Rider Highlight - Meet Janice M.

“You need to walk the walk to get to your truth and live your word. It's everything you are.”

Janice Marlinga walks the walk. With a cool, calm, and collected demeanor, Janice sits in The Sweat Shoppe lobby. Her persona oozes sexy, strong, balanced, kind, and stunning. Janice can stop most anyone in their tracks. On meeting her, it is clear why we're intrigued. Naturally, we had to reach out for a rider highlight. 

Mother, avid indoor cyclist, sponsor to 3 young women in recovery, fiancée—Janice has taken on many roles in her life. One that she has reclaimed—earned—is master of her destiny. Things always worked out for Janice, but it wasn’t until she decided to get sober that everything seemed to change for the better. In life, it's easy for us to assume that we control where we are going, even if we are not entirely happy with where we are. Rarely do we stop to look around and evaluate our path. Now 9-years sober, Janice says that deciding to make positive changes has made her the best version of herself. 

“Know your worth, nothing is beyond reach. Ask for what you want, and notice what you get.” 

For years Janice battled addictions to alcohol, nicotine (smoking), and other substances. Her recovery was gradual. She now looks at life through a different lens and is basking in the benefits. For 7 years, she said, she hurt a lot of people through her partying lifestyle. She describes herself as selfish. It was a sickness. Janice checked herself into rehab for 2 months and still has a close relationship with her sponsor. 

(Sponsor) “She came from a peaceful, calm, loving place that was not the place I came from. I didn’t know what to do.”

Now, Janice gives back as a sponsor to 3 young women. With a smile on her face, she said she has learned that in order to keep the peace, she has to give it away. 

“In active recovery, you learn grief service. You can’t keep it if you don’t give it away. The energy you put out there has a ripple effect. Somebody gave it to me, and it saved my life. I shared the darkest corners of my mind. We all go through it. I was motivated by past experiences, who I was as a person. I used to be motivated by fear.”

Janice takes pride in giving back and said she simply is helping others navigate their own lives. She attributes her health and wellness to her daughter and best friend Devin.

“That pressure—when you realize your children are watching you—that's a big deal. It was my catalyst for sobriety.”

When Janice reached her 5-year sober mark, she still found herself struggling with fitness. Continually finding herself exhausted, she decided to quit smoking and step up her routine. The results were staggering. Once she stopped smoking, she made small changes to her diet, including calorie restrictions, and even incorporating the blood-type diet into her lifestyle. Janice learned to listen to her body and pay attention to how it responded to what she was eating. She stayed consistent, held herself accountable, and everything changed. 

“Your body finds its place regarding healthy living and weight loss. If you can change your mind, you can create your world. Go in there and say, 'This is gonna be a really good day.' We create our own reality.”

Since she began riding at the Shoppe in September, Janice has lost 13 pounds. 

When she first took a class at the Shoppe, she said it was so challenging that she didn't think she could make it. She thought, “God help me.” Now, the Shoppe has become a part of her daily routine. 

Janice has come a long way. When asked about her aspirations when she was younger, she said she lived life without goals. She simply thought she would live fast and die young. She didn’t feel like she would live past 30. It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she began to think differently. 

“I knew that if I didn’t take care of myself, I wouldn’t be able to do it all. I want to enjoy life. I have a full-time high-stress job. If I’m not at my best, I can’t do my job.”

Janice is a commercial real-estate financial officer, but she manages to prioritize fitness. Her office knows how important fitness is to, and for, her and works around her schedule so she can work out. 

To this day, Janice has no idea who recommended her for this dream job. She said that every day is exciting. She is learning so much, and doesn’t want to stop learning. Upon passing the required tests and accepting her current position, Janice posted a thank-you message on Facebook. 

When Janice isn’t at the Shoppe, you can find her with her girlfriends or catching a weekend concert. She loves animals and is such a self-proclaimed freak for dogs and jokes that sometimes her fiancé comes second.