Whether she is sprinting up dunes along Lake Michigan, doing push-ups in the park or leading a group through cardio exercises in the woods, Cari Draft always has a bright smile on her face.
“I like to stay positive,” she said.
Eleven years ago, Draft founded EcoTrek Fitness, a business that conducts outdoor workout sessions utilizing the natural beauty of West Michigan. Along with cardio, she also offers adventerous worksouts throughout the year, such as bicycling, kayaking, snowshoeing and paddle boarding.
“There is a time and place for the gym, but nothing compares to the fresh air of being outside,” Draft expressed.
When she isn’t working out or leading classes, Draft, a Coopersville native and Grand Valley Alumni, can be found riding her new fat tire bike along the lakeshore and enjoying exciting eateries in Grand Rapids.
1. Who would you like to meet for coffee for an hour?
Either Tina Fey or Amy Poehler – hopefully both together! I admire their “Ultimate BFF” friendship and have a million things I’d want to ask them.
2. What is one thing GR could use more of?
That’s a tough one because we already have it all! Maybe we could establish Marie Catrib’s locations all over Michigan—having one just isn’t enough.
3. What is the best way to spend the day in GR?
Mostly outside. The perfect day would include a bike ride on the trails at Luton Park, adventuring on the Meijer Gardens grounds or the paths through Millennium Park, taking a spin through the tasty shops at the Downtown Market, and definitely experiencing the latest trendy scene on the West Side.
4. What do people tell you you’re awesome at?
Connecting and bringing out the best in people. Whether it’s bringing people together or helping individuals find their own pathway to fitness, I’m inclined to see what others don’t.
5. What is your guilty pleasure?
For the past year, I’ve had my Endomondo (GPS activity tracking app) audio coach set to a French accent. I don’t speak French or even grasp exactly which mile she’s announcing once she gets up over the first few, but it’s a beautiful language to hear along a trail.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go?
A road trip around Michigan; there’s so much to explore right here.
7. What is always in your fridge?
Refillable bottles of peppermint-infused water to grab ‘n go. Peppermint is great for your breath and even better for digestion. I love it cold! I just use a couple of drops of peppermint extract in each bottle.
8. What words do you live by?
One recurring fave: “Be so happy that when others look at you, they become happy too!” Smiles are contagious. I try to always be on the positive side.
9. What is your all-time favorite movie?
An obscure one I’ll always recommend seeing is from the late 90s: Waking Ned Divine. It’s the cutest story with great characters and all the feels.
10. How did I ever live without…
Halo top ice cream. I sprinkle a handful of pistachio nuts into a pint of the lemon cake flavor—it’s divine!