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Fly Feature: Zena Reta


We are honored to share this week’s Fly Feature, Z. She’s the one with coolest demeanor when the workout starts to bite and the fiercest focus until the bitter end. She’s a rugby player by trade, but dabbles in a bit of everything from travel to reading to cooking and drill. Read on to get motivated for your next Fly Feet class!

First things first!  What brought you to Fly Feet Running initially, and when did you first start coming to class? 

I started coming to Fly Feet in March 2018, after almost a year’s worth of invites from my wife and me saying, “no way! Those workouts sound crazy!” I finally came to Fly Feet on a buddy pass and joined a week after my first class.

Throughout your journey at Fly Feet you have not only gotten faster, but stronger and lighter, with a 30lb weight loss!  What has been the biggest factor(s)/changes you’ve made to reach this amazing accomplishment? 

The biggest factor is commitment to change. I came to Fly Feet after recovering from a low back injury and gaining quite a bit of weight. After my first workout, I said that was not the kind of workout I want to do but I knew it was definitely what I need to kickstart my fitness routine. Figured I’d join Fly Feet for 3-6 months but now it’s almost a year later and has become my habit.

You are a 5:25 OG.   What is your biggest motivator to get to class bright and early? 

I am a morning person in general and working out in the morning gives me more energy for the day, plus if I get it done right away, there’s no opportunity to make an excuse not to go later.

Once a collegiate rugby player, how does FFR compare to your rugby workouts at St. Cloud State?  

College rugby was a long time ago but… My membership in the MN Army National Guard means that I have to maintain the Army physical fitness standards at all times and was my initial motivation to try Fly Feet. The combination of cardio, core work, and weight training are exactly what I need to meet the Army standards- and have directly contributed to my getting faster, stronger, and lighter.

You have “drill” every month as part of your job.  Tell us a little more about what that looks like and what you do on a typical day after leaving Fly Feet? 

I have drill once a month for the National Guard and work full-time for the Army National Guard in the budget section of our IT Department. My duties include approving travel vouchers, purchase requests, paying invoices, and also managing mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc). My typical work day includes a variety of my assigned tasks with the bulk of my day spent providing customer service to our mobile device clients. 

You love to cook and eat really good food- what is your favorite thing to cook and eat AND tell us your favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities? 

I don’t have a favorite thing to cook but it’s a lot of fun to make pizza in our wood-fired brick oven. I have a really hard time picking a favorite food though. I enjoy fresh seafood, a really good cheeseburger, and ethnic foods like Ethiopian, Mexican, or Kurdish. I can’t pick one favorite restaurant so I’ll go with Lolo American Kitchen or Costa Blanca Bistro.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?

Everywhere! My top picks right now are Greece, a tour of the Mediterranean, or anywhere in SE Asia.

As an avid reader, what are some of your current top book recommendations for us fellow flyers?

I’m forever hooked on fiction thrillers and spy novels, Brad Thor, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, Tom Clancy, etc. I’m currently reading Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn. 

What would your ideal FFR workout consist of?

No ideal workout, I just enjoy the variety of workouts and the fact that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do when I get to the gym because the coaches do that for me. I never enjoyed group fitness classes before trying Fly Feet, but it just feels different here. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering coming to his or her first Fly Feet class?

Don’t come for anyone but you. When you’re ready to push yourself harder than you thought you could and make a change, the Fly Feet coaches and family will help motivate you.