Missi Wolf loves to make others break a sweat — in fact, it’s what she does for a living! The founder and owner of BLAST has created a fitness empire right here in Atlanta, the place she’s called home her whole life. Beyond BLASTing butts, biceps and bellies, Missi is a mom on a mission with an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. Start the new year off right and get to know 2016’s first FACE of Atlanta — Missi Wolf!
You went from marketing director at Wolf Camera to owning a children’s clothing store to launching BLAST. How and when did fitness become your calling?
After the birth of my second daughter, I was more than overweight; I was obese and at risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. I spent the next two years not only getting healthy, but really learning about how the body works and how to live a balanced lifestyle. Although I own BLAST and have participated in every aspect of its growth, my true calling is helping others. At BLAST, I am able to do that on a daily basis and I don’t do it alone. My team and I are laser focused on the experience of health and wellness and how to make it a lifestyle that is sustainable for every person who walks through one of our doors.
You are one of the rare born-and-raised Atlantans who still lives in the city. What’s your favorite part about living here? What changes, good or bad, have you seen along the way?
I love Atlanta and have been fortunate to see the city from different vantage points. I grew up in Sandy Springs, spent 25 years in Buckhead and now live in Midtown. The city keeps progressing and keeps growing, for sure. The sense of community in Atlanta is wonderful — this city has a way of coming together and supporting each other in various ways. What is important to one Atlantan becomes important to another, simply because of the loyalty we have toward each other. Community is such a powerful tool for change.
However, while I love the progress, I could definitely do without the traffic!
What is the BLASTLife ? What is your eventual goal for America’s fitness routine?
Truly, it is about balance. Training smarter, not harder, and eating the real food your body needs to sustain a productive, balanced, healthy lifestyle. It is so important to recognize that no two people are the same and that “one size fits all” does not apply to exercise or nutrition. As we expand, my goal is for people to get educated about what works for them. BLAST not only provides that education, but then allows you to apply it in an inspired, supportive environment.
Our state has programs like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s Healthy Kids Georgia, and Strong4Life, from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, focusing on wellness initiatives for kids. What are some ways parents can lay the foundation of a healthy lifestyle for their kids and get them started on the right path?
Like everything in life, our kids model us. I am thrilled that Georgia — as well as other states — is starting to focus more on our children’s health from an early age. Parents can get educated. There are so many resources out there now that help parents set the groundwork for a lifetime of balanced living when it comes to their children’s health. The obvious is simply that: the obvious — make healthy choices at home and when you are out. Balance is the key; don’t deprive your child or yourself of a treat now and again. Get outside with your kids, whether it’s in the backyard or on the BeltLine taking a walk, or on the Silver Comet Trail riding bikes. Your child doesn’t have to be the star athlete of their school team in order to stay healthy or set a pattern for healthy living.
Where’s your favorite place to get a healthy, delicious meal in Atlanta (and what is the dish)? And what’s your favorite restaurant and dish for a cheat day?
Any of Planet Jenny’s restaurants. Jenny [Levison] is a dear friend, and we have spent many hours discussing how you don’t have to deprive yourself in order to eat healthy. It’s great to go to her restaurants, because I know that anything I eat there comes from the most natural sources, will provide balance in my meals and is made with love!
Too many great Atlanta restaurants to name, but my cheat meal has been the same forever — linguine with clams. Boom!
What’s the hardest part about being a working mom? And the most rewarding? Do you think your two daughters will eventually take over your fitness empire?
Time management! Balance is my mantra word, so I try to keep a work/life balance as much as possible. I will say it is easier now since both my kids can drive! When I started BLAST, I was working around the clock for the first three years. I worried about my kids all the time, but as kids often do, they told me in myriad different ways how incredibly proud of me they were and the work I was doing. Being a strong role model for my daughters is certainly the attribute I am most proud of. I am certain that neither of my children will take over BLAST, and that’s OK. Maddie, my oldest, wants to be an art therapist and is in college working toward that degree. Olivia, my 16-year-old, wants to go into psychology or social work and help others with issues like addiction and trauma. So while they are not taking over BLAST, it is wonderful knowing that they want to work in fields that help others. I guess I did have a little influence on them!
What is one fitness trend you are glad to see has gone to that great treadmill in the sky?
While it’s not completely obsolete yet, we are getting there. It would have to be the incorrect use of heart rate monitors. The age-old way of assessing an individual’s metabolic rate, which allows them to work out correctly for their unique makeup, is rapidly becoming obsolete. The importance of having a scientifically based method to test your metabolic rate, find your resting metabolic rate and gauge your VO2 max (your peak oxygen uptake) is vital. BLAST has the technology to do this, and we are seeing huge results from our clients who get their profile assessments done.
What’s your favorite spot in the city?
I live on the 17th floor in a Midtown high-rise. My bedroom is my sanctuary. It’s all white (my favorite color) and it looks right over the city toward Stone Mountain. It’s the place where I can go close the door and just let my mind go and totally relax … my place of Zen.
What’s your best piece of advice?
Strive for balance in your life. Get outside your comfort zone so you can embrace positive change. Constantly work on loving yourself. This is the advice I tell myself every day, and while I am still a work in progress, I’m getting closer every day.
What are three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends?
BLAST and my team and clients, DryBar and the beach.
Thank you to Missi Wolf for sharing so much about her personal and professional life! As we start putting our resolutions into action, we’ll definitely be mentally and physically preparing ourselves for the BLAST experience.
And as always, a huge thank you to CatMax Photography for today’s lovely photos!