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Member Spotlight: Meet Austin Member, Mary Torkelson!

iGnite IS our members! They make us what we are, which is why we LOVE spotlighting them! Meet Austin Member, Mary Torkelson. Mary has iGnited with us for the past 8 years and since then, she consistently attends classes, joins us at events, Escapes...all the while being a wonderful mother to her two children and most recently received her Masters of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward's University. Mary inspires us everyday, and we love her so much!

How long have you been an iGnite member?

8 wonderful years!

Where do you live and how do you iGnite?

I live in Austin, TX and I can regularly be found at Kathleen's workouts in Rollingwood Park three days a week and about twice a month I get to Kathleen's house for her Power Up class. I have also joined the Summer Escape trips for the last 8 years. Last year, I went to my first Lake LBJ Lake Escape, and now I'm hooked on attending that getaway every year!

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Milwaukee, WI and lived there until I was 10 years old. My entire family is from Texas and when my dad had the opportunity for a transfer, we moved to Houston.

How did you get into iGnite?

My fabulous friend Jamie McCornack repeatedly asked me to attend iGnite classes with her for probably over a year. Thank goodness she never stopped bugging me, because as soon as I started, I signed up!

Favorite local and not local social media accounts to follow?

I stopped looking at social media a long time ago. My friends and children have to keep me in the loop about stuff, but I don't mind. My life is a lot less complicated by not keeping up with social media.

What word fo you mutter while doing burpees?

Just do one one more...

If you were going to invite a friend along to iGnite, what would you say to encourage them to come?

It isn't just about the workout. It is about connection with others and yourself that enhances the workout experience.

What's saving you right now?

Eating a little bit of chocolate every day. Seriously, life is too short to not eat some chocolate every day!

Who's your biggest motivator and what do they do for you?

Kathleen Parker (Austin iGnite Leader). She is a huge motivator to me and why I continue to attend her classes. She actually makes working out FUN! I show up because she shows up at every workout with such an open spirit and I try to take some of that with me to carry me through my day.

What do you usually do right after class?

Drink another cup of coffee!

What's been your favorite job and do you still do it?

I was a bus driver in college. I really enjoy driving and I met a lot of people that way.

What class do you most look forward to and why?

Any of the classes I attend because I look forward to seeing the my friends!

Favorite exercise song?

Viva La Vida by Coldplay

What's something about you that would surprise us?

I used to audio describe movies, plays, musicals and operas for folks who were blind or visually impaired.

What's your most favorite word?

Discombobulated; it's just fun to say!

What do you love most about iGnite?

The Summer Adventure Escape trips! I know for a fact that I have done many things on those trips that I never would have done on my own. Top of mind would be doing a Via Ferrata. There is no way I would have ever said "yes" to doing one if I were on my own. But in the spirit of doing hard things, I have done two Via Ferratas. Yes, I tell people that I won't do another Via Ferrata, but I know that if it shows up on the next Summer Adventure itinerary, I'll do it.

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