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Weekend Warrior: Monica Baker ~ runner & yogi

AGE: 43

BIRTHPLACE: Conway, AR

OCCUPATION: Physical Therapist, Certified Athletic Trainer for Baptist Collierville & University of Memphis Football Team. Holy Yoga Instructor

FIT CLUB: Memphis in Motion coached by Mark Higginbotham

WW 2017 HALL OF FAME: Sylamore 50k, Land between the Lakes 60k, Youth Villages 10Miler

FAVORITE FITNESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: Finishing two ultra marathons three weeks apart. When I started running marathons eight years ago, I never thought I would do an ultra, much less two.

MOST MEMORABLE WW EVENT: My first ultra marathon, Sylamore 50k, in my home state of Arkansas. Joy bubbled up in me within those mountains. It was just me, the trails, and God. My friends met me at the creek crossing with a beer right before the finish. I will never forget it.

I ❤ RUNNING: I thrive when I’m out on the road or the trail. It physically, mentally, and spiritually energizes me. I like to run alone to clear my head, but I also love the community it gives with running with my group. It’s the best of both worlds.

CROSS-TRAIN: I love yoga almost as much as running. The strength and flexibility it provides is essential for running, but the meditation and breathing is crucial for life.

NEXT CHALLENGE: I am teaching yoga on the beach for a week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. After two ultra marathons, my body needs recovery, and I’m listening.

WW MUST–HAVES: Asics nimbus, Garmin 225, and my affirmation: “Breathe love, Choose Joy, Live Free.”

“I thrive when I’m out on the road or the trail. It physically, mentally, and spiritually energizes me.”

FIT BUCKET LIST: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but a 50-miler has some how made it on my list (thanks to crazy running friends).

BEST EATS: Andrew Michaels Italian kitchen, whatever wine they recommend, Mama’s Ravioli, & chocolate sticky toffee pudding.

IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL WHAT WOULD YOU BE: A puppy. Everyone loves to snuggle with a puppy.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Uninvited: Living Loved by Lisa Terkeurst

BINGE-WATCH: Ray Donavon, This is Us, and Games of Thrones.

VICE: Chocolate, anything chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate covered almonds, anything chocolate.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Dance as though no one is watching, Love as though you have never been hurt, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though Heaven is on Earth” —William Purkey

Interview by Hailey Thomas. Photo by Sarah McAlexander.

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