San Diego Day of Fitness #3

Have you ever swam alongside a jellyfish? We have! When we went to San Diego a few weeks ago for our day of fitness, we had the amazing opportunity to go stand up paddle-boarding (SUP) through San Diego Bike and Kayak. It was definitely VERY challenging making it through the waves and break in the ocean, and at one point we all contemplated throwing in the towel. However, with a little determination we pushed through (literally) and somehow made it out to the ocean (passing a stingray or two along the way).


Marcella and her staff at San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours were so kind and helpful! They were speedy to get us paddle-boards and even carried them down to the beach for us. Then, when Marcella realized we were struggling [pretty significantly], she sent one of her helpful kayakers out to rescue us. He informed us of how to correct our form, and where in the ocean we needed to be. He transformed our experience and made us feel much safer amidst the jellies! And they were HUGE. Seriously, huge.


Shannon workin’ those waves on the way out!



We took some time to get to know Marcella and what inspired her to open such a rockin’ business, and here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to open San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours?

I was inspired to start the company because I had been involved in the industry for a few years and loved being on the water.  Unfortunately, I had a job out of college that I dreaded going to everyday, so I decided I needed to find something I truly loved doing in order to look forward to each day given that work is an essential component of life for everyone .  And that is how I was inspired to start the company.  I never thought it’d turn into such a large operation that it is today but I was motivated by the reward of simply enjoying my job and the business grew from there.  Ironically, a month before I started the company, I was eating chinese food and I got a fortune cookie that said “find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” and that was what convinced me to quit my job and take the plunge into entrepreunership.

What was the process?

The process was daunting but at the time I did not know it-at the time, ignorance was bliss. My younger self was fearless because I knew the only thing I had to lose was a job I hated.  I started as a one man show, and my second season I had two employees and it literally grew from there.  I incorporated the company in 2006 which is when my partner became involved with his industry expertise and marketing genius.  That year we took the company to a whole other level.  Now we have a third shareholder and the three of us opened a new location this year in Coronado as well.  Without Nick and Mike (my business partners), this company would not be the success it is today.

You are an avid tri athlete, what is your suggestion to someone wanting to try one for the first time?

  I was a runner my whole life and I tore my plantar fascia twice, once in 2010 and again in 2011.  It was devastating.  I spent over two years rehabilitating my severely damaged foot. During the first injury, I swam and biked because “I had to,” not really enjoying it or trying to get better. Since I could only swim and bike during the course of that two years, during my second injury I made a conscious decision that I was not going to have that time be purposeless.  I decided I would try to actually challenge myself and try to improve at swimming and cycling.  I have always ocean swam and loved it, but to swim for speed in a race was different, especially in a pool which is where I trained.  Honestly, the turning point was when I found a spin class with an instructor that literally changed everything.  Sheri’s spin class was difficult and I was able to apply her interval based training in the pool and on the bike outside.

My suggestions to someone wanting to try a triathlon would be to have fun and to train for the race with brick workouts.  I would also suggest spending most of your training hours on the bike because it accounts for the biggest portion of the race in terms of time and duration.   I would also suggest training in a way that closely mimics the race.Lastly, I would suggest training in that high intensity uncomfortable zone using intervals for the bulk of your training hours… it makes a huge difference and really helps improve speed.

What is your number one fitness tip to readers? 

Keep it fun and train with friends that are as committed as you are.  The girls I train with me motivate me when I need I pickup and we challenge eachother to get better.  In addition, if you feel like you are in a rut, take a break and change it up when you come back.

What is your “can’t live without” Itsybitsyindulgence (basically, what makes you happy in life)? 

My “can’t live without” daily indulgence is coffee.  I love a good cup of black coffee.  My other indulgence is taking a trip to get away when I can, even if it just a road trip to the desert.  Since my business is seasonal with the summer months being very demanding, I try to go somewhere warm in the winter to get my taste of summer where I am the one on vacation!  It is nice to have a trip to look forward to even if it is just for a few days.

How do you balance “itsybitsyindulgences” in your life (pretty much how do you create balance in your life)?

Creating balance in my life is a challenge because this business is so seasonal, I work a lot in the spring and especially the summer…. long hours and sometimes many days in a row without a day off.  I relish the mornings so I always take time in the morning to get in an early morning workout and have a little time to have a cup of coffee and some breakfast and listen to the news briefly before going to work. I have to redefine my definition of balance based on my work demands. Simple things like taking time to do laundry and grocery shop and catch up with friends and family when I am slammed at work are what keep me balanced…. basically, making some time for myself, no matter how little or how insignificant it may seem.

For more information on San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours, click here!

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