Fitness Enthusiast: Debbie Valois



City/Town of Residence: East Greenwich, RI
Age: 45
Occupation: Yoga Teacher and Co-Owner of Laughing Elephant Yoga with Lori Mancini
Your sport or fi tness activity: Yoga, Arielle Arts,Running, Weight-lifting
Recent events you’ve participated in: Taught a yoga class to over 200 people on Memorial Day at Goddard Park, Ran the Newport 10 Miler in 1 hour 35 minutes
Events planned for the future: Mostly planned events for the fall although the Blessing of the Fleet isn’t
totally out of the question; September 12, I am teaching a Color Splash Class with Lori Mancini, sponsored by
Lululemon; Performing in an Arielle Arts show Oct/Nov (date to TBD); Newport Bridge Race in October
What is your proudest fi tness accomplishment?Ran a 50K (31.25 miles, considered an ultra-marathon)
on a Marine Base with my brother, Major David P Snipes, in 6 hours 53 minutes -and placed first female! This is a big deal for the obvious reasons, but really cool because I had no intention of running more than 12 or so miles; my brother and I pulled each other along till we got it done!
What motivates you? What I hope to be a healthy level of competition with myself. I like to see what the next level that I can accomplish is. When I am in competitive situations with others (races, etc.) I enjoy the camaraderie of pushing my team members along with friendly smack-talk and laughing – I’m not looking to win
anything. My Coach Amanda Cortellesso at Arielle Arts and Trainer Josh Ball at Fitness Together are also really good at getting me to do things I never thought would be possible.
Tell us something about yourself that many people may not know: I failed gym in high school for a couple of semesters and I used to be a very heavy smoker (when I quit smoking I began to workout, around 25 years old).
Best thing about living in RI: Many family members of both myself and my husbands are
here, we have awesome friends, my mom is here and we love the beach! We lived in Dallas for five years and boy did we miss the ocean and clam cakes!
Words to live by: Talk to yourself the way you would talk to other people, so many of us are so hard on ourselves mentally and physically! If we treated/talked to other people the same way we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have very many friends at all.
Fitness tip for RI Fit Readers: Everything in moderation, seriously… I still love my wine and French fries, but I don’t have them with every meal – well at least not the French fries. Eat healthy and when you are hungry; enjoy the things you crave when you crave them so it doesn’t overwhelm you later and make you binge. Find physical activity that makes you smile, maybe even laugh. If you aren’t having fun doing it on some level, what’s the point?

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