, coaches, and fellow members are all about living the best possible life you can and I feel that that has come across in my everyday life.

What does living BIG mean to you?

Trying and achieving what you want.

What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?

Going back on an African safari.

What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?

I have been fortunate enough to see a lot of beautiful places in the world and hope to continue to do so...

Portugal here I come.

What are your goals:

  • Fitness: to achieve the elusive muscle up
  • Professionally: continue working in the conservation field with the animal that I'm passionate about.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I'm a 50 year old Zookeeper.

Words to Live By

(KISS) Keep it simple silly


  1. Leslie Lurz posted at 12:25pm on Nov. 1, 2019

    I’m so proud of you, my friend! You’ve always been my fitness inspiration and I know you will continue Live Big!! xo-LL

  2. Stephanie Wilson posted at 4:23pm on Nov. 9, 2019

    Yay Marisa!  Well deserved!

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