PROFILE: Gabrielle Brady

March 11, 2016
By Marcy Shortuse

Gabrielle Brady web■ BY SUSAN ERWIN
Gasparilla Inn Club Spa & Fitness Manager Gabrielle Brady started working at the gift shop at the Inn in 2010.
Since then, she has held various positions at the club and was promoted to her present position last October.
Originally from Englewood, New Jersey, she relocated to Englewood, Florida with her mother in 1985.
She attended Lemon Bay High School and worked at a local assisted-living facility after graduating.
She also worked at a car dealership and a day care center.
After getting married and starting a family, she decided to take a break from work for a few years to raise her three sons.
Her oldest son, Josh, is a United States Marine and is currently deployed overseas. Second son Tyler is a sophomore at Lemon Bay High School, and Justin is a fifth- grader at Vineland Elementary School.
“My boys are my life – I just love them all so much,” Gabrielle said.
She said she feels very fortunate to be able to work in Boca Grande, pointing out that from her present office window, she has a direct view of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gabrielle has been a runner for nearly all of her life.
She usually runs about 10 miles, three times per week.
It has been a personal goal of hers to run a marathon, but somehow those plans always seemed to get pushed to the side. “I have run 15 half-marathons, but during that time I never completed a full one,” she said.
But soon she created a plan.
In December, she decided to dedicate her first marathon  in honor of her eldest son, Josh.
She signed up for an event called the “Best Damn Race” in Cape Coral.
“Josh is actually the reason I did it,” she said. “He is deployed to a place where he really doesn’t want to be, so I thought it was the least I could do to show him how much I support him.”
Gabrielle had a special T-shirt made with the words: “They serve so we can run free” with Josh’s name printed across the bottom of it.
She also carried a special glass stone with a photo of Josh in it, holding it in her hand for the entire race.
She said she felt great during the first half of the race, but she found the second half difficult and ended up finishing it by running intervals of three minutes and walking for 30 seconds.
“Your body needs those 30 seconds to recover, and  there is less chance of an injury that way,” she said.
Gabrielle’s sisters and her stepmom have just started running again, so she helped them train for a relay marathon. And she ran that race along with them.
She runs a half-marathon called “The Princess Run” in Orlando every year with some women she attended high school with.
“That’s a really fun race. We have all been running it together since it first started in 2008,” she said. “We are considered ‘Perfect Princesses,’ since we have attended every single year.”
She even ran the race one year with a broken toe, explaining that she had to duct-tape a flip flop on her foot to complete the run.
“I didn’t want to lose my ‘Perfect Princess’ status,” she sid with a smile.
Gabrielle said that her best time for a half-marathon is 2:01. She ran in high school and then stopped for a few years. She started running again because of the feeling of freedom she gets from it.
“It’s my decompression time. I don’t have to think about anything, and if I do want to think about something, that’s fine too – it’s like my own personal time. If I’m angry I like to run. If I’m sad or happy, I go for a run.”
According to Gabrielle, a huge factor for staying motivated is to get a running partner who will hold you accountable.
“There are times that I don’t feel like getting up at 4 a.m. to run, but I know my friend will be at my front door waiting on me if I’m not out of bed,” she said.
When she is not working, Gabrielle enjoys traveling.
Her father and her sisters live in St. Augustine. “We like to go up there as often as we can. And I really like to run up there. It’s very pretty. And it’s also fun to go for a run where everything is new and different. It’s interesting to check out different scenery,” she said.
Gabrielle said she also enjoys nature and being outside as much as possible.
She said her favorite book is “The Secret Garden.” “That has sentimental value to me, since my grandmother gave that book to me,” she said.
She said she doesn’t really watch much television, but her favorite movies are “The Notebook” and “Overboard.”
She said the person she admires the most is her grandmother, who helped raise her.
“She’s just a very good, honest and loyal person,” Gabrielle said.
Gabrielle said she loves her work and all of the staff at The Gasparilla Inn & Club and feels fortunate to work on the island.
“I think of it as more of a family than a job,” she said. “I absolutely love my job. And I have a great assistant, Trina, who is just wonderful. She is new this year, and she has just been a tremendous help. And I love the people – everybody is so kind and so nice,” Gabrielle said.
One of her greatest fears is a tornado, she said, adding that she was happy she was out of town during the recent ones that hit in Cape Coral and Sarasota.
“I don’t know why. I think it’s because I had a very bad dream about them when my son was a child, and it has just stayed with me forever,” she said.
Gabrielle has four siblings: Cameron, David, Sandi and Margaret.
Gabrielle currently lives in Englewood.
“I love this area and feel very fortunate to be here,” she said.