This year, we added another member to our fitness team. In this Q&A, get to know Green Mountain fitness specialist, Masha Proshutina. Not to be confused with Marsha Hudnall, our fearless co-owner and president. What are the chances of having a Masha and a Marsha on our team? We don’t know, but we like it!
What did you study in school?
I have my bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and two master’s degrees, one in exercise and sport science with a concentration in sport psychology and one in health education.
Why did you want to go into fitness?
I could not imagine my life without exercise or physical activity. Teaching group exercise is one of my passions. I love working with people individually, as well as in a group setting. That’s why I chose to go into group fitness and decided to teach classes.
What are your favorite fitness activities?
I really enjoy circuit and interval training. With circuit training you can decide what you want to do, change it up easily, and keep your routines fresh. Interval training is great if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness and prevent the onset of boredom. I also love being outdoors and enjoy activities such as hiking and running. Why? Just look outside, it is beautiful!
Do you have any personal fitness philosophies?
I strongly believe that everyone should do things that they love to do as long as there are no negative consequences. A phrase that comes to mind is “everything in moderation.” And you can apply this to anything really… nutrition, exercise, chores (haha!). For example, we all know that being sedentary can have negative consequences, but it is also not good to overtrain. The other phrase that comes to mind, which is totally unrelated to fitness is “live, laugh, love.” You know, it is important to do the things you love, be able to laugh at yourself or laugh with others, and to love and appreciate the people in your life.
What do you want to bring to Green Mountain?
In college I restricted calories to be a “better” distance runner. I lost a lot of weight during that time, but gained it all back and plus some during the following year. Until a few years ago, I struggled with my body image. I always wanted to be thinner, but it seemed like I could never get there. Yes, I exercised, but I know I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I was exercising to get thinner, not to be healthy. I guess I just needed to open my eyes. And once I did, I realized that I was wasting my life away exercising and worrying about my weight. I am glad that it happened when it did. I am kinder to my body now, I don’t critique it. And even though I still try to exercise every day, I believe that it is okay to take a day or two off, do a shorter workout, or go on a hike instead of running. And this is what I would like to share with the women who come to GM: the importance of listening to your body, being kind to it, doing the things that you love, and spending some time outdoors.
What is your favorite workout song?
HAHA…I don’t really have a favorite song. I have many. I usually go for something pretty fast and upbeat. A few that come to mind now are “ Becoming Insane” by Infected Mushroom, “Cinema” by Benni Benassi and Skrillex, and “Midnight City” by M83.
What do you like most about Vermont so far?
The landscape of Vermont reminds me a lot of Ithaca, NY, where I went to grad school. The scenery is breathtaking.
What attracted you to Green Mountain?
Green Mountain is a very unique place. This program is not just about nutrition, exercise, or behavior change… it combines all three aspects. I love it. It is a great place for women who want to learn how to become healthy and how to continue living a healthy lifestyle when they leave. Also, here at GM many women have an opportunity to work on the negative feelings toward their bodies, understand their struggles with weight, and learn the necessary tools to overcome those obstacles in the future.
Who inspires you?
My mom. She held down three jobs, raised a child alone, and was willing to move to another country and leave all her friends behind to provide a better life for me.
Share something random about yourself.
I have two guinea pigs named Coconut and Elmo, and a hamster named Mishka, which means little bear in Russian.