FITCHBURG — Lifelong Twin Cities resident Marina Proietti is currently first in her group for the chance to be on the cover of Ms. Health & Fitness magazine, a contest that caught her attention as she was scrolling through Instagram.
“I thought ‘How cool would it be to be featured on a fitness cover?’,” the single mom, personal trainer, nutrition coach, group fitness instructor, and Global Fitness Leominster branch general manager said. “Then my mind went to how I could use this as a chance to educate many people about chronic illness and autoimmune disorders. I suffer from a couple of chronic conditions, yet despite the difficulties I find a way to push through and stay active. I have my good days and bad days, but I take advantage of the good days while my body still lets me.”
While you can vote for her for free every 24 hours, the contest has a humanitarian angle as optional vote donations are going to Homes for Wounded Warriors.
“This contest is more than about a cover photo or grand prize,” Proietti shared. “It’s about the Homes for Wounded Warriors project. It’s a great cause, and this competition raises significant funds for it. Please consider a monetary donation if you can.”
The 35-year-old fitness guru was born and raised in Leominster and most of her family still lives in the area. Proietti attended Fall Brook Elementary School, Samoset Middle School, is a member of the Leominster High School Class of 2006, and in 2010 graduated from Mount Ida College with a degree in liberal studies.
Proietti has called Fitchburg home since 2018, where she lives with her young daughter and Apollo, an adorable fluffy, white mutt rescue from Houston she adopted in March who is her sidekick at the gym. She grew up playing sports and said she “always loved staying active” and is committed to living a healthy lifestyle.
“In 2006, my freshman year of college, I started running and never stopped,” Proietti disclosed. “My first real fitness career experience started as a kickboxing instructor at ILOVEKICKBOXING in Fitchburg. After that I became certified as a personal trainer. I love how working out makes me feel — strong and healthy.”
She recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of her GM role at Global, where she has worked since 2019 after initially being hired as a part time personal trainer and FIT-traxx coach. Two years ago, she got certified as a Mossa Fight group fitness instructor and has maintained all those titles in addition to her GM duties, which she said, “are vast.”
“I have one-on-one personal training clients throughout the week, I coach FIT-traxx on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, I instruct Group Fight on Tuesday mornings, I keep up with the day-to-day operations, and did I mention, I am also a Certified Nutrition Coach,” Proietti said of her busy schedule.
When asked what she enjoys most her time at the gym, she was quick to say that her “favorite part is always the people.”
“At Global we have the best members. It truly is a community and family. I love walking in the door and seeing all the regulars and meeting new people. Initially the biggest challenge was scheduling all my responsibilities. However, I have learned excellent time management, and now that isn’t a challenge anymore.”
In addition to being part of the magazine cover contest that helps support veterans, Proietti finds other ways to give back. She’ll be running the Falmouth Road Race in August for the fifth time to support another charity that is near and dear to her heart – the Joe Andruzzi Foundation – and in honor of her friend Dawn Deluca, a fellow city resident who is battling cancer.
“She was just on the mayor’s show and the Leominster Police Department did a fundraiser selling shirts for her as well,” Proietti said of Deluca, whose husband is an LPD police officer. “She’s a family friend and is very involved with JAF.”
Proietti is over halfway towards her $1,200 race fundraising goal and donations keep coming in. She said she likes helping people through both her charitable endeavors and as a fitness guide.
“As I mentioned earlier, I suffer from chronic illness and along my fitness journey I have overcome many obstacles and injuries,” she relayed of where her determination stems from. “It’s important to me to be able to help others do the same. Training a client, helping them find their own strength, both mentally and physically, is something I am extremely passionate about. I love being a part of their health and fitness journey while supporting them to reach their goals.”
The current voting round for the fitness magazine cover contest ends on Thursday June 7 at 11 p.m. and then quarterfinals begin June 12 and end the 22nd. Next is semifinals from June 23 to June 29 and then finals June 30 to July 6.
The winner will be announced on or around July 13. Proietti said what while she is “absolutely honored to have made it this far, the thought of winning renders me speechless.
“I’d love to be a role model for others out there and most importantly, for my daughter. I think it would be so cool to show her mommy on the cover.”