I met Meryl Evans via Twitter, then later face-to-face at a social media event. The more I learned about her the more impressed I became with her fitness work ethic and her focus on being happy. We met over a smoothie last week and she agreed to let me share some of the ways she maintains a healthy and active lifestyle.

Meryl works from home, and used to work out at home as well. She used a treadmill, stairclimber, dumbbells with FitnessBlender videos, and also belonged to the Muehlenbeck Rec Center. She would always skip going the month of January, as it got too crowded. When she returned in February things had quieted down. Surprised?

A year ago she decided to make a change. As her kids got older, she noticed her circle of friends was shrinking and her adult interactions were becoming less frequent, so she entered an Orangetheory Fitness Plano Facebook contest. They asked people to share their New Year resolutions for a chance to win a free, one-month membership. Her resolution was to get out more, and she won!

“I was so nervous the first day,” Meryl said.

Orangetheory offers 60-minute workout sessions split into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Workouts focus on endurance, strength, power, or all three and giant heart rate monitors let you know if you’re working out hard enough.

Meryl is deaf, so the trainer, Gina Nate, printed off the workout plan so she could follow along while watching for cues to change pace. That did the trick, and she really enjoyed her workouts. It came with an unexpected bonus, the camaraderie. “When I started going, I figured I’d go in and get my workout, and leave. Soon, I couldn’t help but connect with the people there from all walks of life,” she said.

The classes are a challenge, and Meryl has to push herself and be self motivated. You know how sometimes the music, or the instructor keeps you going? She can’t really hear any of that, so it’s just the voice in her head pushing her to keep going and finish. Self motivation, for sure.

It was because of Orangetheory that she did something she never thought she’d do: run a half marathon. Despite being into sports all her life, marathons weren’t on her bucket list. But she’s so proud to have done it and with her Orangetheory family.

Favorite Places

One way Meryl watches her weight is to eat at home. When she does go out, she likes to try a different place each time, but she did find herself making a repeat visit to Whiskey Cake because it was so good.

She really enjoyed Go Ape Treetop Adventure at Oak Point Park, and Trinity Forest Ariel Adventure Park in Dallas. She likes both places and they’re different. Trinity Forest offers color-coded levels, so you can pick your course difficulty. Go Ape is much closer to home and you go straight through, but you have options where you can go on an easier or harder obstacle.

Other favorite spots include New York Texas Zipline Adventures in Larue, Texas and canoeing at the White Rock Paddle Company in Dallas.

When she’s not working out, Plano resident Meryl K. Evans (LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram) is a self-employed content marketing and social media guru, wife, and mom to three kids and one furry one.

The People feature on Plano Health & Fitness details how a Plano resident (or group) worked to overcome a health issue or become healthier. If you’d like to be featured contact [email protected]