I Live Here: Rachel Rettman

Name & Age: Rachel Rettman, 32

Hometown: Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

Current Neighborhood: SW Hills/Hillsdale

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? I am a fitness entrepreneur/small business owner/Pilates and cycling instructor/MBA consultant/avid volunteer at multiple local organizations. My newly minted business, Earn and Burn – Wellness at Work combines my educational background in Psychology and Business and my Pilates practice to bring functional fitness, nutrition, and behavior change techniques to corporate offices where employees are primarily desk-bound. Additionally, I work with clients one on one, in small groups, and on a concierge basis. I also teach group Pilates and cycling classes at local gyms/clubs and have been told that my Pilates classes are quite challenging, which is a real compliment!

What do you create? Happy, healthy, motivated people and a sense of pride and well-being pertaining to taking care of body and mind. I would like to think that I help people to believe in themselves and achieve their fitness and personal goals.

How did you land in Portland? Portland is such a funny place for me. I grew up here and in Seattle, but have spent so many years in other cities yet always come back here to see family, visit, hang out in between other life ‘segments,’ and so forth. Up until a couple of years ago I had not spent more than a handful of months in one stretch here since age 13. After living in Boston, San Francisco (twice), Washington DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, and even Sydney, Australia (can you say wanderlust?), I decided to give Portland another go and see how it felt to stay for longer than a little while. To my surprise it has grown on me immensely, and the quality of life here can’t be beat. Plus now I can never move again because I must be within 5 miles of St. Cupcake at any given time :)

What is the last book you read? Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell. After reading the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson I have been on a ‘Swedish murder mystery’ kick and have now read the first of many books in a series by Mankell. Other recent reads include Super Freakonomics, The Invisible Gorilla, Elliot Allagash (hysterical), and Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Name your favorite tattoo. I have an angel, which I designed along with the tattoo artist, on the small of my back. I got it 14 years ago, love it, and am considering adding to it as we speak!

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? Soup! Next on my list, though, is finding one of the few gluten free food carts and seeing what goodies they are fabricating. I also want to find that woman who makes the pies and wheels her cart to different spots rather than staying in one location…

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? Willamette Week, although I like the word jumble in the Oregonian quite a bit!

What is your favorite bridge and why? The Hawthorne Bridge. I like it because not only is it centrally located and a great artery into SE, but also it is very walking/biking friendly with its wide paths and ramps to and from both the east and west-bank esplanades. How can you not love a bridge that hosts an annual bridge brunch!

Stumptown Coffee or _________? The Tea Zone in the Pearl. Even though I am Pacific NW born and bred I do not drink coffee (especially strange since I once worked at Starbucks corporate and got all the free coffee in the world). The Tea Zone has such a wide variety of tasty teas both hot and cold, as well as my ultimate favorite…bubble tea!  Their bubble tea is sophisticated, made with high quality teas and flavorings, and it’s blended to the consistency of a slurpee which is fantastic.

Coast or Mountains? Mountains. One of the most amazing things about living in Portland is that Mt. Hood is practically in our backyard. The mountains are one of the things that keep me from moving elsewhere; there are not many places where, while stuck in traffic on I-5, you can round a bend and see an enormous picturesque mountain right in front of you! Sure makes the traffic a bit more tolerable…

Only in Portland moment? Hehe well I have two. Number 1) is a repeating moment which takes place anytime 4 cars arrive at a stop sign at roughly the same time.  Everyone waits for the other person to go…then finally a couple cars inch forward and then they all stop again to let the others go…you start to see hands waving the other cars on, oh so polite…finally, 10 minutes later, someone crosses through the intersection. Ok, not ten minutes but you get the drill. I have not seen this happen in other places, and usually I am the one who finally bites the bullet and drives on through! Number 2) Every once in awhile I see these super moms out exercising in the pouring rain. They will be decked out in waterproof everything, with a double jogging stroller covered by a giant rain shield, two+ dogs tied around the waist each with a raincoat/hat/hood on, an ipod or headphones (how do they hear to two babies?) and sometimes an optional friend who is completely unencumbered. Suffice it to say I admire and applaud the dedication.

A favorite local business? Only one? How about three (ok four), consisting of edible, wearable, and charitable. Edible gets a tie between sweet and savory, with St. Cupcake as my favorite cupcake place EVER and Mio Sushi rounding out the real food category with its amazing creamy scallop rolls. Wearable brings us to Halo Shoes, which always has the best boots and carries really unique and stylish items. Charitable, hands down, goes to the Pixie Project. They do animal rescue/adoption and have the world’s sweetest dogs (cats too) up for adoption. They are always looking for reliable, enthusiastic volunteers to help with the animals so check them out at pixieproject.org. This was a really hard question, by the way; I feel like I left out so many great places worth mentioning!

Are you a car person or a bike person? Actually, I am a walking person. Whenever possible I like to walk places, whether it be all around the city, along the waterfront, or through Forest or Mt. Tabor park. People who know me know to wear good sneakers when we get together. I am trying to become a bicycle person, though, and yes I love my SUV (how else will I get to the mountain)!

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? I would have it be more of a destination for culture, events, and people/productions that tour the country or the world. For example, concerts/musical acts, big art exhibitions, etc. often skip Portland when visiting US cities, and Seattle or San Francisco are too far away! If people knew how awesome this city is, I am sure they would alter their travel plans. Oh and I would travel back in time 10-15 years before we had all of this traffic!

And finally, where can we find you on the web? Earn and Burn – Wellness at Work can be found at www.earnandburn.com and you can follow us on twitter at @earnnburn as well as on Facebook at Earn and Burn – Wellness at Work.

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