Val Haskell and Jenni Stolarski stay fit with soccer, yoga… and anything else
SLIM WITHOUT GYM | Be it running, walking or swimming from a trapeze, Val Haskell and Jenni Stolarski find fitness almost anywhere there go — as long as it’s not in a gym. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)
The adage every journey begins with a first step is as true for a fitness regime as a world tour. For dynamic duo Jenni Stolarski and Val Haskell, those steps may be along the banks of the Trinity River, on a soccer field or even on the rungs of a ladder for a trapeze course. These ladies mix it up in a spectrum of workout routines. They’re game to try almost anything, as long as it doesn’t involve being trapped indoors.
— Jef Tingley
Names and ages:
Jenni Stolarski, 41, and Val Haskell, 39.
Stolarski: Realtor, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
Stolarski: I walk five days a week for an hour. I have two walking buddies who make this possible. If left to my own devices, I’d just stay in bed. [I also do] yoga two or three times a week, including a core-strength class, and tennis once a week.
Haskell: Typically I run four times a week, play tennis once, and during the soccer season, I play a game a week.
Upcoming fitness goals:
Stolarski: Consistency. This summer, Val and I did a trapeze course with my brother and his wife in NYC. I was sore for days. But I want to continue to have the energy, strength and stamina to try fun things like that for the rest of my life.
Haskell: I’d love to show a decent time in a half marathon and help my soccer team with some goals and assists next season. Also focusing on the A’s next year: Abs, arms and…
Most memorable athletic accomplishment:
Haskell: If the number of videos and random mentions are the barometer, it would have to be going to trapeze school for an afternoon. I had no idea it was so hard! Getting up and down from that bar in mid-air is serious work.
Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment?
Stolarski: The gym. Period. I like to be outside.
Haskell: I can’t stand the gym, either.
Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors?
Stolarski: We have taken to hiking/walking in the Trinity River Basin. There is a small dirt path that runs along the levee. It’s quiet down there, which is amazing when you remember it’s in this huge city. And the views are great.
Haskell: Coombs Creek Trail, Stevens Park tennis courts, Katy Trail and White Rock Lake
Ways you stay fit or workout together?
Stolarski: Being active together was one of the ways we got to know each other. We played soccer and swam at UT. That just carried on through the years; we biked, we hiked the Tetons, we played soccer. Val taught me how to play tennis. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time together.
How does your partner motivate you to work out?
Stolarski: I know Val is always going to come up with some crazy idea of a fun thing to do. Did I mention trapeze school was her idea? And I don’t want to miss out.
Haskell: She gets out of bed early and meets someone for her workout five days a week, which means lounging in bed is not as compelling. She also says nice things about the way I look, which I really like.
How do you reward yourself after a great workout?
Stolarski: My reward is waking up every day, getting to feel good. It sounds cheesy as all get out, but really, the reward is that I get to keep exercising.
Words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life?
Haskell: Incorporate it socially. Walk with a friend, play tennis with a work buddy, join a team or a running group like the Dallas Running Club. The more you merge your social life and active life, the easier it is to make it fit into your schedule. And your friends end up with shared goals and you encourage each other.
If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why?
Stolarski: I’d want to play soccer on the U.S. National team. Those women have such a great dynamic; it’s a joy to watch. Plus it would make my dad, who’s been a soccer coach for 40 years, ridiculously proud.
Favorite song or playlist for working out?
Stolarski: None. That is part of the joy of being outside: It comes with its own soundtrack.
Haskell: I’m usually outside running in the dark, yelling at my teammates on a soccer field or chatting
on the tennis court, so no playlist for me.
Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why?
Stolarski: Abby Wambach. That woman was built to play soccer!
Haskell: A few years ago, I saw a picture of Joan Jett at a concert and she still looked great
and had amazing arms. I aspire to look good, healthy and lean in my 50s.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.
