arlene mirabella
Photography: BARRY GAUKEL

Marathon’s Arlene Mirabella has packed more adventures and experiences into her life that, really, she ought to be content. She emigrated to the U.S. at 19, moved to the Keys about 20 years ago on a sailboat via Los Angeles, Ca., and co-owned and operated one of the most popular restaurants in Marathon. But in January of this year, she’s embarked on a new journey — that of personal trainer and said she’s delighted to focus her life on helping others.

In what situation have you felt like a “one woman show”? Well, I need to come up with programs that are very client-specific. I need to know what they want and learn to work around their incapacity while increasing their capacity with a whole-body workout. I counsel them about their physicality, but sometimes more than that. I have a commitment to my clients, and myself, to learn and grow. I know I am ready to teach a move, when I can do it gracefully.

Who are your role models for leader-ship? Oh, my mom. I am the youngest of seven children and she supported the whole family. I remember her walking a 1.5 miles in high heels to work every day in the insurance industry. I also learned a lot about leadership at the restaurant where we had 60 employees. And I have learned a lot from Keys Strength & Conditioning.  I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

What do you think is the secret to success and sanity?  The secret to my success is hard work, determination and stamina. The secret to my sanity is the art of letting go. If you’re on a river, you have to go with the flow; rowing against it will just make you tired.

While you are an independent woman, we know it takes a village. Who is in your village? My ex-husband, John and my extended family who, unfortunately, are so far away, are part of my village. And also my Castaway crew and my clients.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting your journey? My life experiences helped me grow up, so I could be strong enough in this place to follow my passion. Find yours, and work  towards that.

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