We had the good fortune of connecting with Paz Merino and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Paz, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
You don’t know it, but rather you FEEL it or you don’t. Being in the Fitness industry since 2013, has proven to be an endless rollercoaster and journey that is not for the faint of heart and has nothing to do with what I would ever dared to imagine dedicating my life for. And I am sold, I’m here for the long ride, carajo!

But this certainty wasn’t engraved in my bones during the first part of my career. Like many teachers, I’ve burnt myself more times than I can count now. And what it makes me always aware of this, is the need for space. Space in my chest, space in my practice, space to let my creative mind create. This is when I ask the hard questions in the mirror.

You see, I always take time to digest things. The words and feelings don’t come quickly to me, and when I rushed into making a decision without truly weight my heart into it, I’ve always come to learn the hard way because it wasn’t entirely mine. So I pause, and let the thoughts and feelings pour over until my heart and soul make peace with how to proceed, what to change, and restructure.

It never has occurred to me to “give up”, and this is not me playing bravado here. Is more becoming, learning from mistakes, and embracing the peace that only hard lessons can give us. Is living life, not failing, not giving up but exploring and unlearning, constantly.

What should our readers know about your business?

In fitness, we’re constantly looking for the latest life hack to fix us, to give us a stronger will to create a healthy habit, the fastest way to get the results we believe we want, etc. But fitness is just a tiny part of the balance in our health and wellness journey.
Sphinx Movement was created for those who mainstream fitness has failed them, We make exercise accessible and sustainable, this means that no matter if you suffer from scoliosis or are strong as a fiddle, through our FUNctional training approach you will learn your body, compensation patterns, and how to rewire the mind-body relationship.
How do we achieve this? No cookie-cutter routines here. Rather, each client has their unique “roadmap” that takes into consideration the demands of their day-to-day lifestyle, this gives us information to prepare and foresee challenges. Delivering accountability that is not about will but rather works to sustain our client’s performance and vitality.

We also collaborate with health professionals in our community to provide a trusted network of wellness.

Another aspect of primordial importance for the studio is its instructors, trainers, and staff. We pride ourselves in creating an atmosphere where trainers work as a team rather than competing with each other and where our passion for helping our community is also our commitment to take care of ourselves and provide a space of inclusivity and diversity.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Rabun county, Ga is a nature lovers paradise. We have two lakes, Rabun and Burton and endless miles of beautiful

One cannot miss a guided forest walk with Cara-Lee Langston, founder of Wildcraft Kitchen. She explains the plethora of wild, medicinal herbs and offers wild food cooking classes for kids at the Foxfire museum -which has so many educational programs to teach new generations about Appalachian history and culture.

For a day full of outdoor activities visit the Tallulah Gorge State Park at Tallulah Falls, GA. Is one of the most beautiful and impressive canyons in the east.

Get lunch at Fromage and enjoy one of the delicious creations of with the red lips queen, Jenny Wilson. You can also try the Blue Canoe, or good comfort food at The Clayton Cafe, or try the best nachos at Ishy’s Grill. Then get a tasty cocktail at Fortify Bar and Kitchen in Downtown Clayton or visit 12 Spies Vineyards on a Saturday to enjoy a glass of wine and live music.

To recharge yourself, book a Thai-yoga bodywork at Sphinx Movement and enjoy an evening walking picturesque downtown Clayton.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The most terrifying season of my life, was my divorce which brought out the worst in me. Here is where friends, mentors, hikes, and movement came all together in the following years helping me gain confidence in my own voice.

Trails, rivers, sunrises, sunsets, and coffee soothed my soul, along with the company of a dear family, the Nash, Clay, Jan, Jeremy, and Zach Nash. They are nature lovers and river rats at heart. You can find them helping a stranger change a tire on the side of the road, hiking to greet the sunrise at the top of a bald, or leisure kayaking at the Chattooga River in the summertime, and yet they don’t skip a bit while saving the world with their many acts of kindness in our community.

Is through them that I got to attend an event at Canopy Studio, a non-profit organization based in Athens, GA. Their offerings are aerial dance and circus arts education for all ages, abilities, and incomes. Each event is unique and presents trapeze, pole dancing, silks and many more.

Lisa and Keith Keppner, from Keppner Boxing in Athens, Ga; are a power duo. Their story is super interesting and their success is rooted in their commitment to their community. I look up to them and their boldness in the world of boxing, bringing integrity to the ring.

And when my family is based in Mexico, their love and support reach me to remind me that we must not forget our roots and I am honored to carry on with the color, flavor and spiciness of my people, and share the goodness of our culture to the North East GA.

Website: sphinxmovement.com

Instagram: @sphinx.movement

Facebook: @lasphinx

Image Credits
Photo credits: Chris R. Dounik Elea Soler Andrew Marshall

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.