UNZIPPED! FEATURING THERESA STRONG
Theresa has her name for a reason, she's a saint. Her life's work is a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged women develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition. She helps them train for the ultimate race - the race for a better life. And we are so blessed to know her and to love her.

What is your passion? My passion is helping people who are in need. Bel Inizio really allows me to follow that passion in my day-to-day life.
 
What would be your superpower? Maybe shapeshifting– I could always use another pair of hands!
 
What makes you proud to be a woman? I’m proud to be a woman, because despite the struggles we may face because of our womanhood, we persevere. One thing we always teach our clients is that we can do anything - especially once we realize that together we can do more than any of us alone.
 
What made you fall in love with adventure and the outdoors? I really fell in love with the outdoors once I realized how important fitness and nutrition are. Being outside and helping others train helped me connect with nature.  This started at a young age when my parents took us tent camping and we learned that cooking and eating outdoors after a long day of hiking was the secret to sleeping well on the ground in a sleeping bag!
 
How did you find Zip Hers and why do you love them? Debbie Mercer and I go way back and I was on the trip hiking the Grand Canyon when Debbie realized the need for women to have dignity when peeing in the middle of the desert. I love them because they really work since their products are created by and for women.
 
What one piece of advice would you give your Zip Hers Sisters? Don’t give up and drink plenty of water!
 
What are 3 things you don’t want to live without? My family, my community, and my reusable water bottle (seriously, stay hydrated).
 
What is the most exciting/adventurous thing you have ever done? The most exciting thing I’ve ever done was host Bel Inizio’s largest Soul to Sole Fiesta where we raised awareness and support for our ongoing programs at Angela House, Santa Maria Hostel, and Dress for Success programs.  It was nerve-racking to be in charge of something so big, but the stress was well worth it. The most adventurous thing I have ever done was to hike Kilimanjaro - twice!
 
If you could walk and talk with 3 women, who would they be? Kamala Harris, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Mary of Bethany (Lazarus’ sister)
 
What is your favorite time of the day? Before the sun comes up! It’s the time when things get done.
 
What are 3 words that describe you? Resourceful, kind, and tenacious 
 
Who's an artist on your adventure playlist? The soundtrack to Hamilton - “I’m not throwing away my shot!”
 
What's your go-to hiking snack? Trail mix! Nuts are a great source of protein to keep your energy up during a hike.
 
What's your most-used emoji? The heart. It reminds me that in the end, the love you give is equal to the love you get. 
June 17, 2022 — Debbie Mercer

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