meet the team
Here in TROPICALFIT retreat you find fitness professionals and nutritional coaches that love to teach, surf and dance. We practice healthy living by eating organic, exercising frequently, and trying to be inspirational so others can change their lives to the better. We are motivational humans and like to empower others by challenging them in a mindful way. We gravitate towards the ocean, the sun and adventure and we have traveled and lived abroad therefore can help you to have an international experience in a safely and fun way. We have partnerships with local businesses in our destination retreats to provide you with an authentic experience.
MARISA LOPE (@misurfera)
tropicalfit retreat founder AND head INSTRUCTOR
Marisa Lope is a New York based personal trainer, surfer and nutritional coach originally from Northern Spain. She graduated from the University of Zaragoza majoring in English Studies and Screen Translation. At the age of 18 she became certified by the Spanish Federation of Aerobics and Fitness and worked as an Aerobic instructor through her years in college to pay her tuition. She was the first female in her family to obtain a college degree and wanted to inspire other women to become independent and adventurous through the practice of sports, outdoors activities and traveling safely and mindfully.
She has lived and worked in various places around the world, including Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Tuebingen, Germany and Malibu, California adapting to new cultures and keeping loyal to a balanced lifestyle.
In 2012, she left the translation world to pursue her first passion, fitness. As an NCSF certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition coach, she loves coaching people to help them achieve strength, balance and wellness and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She specializes in weight loss, Animal Flow, strength for surfers, pre-post natal fitness and kettlebell training.
She has participated in several races including the 2013 NYC Spartan sprint, 2013 Rugged Maniac, and took second place in the Roosevelt Island 5k in 2014 and first place in 2015. She took first place in the Wahini Surf Contest in Spring Lake September 30, 2017 in which funds were raised for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. She is training to compete in November 19, 2017 in Olympic Weightlifting for the Women's Strength Coalition.
When she is not working, surfing or meeting up with her friends, you can find her dancing to the drums of West African dance in Alvin Ailey studios or climbing some walls at Brooklyn Boulders.
Marisa has created TROPICALFIT retreat out of the idea that we all have an explorer inside of us. She seeks to promote an adventurous spirit, a lust for life, health and continuous self-improvement.
tropicalfit retreat INSTRUCTOR
Jackie Blake somehow always knew she was meant to work in wellness and became interested in fitness at a very early age. During her youth she was a dancer, a gymnast and a cheerleader. Although Jackie loved the challenge of athletic movement, growing up in the fat-phobic culture of the 80s and 90s plagued her self-image as she did not have the lean and muscular physique that was so popular in the media and magazines. Her body much more resembled the hourglass figures that were revered in the 1950s.
Trying to gain as much information as possible on the subject of fitness and health to help herself and others, Jackie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Rutgers in 2000. She then went on to get hired as a personal trainer at Equinox Fitness Clubs in Manhattan and got her ACE personal trainer certification.
At the age of 23, Jackie was thrown a serious curveball. At her annual physical she learned that she was pre-diabetic. Her father was a Type 2 diabetic and the diagnosis scared her. Jackie also was suffering from horrendous cystic acne and major depression. She did not want to be dependent on the medical system at such an early age.
Soon after that Jackie attended a personal training professional development summit where she met Paul Chek, the founder of the CHEK Institute in San Diego, which focuses on organic nutrition and corrective exercise as the cornerstones of their educational programs. She learned about organics and metabolic typing and employed his techniques immediately. After only 3 months of following this program her doctor confirmed that her blood sugar levels were back to normal. Her cystic acne was completely gone as was the major depression. Jackie HAD to share this with her clients and over the next few years became a Metabolic Tying Advisor through Healthexcel, and a CHEK certified Exercise Coach and Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach. She also became a Registered Yoga Teacher through YogaWorks, and has since taught yoga classes and private sessions in New York City, Jamaica and Mexico. Amongst these certifications she is also RKC Level 1 kettlebell instructor and GROOVE dance method facilitator.