The Kettlebell Instructor: Marni Cabaysa

October 2, 2012

Once upon a time there was a girl named Marni. She loved her family, friends and her job as an Art Producer. One day, after several years as a producer, she realized it was time to leave her safe exciting job to begin a new chapter. Marni had a dream. She wanted to help people get strong and feel better, so she decided to do something very brave… she took a risk.  She got out of the office and onto her feet to train as a Kettlebell Instructor.

That’s right, Marni now kicks some serious butt by encouraging people to challenge themselves. Take it from me, she has helped me kick my post-baby slump and transform into an a strong, energetic mom who can take-on the toughest of preschoolers…


Her technique is motivating, supportive, and challenging in a confidence-building sort of way that is inspired and one of a kind Marni!

what do you do?
I’m a Russian Kettlebell Certified (RKC) instructor who helps you get stronger mentally and physically with some laughs along the way.

what were you doing five years ago?
I was traveling the world and producing photo shoots for a small technology company you may of heard of, Apple.

what did you want to be when you were a kid?
I had a couple major goals in life: to be an astronaut, go on a safari to see the photos in National Geographic in real life, and win a gold medal in the Olympics.

what do you love about your job?
There are many things that I love about my job. The best is watching students improve their kettlebell skills, go beyond their mental block and help them realize they are stronger than they think. Beyond the kettlebell practice, it is nice to hear that students have less aches and pains, more mobility, energy, and all around, just feel better about themselves.

what keeps you up at night?
I am currently 8 months pregnant, so a lot of my time is spent thinking about what my baby is going to be like, finishing up the nursery and how I’m going to continue to teach and grow the business after the baby arrives. I also constantly think about the program I am going to challenge my students with the next morning.

what was it like at the dinner table when you were growing-up?
Awesome. I loved dinner at my house. I have three older sisters. When our family of six were together, it was like all the puzzle pieces came together. I can appreciate this even more now that I am older. My mom was an amazing cook. Everyone would share stories from their daily adventures be it school, work or just stories about friends. All of us would sit in our same seats eating a home cooked meal and sharing what was going on in our world so we could all partake in the experience.

what would you do on a dream vacation?
I would definitely have my husband by my side. He is my favorite travel partner. I would probably go to a beautiful beach. I’ve always wanted to go to Mauritius, Seychelles or Australia. Strictly because I’ve only heard good things and Google Images make my mouth water. I would want to go scuba diving, bask in the sun, drink vacation cocktails, explore, and play in the water. The truth is, I would go anywhere in the world with him and it would be a dream.

if you could spend a day as anyone else, who would it be?
This might sound lame, but I really don’t want to be anyone other than me. I never dreamt of being famous or being in the limelight. I just wanted to be present for my family and friends. I want to be remembered for being a great person who was helpful, honest, cherished and made you laugh every now and again.  But, if I would have to chose I would be my mom. I would want to be her during the era she decided to come out on her own from the Philippines and work as a nurse in the United States.
She was so brave and fearless and I always admired her.

what would you like to say to people who are thinking about starting a new career?
You really just have to go for it.  It’s always easier to stay in a position of comfort. A lot of times it is more daunting in your head then the actual action of making the change. Believe all of the experience and knowledge you have learned along the way will provide the foundation for your success. It definitely helps to have support from your family, friends and loved ones as you make the transition. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but you don’t want to have regrets on an opportunity not taken. My advice is that it’s never too late to learn something new. That’s how we continue to grow as individuals. There are good days and challenging days but the good days make it worth the struggle. This is by far the most challenging career choice I have made, but I’m so happy I’ve taken the leap.

what do you collect?
If you ask my husband he would say paper and pens. ha! The truth is I am not a collector of anything, but memories. Minus the pregnancy brain, I can look back and remember a lot of good times with my family and friends that make me laugh and very thankful for the life that I have already lived up to this point. They say your life is richer with the memories you create with the people you love. I am constantly trying to collect more of those along the way.

what is your kitchen specialty?
Ooh I love hanging in the kitchen. One of my favorite things to do is to have people over for a meal. I don’t know if I specialize in one thing or not, but one thing that reminds me of my mom and family with a full heart, and ultimately a full belly, is my mom’s lasagna. Chances are a good portion of my friends have had this dish.

Visit KETTLEBELLMOVEMENT.LA for more information about Marni’s class.

Lasagna Recipe:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 onion sliced and diced
1 small can tomato paste
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
optional-couple shakes of red pepper flakes(if you are in for a little spice)
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
6 lasagna noodles

Cheese Filling
3 eggs
3 c. cottage cheese
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

-Heat oil in large pot
-Saute onion in oil till medium soft
-Add ground turkey. Cook till brown
-Add tomato paste and stewed tomatoes mix well
-Add chopped garlic
-Mix in dry ingredients: italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes(optional)
-While mixing in ingredients keep on high. After mixing in all ingredients cover and wait till you bring to a boil.
-Then lower temperature to medium-low. Keep pot covered and mix constantly.
-Be sure to check bottom of the pan as it burns easily. Sauce tastes better when it has been cooking for longer. It also makes your house smell amazing.

Keep sauce on heat for 2-3 hours.

Once sauce is getting close to finished, boil lasagna noodles in salted water. Drain and rinse noodles.
In a separate bowl create cheese filling.
-Mix cottage cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Use large pyrex or ceramic dish to construct lasagna (9×13 pan).