Meet ARXers Garrett and Maria

By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS

Married since 2013, Garrett Fischer and Maria Ibanez-Fischer are regulars at ARX. "We've been working out at ARX for over a year now," Garrett said. "We can definitely say that our fitness level has improved." Added Maria, "It is really important for us to make time for fitness in our daily lives because work can be stressful. Fitness has really become an important part of our lifestyle and we've seen so many benefits from working out at ARX, such as feeling healthier and more energetic."

Garret, a native of Bridgewater, Mass., and Maria, who grew up in El Salvador, are both foodies. "We spend much of our free time trying new restaurants," Garrett said. "We especially love tapas." So how did these two meet? After graduating from high school Maria moved to Guatemala to attend college, earning a degree in fashion design. "In 2008, I decided to move next to Boston to pursue a master's degree," she said. "I currently work for the shoe company Clarks Americas as an independent account administrator, handling supply and demand issues for two wholesale accounts. Of course, I still love fashion so recently I worked with artisans in Guatemala to design and produce a collection of handbags."

"One week after I finished grad school I met Garrett when I visited a friend we have in common," she explained. "Garrett and I hit it off right away. We talked almost every day for two weeks before we went on a first date and eventually started seeing each other regularly. One day Garrett asked me -- in Spanish -- if I wanted to be his girlfriend. He even learned how to cook one of my favorite Salvadoran dishes. We were married in April 2013." 

While fashion is Maria's domain, Garrett also enjoys creative pursuits. "I have a degree in computer programming, and use those skills in my job as a quality assurance manager for Tyco Electronics. I've been employee for TE for over eight years. My role includes establishing systems and controls to ensure that products meet certain standards of quality, driving continuous improvement efforts, and maintaining ISO site certification. I manage a team of 10 that includes engineers, technicians, and inspection staff. I find the role of quality manager extremely stressful so fitness is important for stress relief. But so are my creative side projects. I love to Photoshop and enjoy writing software programs, and I'm currently working on a second college degree."

Despite a hectic schedule, Garrett views exercise as important so he and Maria make time for ARX. "I think ARX offers a more personalized workout and is very different than workouts offered at traditional gyms," he said. "The trainers are great. Every workout is a challenge, and the trainers always take the time to modify exercises when necessary. Even better, working out at ARX is fun. There's a community spirit. We have really enjoyed participating in their activities, including dodgeball at Launch, the Ugly Sweater Run, and the Lean in '15 challenge. There is a really fun group of people that work out at ARX!"