Marlene Barragan Medina: I want to continue my passion for fitness and help those who seem to struggle.

1) Introduce yourself (tell about yourself and who you are) 

I am Marlene Barragan Medina. I usually go by Mar for short! I am currently 22 years old and I’m a college student. I’m majoring in Digital Marketing–and I’m on my last year of school (Woo Hoo!). It took me a while to pick a major in school. I think I went through four different majors to finally get to Digital Marketing. It’s such a specific field, too. The reason I love it is that it has to do with social media. And social media is something that I enjoy being part of. That’s a bit of my education. Right now I am also in the process of getting ready for my first bodybuilding competition. Which I am super excited about! 

I was actually born in Mexico, and I migrated to the United States when I was 5 years old. It was a complete different lifestyle–but I eventually got used to it. In other words, I got “Americanized.” I did not lose my Mexican roots nor my traditions! I love being Mexican. I love everything that comes with it–food, music, traditions, big family, etc.  

2) What inspires you everyday? 

The want of wanting better for myself and my family. But mostly my family. Growing up my family wasn’t the richest. And I grew up around a lot of wealthy kids/families. Seeing all of that made me hungry for success and wanting to give back to my parents and siblings. Despite how hard it’s been at times, I still manage to get by everyday, knowing that I am a step closer to my dreams and goals.  

3) I noticed you workout a lot from your pictures what was a big motivation to get you to get to that level? 

I was always athletic my whole life. But I never had the body I wanted.. One of my biggest motivations was during the pandemic, I suffered from severe anxiety. I couldn’t do anything without having anxiety attacks and getting depressed. Prior to the pandemic I was already working out but then that happened. So I stopped because I couldn’t focus. I was battling myself because I thought I had lost passion for what I love doing. I was in constant fear, crying, depressed, you name it. I wasn’t on medication because I picked a fear that whatever medication I would take would make me go insane. I was told by doctors that I needed to learn how to control myself on my own.. I eventually decided to do it on my own. For a month straight, I was looking for natural ways I could cope with my anxiety. And I found some. After finding what was effective for me I became fearless. I told myself I was going to be the best version of myself and nothing was going to stop me. A month went by, and I got back to my normal self but with a hint of anxiety. But now I know that I can handle my own anxiety. Knowing that I overcame this by myself motivates me enough to keep myself going every day. I know I can conquer the world on my own! It’s not motivation but it’s discipline. I disciplined myself to find solutions to my problems. Knowing that I can also find solutions is what keeps me going. Just because one door closes doesn’t mean there isn’t one waiting open for you. 

4) What are some goals in life you are wanting to complete for yourself? 

Attainable goals as of right now are, graduating from college and being ready for my first bodybuilding competition! But in the long run I aspire to continue competing and eventually using my degree and combining the two and becoming an Entrepreneur for bodybuilders. 

5) What are your thoughts on the world today? 

We live in such an evil world. That’s all I have to say on this question.

6) What are some struggles you went through in life and how did you overcome them to be where you are now? 

This question is very personal to me, but I would love to share some of my privacy. Growing up, I did not know any better nor did it ever come to mind that being an “illegal immigrant” was going to get in my way as I got older. I remember when I was 15 years old, about to be 16. I had seen all of my friends were getting their first job. I wanted one too! I remember coming home and telling my parents that I wanted a job. They looked at me with a sad look, because they knew I was going to be able to. After that, I started thinking of a million things because I wasn’t a citizen. For example, not being able to get a job, not going to college because what was the point of getting a degree if I wouldn’t be able to get a stable job. 

That was a short obstacle. Eventually, I was able to file for DACA–which is a program immigrant children of immigrants are able to file for to get authorization to work in the US and to travel within the US. After that, I felt a little hope. As I got older, and I continue being a DACA recipient–I still see how some doors close but other’s open. I’m lucky to be able to work here and get an education and travel within the US. But sometimes I want to travel the world and explore–and I’m slowly working to understand that maybe some day I’ll be able to do it, or I have to accept that I might not. Despite my status affecting things that I can do–I still keep my head held high and always remember that there is always a solution for everything..

7) What is one way you’d like to make an impact in the world? 

I want to help people feel good about themselves and be the best version they can be! I want to continue my passion for fitness and help those who seem to struggle. I don’t notice it much–but there are a few people around me that I make an impact one. And they come to me to ask me how I stay motivated or for some tips. Seeing that makes me want to continue and help those around the world.

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