KIRKLAND, Wash. — Happy Hour by Marisa was voted Best Place to Get in Shape in 2019's Best of Western Washington

Happy hour is generally about highballs, bottoms-up, and twists of lime. But at Happy Hour by Marisa, it's about medicine balls, abs and twists, and turns. "The goal with happy hour is really to be around fun people, take a break from your day. There's lots of parallels with happy hour with cocktails and my happy hour," says trainer Marisa Mancke.

With class names like Morning Buzz, Spin Mixology and Cardio Chisel with a Twist,  you half expect to be handed a cocktail with your dumbbell. "Not usually. I do a ladies night once a quarter and we do have some cocktails, don't judge. But no there are no cocktails at the stations today. Just lots of sweat and motivation."

We attend the Boot Camp on the Rocks class with participants flipping a huge tire, pushing a sled and waving heavy ropes, among other exercises. The room is a flurry of activity. "It's always different. I don't do the same workout, ever."

Motivation comes from Marisa for sure as she strolls around the room, encouraging each by name. But slogans on the wall offer a boost too.  Like "yes you can" or "you can do anything for one minute" or "it's not sweat, it's your fat cells crying."

As you walk in, a small readerboard by the door says, "Blessed to be able." "When you wake up and you have a choice to work out, lots of us take it for granted. Because we think we're always gonna be able to do it. And that isn't the case. You don't have to do this? You get to."

Marisa says her place is for everybody and for every body. "There are people who are not fit at all. People who are super fit. Who are injured. There are people who are rehabbing.  And there are people who are recovering from cancer. There's no judgment, and it's safe, and it's kind. Your body, your workout.  Work at your own pace."

She says her gym transcends the usual trainer/client relationship. "It's like a family. So they aren't really clients to me. They're more humans I care about."

Happy Hour by Marisa | 13615 NE 126th Pl, Kirkland, WA 98034  | (425) 658-7160 

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