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In The Arena Blog

Arena Staff Member Talks Rowing, Running and Martial Arts

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From member to staff, David Mottola discussing his journey from rowing in college to running marathons to entering the world of Kickboxing and Muay Thai. David discusses how fulfilling these activities have been to not just his physical body but to his whole life. We really enjoy these spotlight videos to give you a peek into how all these people from different places in life have all grown to love martial arts, and especially The Arena.


David Mottola:
I always knew that I want to try rowing. So I hopped into rowing right when I got into high school and fell in love with it immediately. And I was lucky enough to get recruited for college down the line. And I went and competed in college and beyond. I competed on the U-23 National Team as well.


For most of my time that I rowed, I hated running. I hated it. I couldn’t stand it. But maybe about a year or so before I stopped rowing, I realized that it was my favorite way to cross-train. I started running every day. So right now, I’m training to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, see how fast I can go. And then down the line, what I would love to do is do an ultramarathon. I’m not at that point yet, but knocking out a race of 50 miles or plus would be my ultimate goal with running. That’s really what I’m aspiring to do.

I’ve been interested in learning martial arts pretty much my whole life, but I just never really felt the confidence, I guess, to take the step into the world until about four or five years ago. I was living in DC at the time. And eventually, I just said, “Whatever, I’m going to walk into this gym and see what happens.” I was interested in doing Muay Thai and kickboxing. It’s been totally transformative. And I owe a lot of my personal growth as an athlete, but also as a person to martial arts.


I moved out to California about five or six months ago, and I just started training at The Arena pretty much right away. I think within the first three days of me being in California and being in San Diego, I walked in the door and signed up after just getting a tour of the place and seeing how amazing it was. The past six months of being here have been incredibly powerful in terms of my own growth as a person and a martial artist.

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