Share Button

maria21We’re please to publish our second hard-hitting interview with Maria Quiles.  For this round, she talks about the value of weight training (iron therapy) when dealing with painful emotional struggles.

You’ve talked about growing up under some extremely tough conditions even including abuse. Can you tell us how weight training (or iron therapy), was helpful to you for overcoming such an experience?  My dedication to myself actually started when I was 5 years old; when my grandmother placed us in Ballet. There is where I learned a discipline that would later be the key to my mental survival. The abuse started earlier than I care to admit; there I learned to escape the pain and focused on something I loved. That being said the physical pain that came along with dance was also a comfort for me because I knew that it was ME and the pain had positive rewarding outcome. NO matter how bad things were at home I could always disappear in the basement and “Tendu, Piqué, Plié, Relevé, Pas de bourrée,” my mind away. That learned trait I would later transfer to sports when I reached middle school and the school gym. It gave me a positive tool that made me strong mentally and physically. I had control of ME in some way and that NO ONE could ever take from me.

maria25What advantages does weight training have over other occupational therapies for someone dealing with traumatic life events?  I am no expert on occupational therapy but I did take required psychology courses. HA! Okay seriously I can only speak for myself, and of course others may not agree with me; that’s fine (smile). The first thing that comes to mind is the instant positive reward and release of feel good endorphins at the time it’s needed not when the appointment is available. If you take in to consideration the general description of Occupational Therapy, and also its use in children’s health: how are they not the same in the roles they play in cognitive sense? I am just taking matters into my own hands…LITERALLY! That in itself is a powerful feeling for a child/teen/adult who has lost their sense of self!

General Description:  “a form of therapy for those recuperating from physical or mental illness that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life.”

Children’s Health: “can help improve kids’ cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment”

1798608_10201586680485728_1473764054_nIn your experience, does a childhood trauma ever go away, or does it linger inside you fueling the fire to triumph over injustices of the past?  It never goes away. It affects so many aspects of life from relationships to how you handle situations. It has made me a fighter and nothing that presents itself now can ever be difficult as my childhood. I remember back in MS and HS I use to befriend the “weaker” kids and loved to fight their battles for them, meaning confront their bullies. Yes that may not have been the right way to do things but my objective was to protect those that couldn’t protect themselves. I am still very protective of my children and friends to this day!

maria24How do you suggest someone get started in strength training as a coping strategy if a gym membership is unavailable to them?  That’s easy! To begin with body weighted exercises is the key to a balanced body and functional muscle. We all have to take time to work on imbalances, flexibility, strengthen connective tissues, create a strong Mind into Muscle connection; I could go on…START by using what God gave you!

For more information about Maria, you can visit her page at:

If you like this interview, please consider adding us to your Facebook news feed here: