Mexican wakeboarder Larisa Morales, also known as “the girl who walks on water,” recently turned pro while in the midst of attending the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Larisa began wakeboarding at the age of six thanks to her brother, Hector Morales, who took her to her first wakeboarding session.

Larisa’s talents have won her numerous accolades at the IWWF World Cup in China (International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation World Cup), Pan American Games, and WWA Wakeboard World Championships.

Despite her young age she is a star of extreme water sports. Straight from the expert herself, we have all the insights on her aspiring professional career, her fitness routine, and tips for up-and-coming athletes.

"During competition season, I spend most of my time training in the water and get in 14 wakeboarding sets behind the boat per week," said Morales. "Once the sun sets, I focus on off-water training, specifically, cycling for cardio, core strengthening and mobility exercises. Before heading to bed, I try to do some yoga and stretch to avoid soreness the next morning."

Morales says during the off-season, when the temperature of the water is lower, her routine changes. "I only do four sets per week.  I still work on cardio, core strength and mobility, but also focus on my leg, back, and arm strength so that I won't feel weak when the season starts," explains the wakeboarder.

For someone hoping to get in shape, Larisa recommends to "stay active daily." "Our ancestors did not need gyms to stay in shape, but they also didn't spend all day sitting on a chair or lying in bed. I do jump squats every time I go up the stairs to my dorm room," she added.

To stay motivated and stick to her fitness goals, Morales says positive thinking is the key. "I think positive reinforcement is important. The more I exercise, the more rested and energized I feel. This makes me want to keep exercising," she says. For those hoping to do the same she suggest to do excersice daily. "I would recommend making your fitness routines part of your daily schedule, like going to work or class," says the expert. "If you start to get off track, you'll feel tired and stressed because your body is adapting to a healthier way of living. Use that wacky feeling to get back into it!"

The champion also told about her in-season die: "I am currently training in a beautiful lagoon in Mexico called Xul-ha where everything is locally sourced. I start the day with water or tea and a little banana. Then, after our morning set we come in for breakfast which is eggs with spinach. Before joining my friends for their ride, I have a can of Sugarfree Red Bull. For lunch, I have a salad with lettuce, carrots and cranberries, with either meat or locally caught fish. In the afternoon, I snack on an apple with peanut butter. Dinner is light. I usually make myself a salad or eggs with ham, but somedays, I convince myself that I've earned one or two quesadillas."

Finally, Morales shared some of her goals for 2017. "I want to represent my country well in the World Games in July. I will be traveling to Poland to compete, and I would love to see the Mexican Flag and hear the Mexican national anthem from the top of the podium."