Meet Marissa Thobe!

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing sophomore honors student, Marissa Thobe, a very involved and passionate figure at La Salle University. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Marissa just recently moved to the Philadelphia area. The main factor that influenced her decision to attend La Salle was the coordinated nutrition and dietetics program. Since middle school, Marissa has had a strong passion for fitness and was also interested in food. Upon graduation, she hopes to become a sports dietitian. In this profession, she would have the opportunity to be exposed to both of her afore mentioned interests on a daily basis. Along with her rigorous course load, Marissa takes part in a lot of extracurricular activities around campus. She is the social media coordinator for Delta Phi Epsilon, publicist for LEAN (our nutrition club on campus), a personal trainer through La Salle Recreation, a member of La Salle’s new power-lifting team, and the campus yoga instructor.

As I was interviewing Ms. Thobe, I could tell that she loves everything about health in general. Marissa decided to start a vegetarian lifestyle five years ago and then converted to veganism two years later. Marissa said, “I don’t like eating animals, and I disagree with animal cruelty. I believe that the agricultural industry is exactly that.” Marissa said that she learned a lot about veganism in the two years in between her conversion from vegetarian to vegan. A big reason for her to accept the vegan lifestyle was because “the dairy industry becomes the meat industry.” I asked her if being a vegan at La Salle was hard, and she claimed that “it’s easier now that I live in a townhouse where I can choose and prepare my own food.” This really resonated with me as a college student who has celiac disease. I have also come to find with my dietary restrictions that it is a lot easier to cook my own food whenever I can.

Just like food, fitness is another extremely important aspect in Marissa’s daily life. She spends a lot of her time working on herself, but she’s also giving back to the La Salle community in a very prominent way. On Mondays and Thursdays, she teaches yoga to students and faculty who want to exercise or just take an hour out of their day to relax. When Marissa arrived at La Salle last year, she knew that yoga needed to be in her life. She went to a few classes and wasn’t satisfied, so she decided to get her certification to teach yoga and started at La Salle in January, 2018. I was really interested in why Marissa chose to teach yoga over any other fitness class. When I asked her this, she said that “yoga is for everyone, and is very beneficial.” Her love for yoga started after she attended a friends’ class back home and didn’t know what to expect. “The class was in a 100 degree room and it was very intense -- I was sweating the entire time -- slipping all over the place -- had no balance -- my flexibility was poor, and I hated every second of it...and realized it was so hard but so great at the same time.” Marissa thinks that yoga takes each person on a very different and special journey.

Throughout the interview I was intrigued with the level of passion she had for yoga, but also about life in general. I asked, “Do you think it’s important to have yoga classes on college campuses? And why?” She exclaimed, “110%...no 150%! Yoga is so important for a person's physical, mental, and spiritual health. Yoga has made me focus on my different intentions in life. If anyone has the chance to do it, it can really change your life.” I have experienced remarkable differences in my overall health since I started doing yoga a few months ago both here on campus and back in my hometown. My spirituality has grown, my mental state is more under control, and I feel physically stronger. I am glad that I can continue my journey while at college, and I give a lot of that credit to Marissa for making yoga classes feasible for students and faculty.