Whether running in the Turkey Trot or going for a swim, husbands Enrique McGregor and Mark Niermann make marriage (and exercise) look easy
TAKING THE PLUNGE | McGregor, left, and Niermann have been together 15 years, marrying legally last month. For a slide show of their aquatic antics, visit DallasVoice.com. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)
Although they’ve been together for 15 years, it was only about a month ago that this month’s dynamic duo, Enrique Macgregor and Mark Niermann, officially got hitched. (Thanks, New York!)
Judging from their exercise regime and overall healthy lifestyle, they take those “sickness and health” and “for better or worse” vows pretty seriously. … Well that, plus margaritas, chocolate chip cookies and generous helping of motivation and support make up their recipe for a successful marriage.
— Jef Tingley
Names and ages: Enrique MacGregor, 47, and Mark Niermann, 48 (just barely)
Length of relationship: 15 years, but legally married on Sept. 28, 2011, in New York’s Supreme Court Building.
Sports & activities: Members of Dallas Aquatic Masters (DAM); occasionally play golf with Different Strokes Golf Association.
Exercise regimen: MacGregor: I swim or run two or three times a week; I do weight training once or twice a week.
Niermann: Cardio (swimming or running) three times weekly; weights two times. I don’t have a rigid exercise schedule other than my objective to work out at least four times weekly. When we’re training for an event, like a biking or running race, we’ll do more running or biking.
Upcoming fitness goals: Both: the 8-mile Turkey Trot race in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
Most memorable athletic accomplishment: MacGregor: I rode my bike right behind Lance Armstrong at a Livestrong event in Austin as we both crossed the finish line at the same time. Of course, I was finishing a 45-mile ride, and he was finishing a 90-mile ride.
Workout preference: mornings or evenings? MacGregor: I don’t have a set workout time unless I’m working out with a group. I try to think about my work schedule a day ahead and then plan a workout time around that. I’m jealous of people who can get up at 5 a.m. to workout. I am not a morning person.
Niermann: Either, and lunch too — whenever I can fit it in depending on my schedule and the time of year (especially for running outside).
How do you motivate yourself to workout? MacGregor: I sign up for an event, like a race. Then I know I have to make time to get ready for that event. I am much more engaged in a workout when I’m preparing for an event.
How does your partner motivate you to work out? MacGregor: He offers options. For instance, he’ll say: “Do you want to go for a run today, or would you rather go for a swim?” Or, “Would you like to do our run before lunch or would you rather do it later in the afternoon?”
Words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life? Niermann: Enrique and I are not workout fanatics or super athletes. We try to get regular exercise and generally eat healthy food. (We include wine, margaritas and chocolate chip cookies in the category of “healthy food.”) We enjoy training for special athletic challenges, like running races, but we don’t always have a specific goal or race we’re training for. We also enjoy playing golf (aka “hacking”) and skiing, and like to stay in shape in ways to complement those sports.
Like everything in life, exercise is easiest and most effective if you can find a balance, both in terms of the kinds of working out you do and how often you do it. Working out doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) take over your life — you can pack a lot of good into a 30- or 45-minute workout of any kind.
Follow common sense rules of not overdoing it when or how you eat and exercise. Being healthy is more than how much weight you can lift or how fast you can run — it’s about achieving a good balance in life of healthy eating, regular exercise, healthy relationships with friends, family and partners and finding ways to minimize stress.
Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors:
MacGregor: Stevens Park Golf Course (and don’t tell me that golf doesn’t count as exercise).
Niermann: I don’t really have one, though I belong to the Baylor–Tom Landry Center. Though if I had to pick, I’d say Neiman’s Downtown – Last Call.
Favorite song or playlist for working out? MacGregor: I like to run listening to Lance Armstrong’s “Run Longer” playlist. Aside from good music, Lance’s voice takes you through interval sets where you speed up and slow down in four-minute increments. This technique is supposed to improve your performance.
Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why: MacGregor: Chris Evans. He has a nice athletic build, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Niermann: Any AussieBum model … have you seen their ads?
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.