Fitness and fun fit the bill for this healthy Parkite
February 1, 2008
Patrice Martin remembers the Park City of her childhood in the early 1970s as "almost like a ghost town." During her extremely active life over the last three decades, she’s watched the town evolve, for better and worst, into the thriving, busting resort town it is today.
She was born in Salt Lake City, the youngest of Lucile and Lionel Martin’s eight children. She has six older sisters and an older brother. She describes herself as outgoing and fun-loving.
"I can create a party wherever I go," she laughs.
Martin grew up and went through school in the Salt Lake valley. She has fond memories of long, lazy summer days at the family cabin at nearby Strawberry Reservoir.
"I remember running up and down the docks looking for frogs, skipping rocks and being kids," she says. "On the way home we would drive into Park City and go the penny candy store. That was the biggest treat!"
She’s loved to dance since she was a toddler.
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"I was involved in some type of dance class since I was about two years old, when my mom enrolled me in ballet class," she says.
Martin also enjoyed many sports and always took pride in her level of physical fitness.
After graduating from Olympus High School in 1983, she launched herself full-bore into a career as a fitness professional.
"I can’t imagine doing anything else," says Martin. It’s what I was meant to do, my ‘dharma.’"
She became a certified aerobic instructor that same year.
"I get this incredible high when I’m teaching, like there is an energy that is working through me. It brings me incredible joy and I love sharing that energy with anyone who wants to work with me," she says.
Martin worked at Fitness America for three years before moving her base of operations to Body Tech, where she taught a wide variety of fitness classes until 2004.
She also began her college studies at the University of Utah, where she took classes in dance, and later at Salt Lake Community College, where she studied fashion design.
In 1986, Martin began competing in national aerobic competitions. She traveled throughout the country over the next six years competing in many national fitness events, including the Crystal Light Aerobic Competition and the National Aerobic Championships competition, which aired on ESPN television. In the process she rose steadily through the ranks of thousands of talented athletes.
Martin won the gold medal for the mountain-west region in 1992 and a trip to the ’92 Reebok National Aerobic Championships. Her competitive career culminated there when she took the bronze medal against an elite group of world-class women athletes.
Never a shrinking violet, she took on another huge challenge that year when she tried out for a spot on the prestigious Utah Jazz Dance Team.
"I’d just won the bronze medal and it was the first year they had tryouts for the dance team," she explains. "I’d felt jilted ever since high school when I tried out for the song leader and didn’t get it. I thought, this is my chance to redeem myself."
Martin competed against a field of 500 very talented women, including dancers from the L.A. Lakers and Chicago Bulls dance teams. She won a spot on the Jazz team after an impressive audition combining athleticism and dancing skill.
Martin was a Utah Jazz dancer during the 1992-93 season, when the Jazz went to the national finals against the Chicago Bulls.
"We would learn two or three new dances every week, which meant endless hours of practice. It was the most grueling year of my life, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically," she winces.
Through the years, Martin had continued teaching and training at Body Tech. She was certified as a personal trainer in 1995. Her future took an unexpected but fortunate turn in 2004.
"When Body Tech went bankrupt, I was determine to never put my future in someone else’s hands again," she recounts.
"I’d dreamed about owning my own gym since I first started going to national aerobic competitions," says Martin. "When the opportunity presented itself to become part-owner of Conscious Fitness at Kimball Junction, I jumped at it."
Martin is passionate about her business.
"It’s my dream come true, my life’s work. I love to teach, especially hard-core fitness, ‘super-stretch’ and meditation classes."
She lives comfortably now in Blackhawk, not far from her Kimball Junction studio. She enjoys her Park City lifestyle and, despite a grumble or two about the traffic, has nothing negative to say about the area.
"I love to go out on the town or stroll through the Park Silly Market on Sunday mornings," she says. "I love to dance, travel and hang out with friends. If they all happen simultaneously, even better. Sitting outside on the beach at Deer Valley after a great run on a sunny, winter day, drinking a beer, that’s living!"
Martin sums up: "I have a love and a zest for life and the work I do and I want to be doing it until I’m more than 100 years old. It’s simple really. To be a teacher and to share my knowledge with others is my joy. I just want to help others achieve their goals. Love, light and laughter."
Favorite things: Deer Valley concerts, outdoor dining, good wine, hiking, road biking. "I love to ride my cruiser bike to the Park Silly Market.
Favorite foods: Stroganoff with lots of sour cream, spaghetti with lots of parmesan cheese, my mom’s lasagna, apricot hefeweizen -"Isn’t beer a food?"
Favorite music/performers: "I’m drawn to performers who are passionate about their work like Mary Beth Maziarz [a Park City local], Tori Amos, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson and Madonna."
Favorite books/authors: "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert and "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Dr. Brian Weiss.
Animal companions: Two Bichon dogs, Pablo Picasso and Just Jack; two cats, Reebok and Cleo