GGS Spotlight: Natalie Macke


Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

Name:  Natalie Macke, MPH, CHWC
Age: 29
Location: Orlando, FL

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
A “Girl Gone Strong,” demonstrates, appreciates, and balances her relative strength in all areas of life, while maintaining vision for development. She sees her God-given strength and in a general sense, respects the fact that strength, is a multifactorial condition that is achieved from cumulative moments that lead to a notable milestone. She knows that physical strength specifically, is a highly relative biomechanical and psycho-biological experience. She takes interest in developing strength, knowing there is much to discover about herself.

A “Girl Gone Strong,” intentionally highlights strength in others, which provides her with a rich perspective on strength, as well appreciation for her own.

How were you introduced to strength training and how long have you been training?
I participated in competitive sports from ages five to 18. My predominant sport and greatest love was soccer. Conditioning was a dominant extracurricular activity of my childhood and adolescence. My brother introduced me to weight training in high school. After high school, I continued to weight train throughout college and pursued fitness modeling for a short period of time. After graduating from college, I stepped into the world of running. I started with a 5k and within months, I ran the Virginia Beach, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

I continued to weight train through graduate school; though admittedly, my training took a nose-dive half way through my Master’s degree, due to a consistent 70-hour work week. After grad school, I gained interest in functional fitness training, most notably because I did not have a gym membership. I lifted most of my pregnancy, and postpartum I was doing a lot of yoga and calisthenics. Now, I find myself enjoying barefoot workouts and playing with my daughter at the park. Movement has been a large part of my life, and I truly look forward to developing other areas of strength.

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi does a sample workout look like for you?
Three days at the gym: Shout-out to Noah Inscoe at Planet Fitness for his guidance.

  • Upper: chest press variations, seated rows, barbell shoulder presses, shoulder raises, bicep curls, tricep kick-backs,
  • Lower: deadlift variations, weighted leap frog squats, weighted bridges on a bench, jump squats with a barbell into back lunges, calf raises, weighted plié lunges, abductor/adductor machines, burpees
  • Core: weighted mason twists, plank variations, superman's, high-knees, leg lifts

Two days a week, I run for 30 minutes. Most days I work out at the park with my daughter, rotating any three from this list:

  • Monkey bar leg raises
  • Monkey bar upside down hanging
  • Kettlebell variations
  • Pull-ups
  • Leapfrog squats
  • Crow Poses
  • Handstands
  • Sprints
  • Push-up variations

My overall philosophy is to view exercise opportunistically. Whether I’m at the park, grocery store or auto service department, I consciously seek opportunities to move.

Most memorable PR:
Finishing the Virginia Beach, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in 1 hour and 50 minutes (8:39/mile).

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

Do you prefer to train alone or with a training partner? Why?
This changes depending on context. I gain satisfaction from my workouts being balanced with alone time and fellowship. Each context serves different well-being purposes.

Best compliment you’ve received lately: Being told I am a strong speaker; that I have a strong, feminine voice, and I need to use it more.

Most recent compliment you gave someone else: Telling a mother, that her seven-year-old daughter was very wise for her protective oversight of my daughter, in cautioning her friend to avoid observationally teaching my daughter to mirror a bench jump she was doing.

Most embarrassing gym moment:
Completely missing the bench when doing plyometric bench jumps during a busy gym hour. It's good to laugh at yourself!

Favorite meal:
Breakfast. I love sprouted french toast, eggs, fruit, sweet potato hash, fermented cabbage, mixed greens, and microgreens. If you follow me on instagram @attainablehealth, you will see my favorite eats.

Favorite way to treat yourself:
Getting high-quality, cold pressed juices and other healthy foods at my local spots. There is something about someone else’s healthy cooking and crafting that I savor.

Favorite quote:
Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford

What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by people who demonstrate obedience, grace, courage, humility, victory, vision, and hope. I am motivated by people who push themselves to reach their maximum potential.

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

What do you do?
I am a work-at-home mom. I am a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. I own, operate, and blog for Attainable Health. I am passionate about helping people discover who they are, dream who they want to be, and design how they will get there. I enjoy engaging with people who are health-seeking and health-conscious. Before staying at home with my daughter, I was a public health professional for multiple companies. I also work as a part-time accountant.

What else do you do?
I am currently working on entrepreneurial projects that align with my passion and soul purpose. I facilitate Christ-centered health workshops at my church. I love to cook, create art, and teach my daughter Spanish. I roadtrip with my husband and daughter for outdoor adventures.

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

Next training goal:
I have growing interest in the movement culture (think, Ido Portal). I’d like to see myself develop more strength, through complex interactions with outdoor geography and stationary objects.

What are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for the grace of Jesus Christ in my life. Secondarily, I am most thankful for the love of my friends and family and the blessing of being a mother. All of these things have changed my life in profound ways.

Tell us about a time when you overcame fear or self-doubt.
After college, I did a lot of soul-searching and I realized that I was pursuing things that were secondary and tertiary interests in my life. My free time was spent pursuing my primary interest in life. I had some influential experiences that encouraged me to shift my focus. Though I was young, the thought of changing careers was high-risk to me; however, the risk of not loving what I do for a living superseded. I changed careers and with God’s help, I finished a rigorous Master’s degree in a year and a half, while working as a graduate assistant, which was a major blessing going through school. I was humbled to be awarded and honored as, “Outstanding Master’s Student in Health Education.”

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
Whether I’m deadlifting heavy at the gym or lifting my body weight into a balanced crow pose, lifting is one of the best ways I can demonstrate my spiritual, intellectual, and physical potential.

How has lifting weights changed your life?
Weight lifting was a catalyst for me to work in my continuing passion for public health and health coaching.

Photo credit: Rebecca Luisi

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Spend ample amounts of time testing your strength capabilities in nature. Go to a playground or even your backyard and explore different strength postures, balancing, and expressive movement. Preferably, do all of this barefoot, using what is available around you. In nature, there are noticeable inconsistencies. You have to think critically and intuitively about how you will move your body to accomplish a task. Whereas, when you go to the gym, you are working with engineered equipment controlled for weight distribution, as well as machines, using pulley and lever systems. A lot of the thinking has been done for you. Nature can teach us much about strength.

God’s gym is anywhere you are; meaning, to start lifting heavy all you need is your body and gravity. Go play!

All Photos: Rebecca Luisi

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