Fit Couple: Gwen + Mark Mrva

Gwen Mrva: 36, Administrative Director at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center

Mark Mrva: 36, Consultant

How they met: Gwen and Mark met in the Bluff City in 2008 at Fielder Square pool. Gwen often hung out there with a girlfriend, and Mark was also a regular. Though they were familiar, it wasn’t until a mutual friend instigated a call between the two that they began talking, which led to dating and eventually marriage. Although, Mark disagrees, saying Gwen called him all on her own.

Their workouts: Gwen is a former competitive gymnast, so fitness has always been a part of her life. In 2010, the couple decided to complete their first half marathon together. “I use the term ‘run’ loosely,” says Gwen. She’s since improved her pace and time and has run several other races and half marathons. Gwen continues to run as well as cross train with weights.

Mark, on the other hand, grew up golfing. “I was golfing before golfers were known for being fit,” he says. For the past five years, he’s done CrossFit and IronTribe classes. When asked if the couple ever works out together, Mark says, “We’ve attempted, but we differ in when we like to go to the gym.” Mark is an early riser, and Gwen prefers to go after work.

Their Diet: Mark and Gwen are on their second round of Whole30, a strict elimination diet that consists of whole foods without any added sugar for 30 days. During their first Whole30 in 2017, Gwen became obsessed with a combination of thick cut bacon, Brussel sprouts, onions, bell pepper, and sweet potatoes. When not on Whole30, the couple tries to eat clean during the week, but Gwen says, “Who doesn’t love Little Italy pizza and Gus’s Fried Chicken?” Mark admits to consistently grabbing salads at Wild Beets. “Anytime I’m not prepared for lunch, which is more often than not, I find myself there. They have great options whether you’re doing Whole30 or not.”

The couple’s next challenge is parenthood! They’re expecting their first child in 2018. “We are both hoping to keep up our regular healthy eating and fitness routines throughout the pregnancy.”

By Christin Yates

Photo by Philip Murphy

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