Photos by Sincerely Gone Photography

In the past seven years, Carla Sallese-Bice has developed a passion for rowing. Not only has the sport helped to keep her active, but it has also encouraged her to adopt a new clean eating regimen to keep her body in peak condition for competition.From sprints to longer regattas, Carla pushes herself to the limit to ensure that she is the best that she can be.

How do you live a 360life?

I love the way my body feels when I exercise and eat clean. That feeling motivates me to exercise four to six days a week, incorporating yoga and weightlifting into my rowing schedule. I also volunteer in my friend Angel James’ first grade class. It keeps me on my toes and I learn something every time. I have a great support group. My husband, family, friends and coaches keep me focused and encouraged.

What is your wellness mantra?

Find something that you love and jump in with both feet. I have loved rowing since the first time I sat in the boat. There is something for everyone, so get started. It is never too late.

How long have you been active/ competing?

I have been active most of my adult life, but I am passionate about rowing. Not only is my body stronger, but my focus is also elevated in all aspects of my life. I now have a competitive spirit that I never had before. I push myself harder than I ever have.

Tell us how you got started?

In September 2009, I took a three-day learn-to-row class and I was hooked. I participated in my first regatta in spring 2010 and I haven’t stopped.

What has been your favorite competition?

Each November we compete at the Head of the Hooch, a 5K race, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last year I entered the lightweight single category. As the youngest in that event, I knew I had to row a good race to make up the 30-second handicap of my fellow competitors. As the race started, I focused on catching and passing the boat ahead of me. It was exhilarating to pull alongside her and then pull ahead. As I passed each landmark I could hear the crowd, and I knew I was getting closer to the finish. No matter how I placed, I had rowed my best race. When the results were posted I had won a silver medal. The Head of the Hooch is the second largest regatta in the United States so being able to medal was an affirmation that my hard work had paid off.

What keeps you motivated?

To be the best I can be. This is the first time I have been involved in a competitive sport. Over these past seven years I have worked hard to increase my speed and endurance. Staying healthy is mental as well as physical. Some days I have to make myself get out there. I’ll never be the best I can be if I don’t.

Do you have events that you would like to complete on your bucket list?

Masters Nationals and the Head of the Charles. The Head of the Charles in Boston is the largest regatta in the United States. The course is challenging and weather conditions make it even more so.

What are you training for right now?

Sprint season is in full swing, so I am working on getting faster in my single and practicing with my mixed doubles partner, Scott Rivkees. When we are in the boat everything we do has to match up for maximum speed. The blades have to go into the water at the same time so that we drive (begin the stroke) together. Sprints are 1K races that push you to the limit.

What is your go-to diet?

My diet doesn’t vary much. Meals are easier when I don’t have to plan. Breakfast consists of granola with fruit, a three-egg omelet and sprouted toast. Lunch is a large salad with greens and a variety of veggies, like peppers, tomatoes, olives, avocado, pickles, beans — basically whatever I have on hand topped with protein. Dinner is a protein, two veggies, a good carb and fruit. I take healthy snacks and water with me wherever I go so I am not tempted to eat junk. I give myself a free day every week so I don’t feel deprived. I drink a lot of water and shy away from soda, junk food and sugar. Five years ago, with the help of my friend Rose Gleichowski, I learned how to fuel my body correctly and have been eating this way ever since.

What is the most important lesson being active has taught you?

That age is just a number. When I am active, I have less aches and pains. When I stop moving I start to slow down and feel sluggish. Being active is a lifestyle choice. On vacations with my husband, Jim, we  continually plan our outdoor activities to include kayaking, hiking, biking and anything else we find to do along the way. I also scout ahead for rowing clubs I can row with while traveling. You can’t take a vacation from fitness, and it is never too late to start. At 62 I’m in better shape than I was in my 20s. Exercise is my fountain of youth.

How would you encourage others to start living a 360life?

There is a big world out there with lots of things to try. Pick one, two or all of them. Try them on until you find what you love and go after it. Start small or go big, but just do it. We only get one life. I intend to use all of mine.

What is your daily workout routine?

I don’t have a set workout schedule. I like to mix things up to keep my body guessing. I lift weights two to three days a week. I do yoga and attend club practices. I love being on the water, so if I have the option I am at the lake.

What is your favorite way to wind down from a busy week?

Being on the water, sometimes alone. It is so peaceful. Also reading, but not at the same time.

What is your favorite book?

“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “11/22/63.”

What is your favorite go-to meal or local restaurant?

We don’t eat out much, so for a real splurge we will go to Satchel’s on a Friday night for music, salad and pizza.

What is one thing you wouldn’t row without?

Water with electrolytes. This is Florida; it is hot out there.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Gainesville Area Rowing is a local club that not a lot of people know about. It consists of middle school, high school and adult rowers. We are currently based out of Powers Park and are in the process of building a new rowing center. Rowing/crew is a terrific sport that works your whole body and that you can do for the rest of your life. We offer learnto-row classes for adults, and the youth teams are always recruiting new members.