Marcella Piersol grew up in California’s San Fernando Valley, “living on the edge”. She surfed, skateboarded, and basically was “super active”. Her parents divorced when she was young, and her father was granted custody which was unusual for the early 70’s. He had a huge impact on her life.
Marcella is a first generation American as her father emigrated with his parents from Germany in 1938 at the age of 5 to avoid WWII. He only spoke German. Putting himself through school, he became an engineer then later an attorney. Ultimately, her father worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Marcella graduated from college with a degree in business marketing. Because she has been physically active over the years, she didn’t think a “regular job” would be right for her. Before she graduated, she heard that the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were hiring. She applied and three months later entered the LA Police Academy.
In 1984 when she joined LAPD, there were not that many women police officers. As Marcella is a small woman (5’2″, 110 lbs.), “what kept me afloat in the Academy was my physical fitness”. She was also “super young and super young-looking”. Very soon after joining LAPD, they “scooped me up and threw me back in high school” where she worked undercover as a student for a semester to discover which students were selling narcotics.
As a police officer, Marcella retired from the LAPD as a lieutenant in 2006 after 22 years. She is still connected to her “family” at LAPD by participating in the Police and Fire Games. She even competed in Belfast where “they rolled out the red carpet for us!”
Fitness has been a major factor in her entire life. Marcella was only in her forties when she retired and wanted to pursue another career. Fitness was “a natural transition”. She now inspires others to achieve and maintain fitness. In fact, one of her clients has lost 70 lbs! Besides her individual clients, Marcella was also a high school girls’ cross country and track coach for 4 years. She now works part-time at a resort as a fitness manager where she supervises 16 instructors.
Marcella has started steering her business in a different direction. She wants to “combine my love of travel with my passion of fitness and become a traveling fitness professional”. In this role she would travel to different resorts and train guests. Actually, she completed a week at a resort in February as a guest trainer. She thought to herself “Maybe I should be a personal trainer that travels! Whether it’s for groups or whether it’s for resorts, I kind of want to throw myself out there and see if there’s a niche for that!” She’s scheduled to train guests at a resort for 2 weeks in November. Marcella has found a company that hires guest instructors and through it, was hired to go to Cancun in March.
Her advice to 50+ folks who are starting businesses: “Be nice to people. It’s rewarding. It’s so much easier just to be nice. Follow your dreams. Stay positive. Surround yourself with people who support you and most importantly, make wellness and health a priority!”