Exclusive: 10 questions with Russian sportswoman Elena Menjivar
Today, I had the pleasure of talking with Elena Menjivar, Russian sportswoman and blogger resident in California. We spoke not only about her dedication to Zumba, an exercise fitness program created in Colombia, but also about her life, her blog and her decision to move from Russia to the United States.
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#1 What can you tell about your childhood?
I was brought up in Russia in a very intelligent family. My mother and father were children of teachers. My mother used to work as an engineer before the Soviet Union collapsed. My father played music in a band in cafes, restaurants and on weddings before the Soviet Union collapsed. He also wanted to be a P.E. teacher but in the university, he got a leg trauma and couldn't finish higher education.
Then our country met a big crisis, became Russia, not the Soviet Union and there were tough times for all. Many people lost working places and the way they earned for a living. But I remember this time as a time of love because my parents loved me very much and tred to give everything they can. As you understand the most precious what parents can give to their children is care and attention. They gave me all and I am very grateful for parents and the way they brought me up.
#2 Why did you decide to move to the US?
My husband lives and works here. I've been living here for around five months.
#3 What is the anecdote you remember most about your time in the US?
Every time when people know that I and my husband are immigrants from different and rather far from each other countries and live here, they are always curious about the way we met. I find it funny. We met in Russia through our common friend. He was obtaining his Master degree there but he comes from El Salvador.
#4 What is the most important difference you have noticed between living in Russia and living in the US?
Well, first is the level of life. Here I see lots of things are made for people's convenience. Second is the attitude. People are more polite to each other. Third is dreaming and wishing to achieve them. As I see, people do not have their minds in cages of fear to dream and try to come to their dreams. More or less, it is possible to establish yourself if you want and to organize yourself and work hard.
Fourth, the cost of living is high. The more you can earn, the more ways you'll find to spend it. Local culture is about the market. You will find everything to spend money on. Fifth, Los Angeles is an area about personal space.
You can notice it in everything: from lots of cars with one person inside to the way people apologize if they come into the one row where you do shopping. And the sweetest thing is the weather. Every day is a sunny day. In Russia, there is no such place with such a big number of sunny days.
#5 Why did you decide to open a blog? What do you want to share with the rest of the world?
I am an emotional person and get impressions from everything I meet in my life and I like to write. Blogging is the way I could share my impressions and express a creative part of my mind. Moreover, I love digital marketing and I can use my blog to give a try to new tools. By the way, having a blog lets you know lots new things about the way internet works and keeps you up-to-date.
#6 Why did you decide to practice Zumba?
I like dancing. I met Zumba in Russia and was very surprised how it could work for fitness and continue being a dancing lesson. It is a great mix.
#7 What recommendation would you give to someone interested in practicing Zumba?
Do not try to be too serious there. It is a great way to let your body express all you want. So come to the lesson with the right attitude and you will find it worthy.
#8 What other types of dances do you know and have practiced?
I tried belly dance and pole fitness. They work really well to develop a womanish part of personality. When practicing and afterwards, women will always have mild and flowing moves and it influences behavior too. Women will want to care about their beauty, attractiveness and self-respect. I recommend dancing practice from childhood.
#9 What do you do besides doing sports?
I’m studying different things in the digital sphere in order to get a good job. Lots of tools exist now for marketing automation, for integration of different channels, and new trends appear often. So it is necessary to have one's ear to the ground.
#10 What are your future plans?
I want to establish myself in order to show a decent example to my future children.
Huge thanks to Elena Menjivar for taking the time to speak to me. Knowing this fitness program called Zumba and reading her blog were very enriching experiences for me.
You can follow Elena Menjivar on Twitter @ElenaMenjivar4 and visit her blog at elenamenjivar.com