Athlete Name: Hannah Marie Nelson
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Education: University of Central Florida
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Hannah Nelson, I am 19 years old and a sophomore at the University of Central Florida majoring in Engineering. Growing up I have always had the love of horses. I started riding at the age of 7 and never looked back. Riding horses takes a lot of strength, mental focus and passion. Growing up in the equestrian world I have had amazing trainers, where I have been able to compete in local horse shows as well as compete and win nationally. I currently ride on the UCF Equestrian Team and also ride at Oakmore Equestrian Inc. I have had the honor of having my own horses over the years from a medium pony called Huckleberry, to a large pony called Levi aka “Good2Go”, 18.2 beautiful Hanoverian called Wrustic, and my current amazing warmblood called Elliott aka “El Dorado”. Along with riding horseback, I also workout on a weekly basis mainly weight training to main my strength while I am healthy but also when I am “cf” sick I am able to main my physical and mental health. I also am an entrepreneur where I started my own online swimsuit company with affordable and body positive bathing suits, this to me is a way to express my creativity and I really enjoy the business aspect.
“Plain and simple, I exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy”
Tell us what motivates you the most:
What motivates me the most is wanting to stay physically fit and mentally strong so that I can ride, workout and also keep up with my studies. I know what it’s like to feel weak – physically and mentally – And my motivation is to stay outside of those boundaries. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it in the long run.
Tell us about your exercise routine. What activities do you enjoy doing?
I like to weight train, mostly in the CrossFit type setting – It’s hard to keep up but I like challenging myself, so each time I work out I get a little bit better. I also ride my horse and train with pretty fantastic trainers from Oakmore Equestrian and Wendover Place here in Orlando – they know my limitations with breathing, the heat but they are tough, fair and push me to do better each time.
Why do you exercise? Has your exercise changed due to quarantine?
Plain and simple, I exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy – which is hard but know the end outcome is extremely positive. Yes, my exercised changed at the beginning of quarantine – I was able to go to the gym however once quarantine hit – what was great my parents beefed up the garage gym to have plenty of weights, I walked and also found some great YouTube videos to stay on track.
How do you stay motivated during quarantine?
Quarantine wasn’t much of a change since I tended to stay away from areas that were not optimal for someone with CF, our family and friends have always been used to hand sanitizing, wiping down everything even when we went out to a restaurant, and I always traveled with a mask on regardless – the world now is actually more CF friendly if you think about it.
What are your future goals?
My future goals are to finish college, continue to ride my amazing horse Elliott possibly teach someday, continue on my path of entrepreneurship – Working out will always be in my future and I truly enjoy all aspects of fitness.
Who is your role model?
I have many role models from my parents, who both served in the Army to family and friends but my most significant role model is my big brother SPC Brenden N. Salazar-Nelson, US ARMY, 173rd ABN, OEF – KIA 7/22/2012 – He was a pretty cool big brother, he served in the military where unfortunately he was killed in action in Afghanistan fighting for our country. His death hit me hard, I was hospitalized quite a bit for years after. He showed me so many things but my fondest memory is him showing me out to play video games, that at the time I probably shouldn’t have been playing, Halo – He was funny, took care of me like making me lunch, was patient when I would bug him to show me how to play all types of gaming techniques. I miss what could have been for us as adults, I miss and love him very much.