"I needed to find a life of my own": 90 Day Fiancé star Paola Mayfield dishes on pursuing fitness and wrestling post the reality show (Exclusive)
Paola Mayfield was one of the first cast members to be introduced to the viewers of 90 Day Fiancé, as she appeared on the debut season of the franchise back in 2014. She met her current husband, Russ, in 2013 in her native Columbia, where he worked as a field engineer. Their tumultuous relationship was documented in the first season as well as in 2016 when they appeared on the spin-off series 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After.
The couple has come a long way since then. Although they were on a brief break, they were able to patch things up, reunite, and are now seen contentedly residing in their recently purchased home. Paola, on the other hand, has managed to forge her own identity after making a name for herself on reality TV. She entered the world of fitness and became a health coach while also pursuing her wrestling career.
In a conversation with Varsha Narayanan from Sportskeeda, Paola opened up about her journey into health, fitness, and wrestling. Speaking about entering the world of fitness, the star said:
"I needed to find a life of my own."
90 Day Fiancé star Paola Mayfield dishes on her fitness and wrestling journey
Paola Mayfield is known as one of the most popular reality TV stars to come out of the TLC franchise. Her life, modeling career, ups and downs with husband Russ, and other details were extensively documented on the show, and fans have since followed the star on her journey religiously.
After her stint on the reality show, Paola dove deep into her fitness journey after concerns about her own health started to arise. But it was also because she wanted to create her own identity that prompted her to take on this career path, and there has been no stopping her since then.
Q) Could you walk us through your fitness journey and what inspired you to take it up?
PAOLA: When I moved to the US, I gained quite a bit of weight. The food was delicious, I wasn't training or doing anything. I wasn't as active as I was before. The culture around me changed and the language barrier...not being able to do much in Oklahoma..I said I needed to do something with myself and focus on something to distract myself from the fact that I was living so far away from my family. I needed to find some passion besides my marriage.
Paola then revealed that she started off by only being able to run for five seconds initially and felt like quitting multiple times. But she pushed through and was so passionate that Russ suggested she take the test to become a personal trainer. However, she realized that her lack of grasp of the English language was causing a hindrance.
The 90 Day Fiancé star then took classes and was eventually able to get a personal trainer and nutrition coach certificate. She found her next passion, which was wrestling, thanks to her athletic frame and positive outlook.
Q) Were you always passionate about pursuing wrestling or was it something that you figured going down the road?
PAOLA: Well, I was not familiar with wrestling until I started training in 2020. I watched a movie, and I was inspired by the actress. For me, this transition, it hasn't been easy because I'm learning English as I go, and if I was entering into a new world, it was a whole new vocabulary for me. The names of the moves, being able to understand your opponents from different countries...I wasn't expecting this transition, I didn't expect to be this passionate about it.
Q) How does it feel to be able to pursue wrestling now that you've had matches?
PAOLA: When I get in the ring, I feel like I have this potential, I have this talent that I didn't know that I have and I'm able to do it. I hope that it's not too late even though I'm pushing myself so hard. I wanna be able to have people see me not just as this reality TV star but also as someone who has this talent.
Q) What were the kind of challenges or criticisms you had to deal with while entering the wrestling world and how did you manage to get through them?
PAOLA: At this point, I've been doing this for almost a year and a half and I haven't had more than, say, 50 matches. I have worked with amazing companies, and I feel like their critiques are in a good way, people I've met have always said something positive, and I'm eager to listen.
Wrestling, however, is not just about the moves but also about psychology. And it's also about understanding that I have a purpose and telling a story. Being in what is called a male-dominated field and looking at the amazing women, I would love to see like a balance between the two. Women are very talented and they should be able to show themselves, because..why not?
Paola also talked more about her relationship with her husband Russ, moving into their new home, her stint on 90 Day Fiancé, and what she thought about the current shows of the franchise.
Keep watching this space for more on Paola Mayfield and her life.