April 2020-Mom of the Month

Meet Michelle! Our mom of the month🙌

Hi everyone! My name is Michelle Montopoli and I have been a part of Fit4Moms NWValley since December 2019: The one-year anniversary class. I love the incredible community, workouts, support, and interaction with our kids that this group offers, and the opportunities provided have added so much positivity to our lives.

I have a sassy independent 2.5-year-old daughter named Adriana with my partner Leo and have been a stay-at-home mom, while reviewing research grants, running statistics, or working on my own research/publications. I was born and raised in Wyoming, spending most of the time in Laramie, while spending every summer of my life in Grand Teton National Park where my dad has been a climbing rescue ranger for over 35 years.

The Tetons is where I consider home as I am still fortunate enough to continue going every summer, never missing one. It has allowed me to always be surrounded by nature and truly appreciate being in the outdoors. I grew up hiking and mountain climbing and love the challenge it offers and beauty and peace every experience brings.

When I was in 7th grade, we moved to Yuma, AZ since my mom got an incredible job offer as a Midwife at a Community center, where she continues to work. She was able to deliver Adriana in the Yuma Hospital, and it was a magical experience.

I started taking classes from the local community college (AWC) while in my sophomore year, and actually graduated with my Associates Degree in Mathematics before graduating Valedictorian from high school. I then headed straight back to the mountains, earned my bachelor’s in psychology from NAU in Flagstaff, and discovered my true joy for medicine. I decided to pursue and earn my Masters Degree in Health Psychology, while taking the needed science classes for medical school, and earning my EMT certification as a back-up plan. I spent an incredible summer being the lead EMT for the South District of Grand Teton National Park, then started medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix campus. While in medical school I suffered a pretty drastic injury where I severed my ulnar nerve, several tendons, and the artery. It took over a year of intense Occupational therapy to gain any function or feeling back, and I reached about 80% of my normal function. It has made things harder, but I refuse to let it stop me from doing anything I was capable of before. I took another break from medical school when I got pregnant with Adriana but hope to finish my last two rotations of my last year soon and hope to practice family medicine. I fell in love with almost every rotation, but really have continued to love wilderness medicine and OB/GYN. I also would like to try and volunteer in falconry rehabilitation, as I grew up with my dad rehabbing several diverse owls, hawks, falcons, and ospreys, and had them in our backyard all the time.

Fun Fact: My dad helped track Bald Eagle activity and deaths when they were endangered, which encompassed finding their nests, climbing them, banding the babies’ leg to monitor migration, and take blood samples. I was able to climb into a few as a teen and adult, and also have met Harrison Ford on several occasions as he has a Bald Eagle nest on his land and is a total environmentalist.