“A movement that I would want to start would be an Active Love Movement. I think almost dilemmas people have with themselves and with one another stem from a lack of love. Whether it’s lack of self love or knowledge of how to love and appreciate the little things. If I could I would create a program or traveling seminar that’s free and in different communities across different economic cultures.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Pariis Garcia. Pariis runs for the Puerto Rican National team. She was the Puerto Rican national champion in the 200m in 2017 and she is competing for them in this year’s Central America and Caribbean Championship in Barranquilla, Columbia. Pariis is the co-founder of Fit Curls a fitness and wellness brand, that provides online workouts, meal plans, and personal training. Pariss is a helper and philanthropist who works to spread knowledge and blessings wherever and for whoever she can.
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in Staten Island New York, I’m the older way of 4 girls. I went to St. John’s university which is where my future in track and field began. I began running for Puerto Rico in 2015 when I represented them in the pan American games. Everything that has occurred in my life has strengthened my faith and continuously bringing me to the woman I am becoming.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
The most interesting story that occurred to me over the course of my career that comes to mind was in 2016 I was competing overseas and had a meet in Trinidad. It was important for me to run fast that meet. I was at the starting line getting ready to run and I was doing drills by the blocks and then I rolled my ankle on the block. It was hurting immediately and they were about to start the race. I thought about not running for 1 second but knew I had to. I just ignored the fact that my ankle was hurting and got in the blocks to start my race. I ended up running a personal best that race !
What would you advise to someone who wants to emulate your career?
For someone who wants to emulate my career I would say to always remind yourself why you’re doing it and always do everything out of genuine love. It’ll be your biggest motivator and keep you going. Everything I do from running professionally to working for and with others is all so enjoyable because I love what I do. Therefore I’m always working at improving and when I stay the course and have faith blessings constantly come my way that help me reach my goals.
Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?
There are many people who have made a profound impact on my life. One person who I would say is my coach Aliann Pompey. When she began coaching me I began improving drastically in the sport. I think we just work well together. My improvements in track and field have opened many doors for me and have helped build me into the person I am today. She is a 4 time Olympian and a very knowledgeable coach. She is also a great business woman and mentor.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful or exciting non profit projects?
I use my platform and success to bring goodness to the world constantly. From my day to day and how I treat and make people feel to the plans I’m working on to help and spread knowledge to others. During this fall I volunteered with different organizations and for different people every weekend because it was during the off season and I don’t race. During the season I knew I had to focus so I would use this time to help whoever I can. After the hurricane that greatly affected Puerto Rico I started a collection for the people living there. Thankfully I was able to collect over a van full of items that were brought over to a local church in Puerto Rico to be distributed. This past week I was able to go to Jamaica to present the second annual Franklin Spence scholarship to a good academically standing student in need. This scholarship was created by my mother in 2017 in honor of her father, my grandfather Franklin Spence. I am extremely blessed to be able to help others. I know if it wasn’t for those who help me I wouldn’t be able to do so. I just try whenever I can do works here on earth that will show God’s love in some way.
Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted?
In my last experience in Jamaica a young boy named Shavaughn Frazer was the scholarship award winner. When I arrived I was greeted by Shavaughn’s mother who was extremely grateful for the award. She said her son works so hard in his academics and that it was God’s work that her son was chosen.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- One thing I wish someone told me when I first started would be the importance working hard. I always feel like I could have had a better college track and field career if I decided to work hard or be a better athlete my freshman year as oppose to my junior year.
- Another thing I wish someone told me was to take warm up, recovery, and body preparation more serious. The injuries I had since going pro caused many set backs.
- A third thing I wish someone told me that I should learn to race against myself. I am in the habit of being more competitive and faster when I am running with someone. Now that some days I train alone I wish I learned earlier than recently to push my body when there isn’t someone running against me.
- Another thing I wish someone told me was that I should always have the drive to win. I’m the type of person that’s always just grateful for what I get or how I do. Now I’m learning more about the sport I wish I knew earlier that it’s okay to want to win.
- Lastly one thing I wish someone told me was that it’s okay to put myself first. Throughout my training and life I have often put myself second to those around me but track and field is a sport where you have to care for yourself and put yourself in good positions to improve.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
A movement that I would want to start would be an Active Love Movement. I think almost dilemmas people have with themselves and with one another stem from a lack of love. Whether it’s lack of self love or knowledge of how to love and appreciate the little things. If I could I would create a program or traveling seminar that’s free and in different communities across different economic cultures.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
Spread love everywhere you go;first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. -Mother Teresa
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
There are three people that come to mind when I think about the possibilities of having a private lunch with to discuss what they have accomplished, Oprah, Tywanna Smith, and Kobe Bryant. Oprah because of her wisdom and drive and to learn more about what pushed her and how she built her empire. Tywanna Smith because of how she is a successful pro athlete turned businesswoman and my interest in athlete marketing and branding. Kobe Bryant because of what he has accomplished and the difference he has made outside of basketball and how he used his position to do so.