By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
Ask a couple where they met and you're likely to hear: at work, at school, at church, through friends. Not ARXers Victor and Mary Aranda. For them, a Hooters in Tampa, Florida was the sweet spot. Yup, Hooters.
"It was 2005. I was living in DC but was in Florida for a bachelorette party," Mary explained. "And Victor, who had recently moved to Florida from LA, was at Hooters with a friend 'for the wings'!"
The pair dated long distance for a year before deciding to quit their jobs, pack their bags and move together to Boston in 2006. "We were looking for a new adventure," Victor said. "Mary grew up in Providence so Boston seemed like a good option for us. We were married in 2008 and had our first daughter, Vivianna, in 2010, followed by our second daughter, Lucia, in 2012."
Though years have passed, Victor is still hanging out at pick-up joints, er ... casual dining establishments. But now it's legit. He's a senior art director at Uno Pizzeria & Grill and says life in the restaurant business can be stressful. "The industry is incredibly competitive," he said. "Being in the marketing/creative department means I'm always thinking about ways to convince new diners to try our restaurants, as well as compel existing customers to return."
"That's why it is so important for me to make time for some physical activity, to get those good endorphins activated," Victor said. "After a workout I feel much less stress. I think exercise the best medicine out there! I grew up playing sports, especially baseball, which I played from high School through college (Division II) through Single A ball (Mexican League). I even tried out for the Los Angeles Dodgers! I still participate in the wooden bat Boston Men's League, as well as try new challenges like the Tough Mudder (3 times)."
Mary is a senior communications advisor at JSI, a public health consulting firm located in Boston's Seaport district. "I work on our digital communications strategies and marketing for all our domestic work," she said. "On a daily basis, my work isn't overly stressful, unless deadlines are approaching for any of our projects, and I am fortunate to work for a company that values a work-life balance. Still, making time for the gym and other healthy activities has always been important to me. Both Victor and I see the difference not just in our physical appearance but our mood, energy and overall attitude when we work out regularly and eat healthy."
In addition to ARX, Mary does yoga and runs. "I've been running - I call myself a "funner" not a runner - for several years," she said. "I completed a number of 5Ks and did a half marathon back in 2009. Recently, I also joined a running club in Westwood."
Clearly, exercise is important to the Arandas, who have been ARXers for nearly a year. Beyond their own fitness, both Victor and Mary work out at ARX for their kids. "We want to set a good example for our children, show them the benefits of an active lifestyle," Mary said. "In fact, we need the energy we get from working out in order to keep up with our two girls!"
"And, we also love ARX for the camaraderie with the other members and the trainers," Mary added. "Doing the Ugly Sweater run together was fun. The event gave us a chance to get to know fellow ARXers in a more personal setting (lunch/drinks afterwards). We are looking forward to participating in more special ARX events!