Film and TV

Chandler Athlete/Total Badass Analisa Marquez Is Taking on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge

Arizona’s own Analisa Marquez, 26, will appear across your TV/laptop/tablet or whatever preferred screen on Sunday, March 13, as she competes on the Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge reality television program.

Now, let’s back up for those who are unaware. Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge is a reality show filmed at the Broken Skull Ranch in the Los Angeles area and hosted by the former wrestling star. Now in its third season on Country Music Television, the show pits eight competitors (all women or all men depending on the episode) against unique obstacle courses and physical challenges. Winner gets a shot at the “Skullbuster” obstacle course and $10,000 in “cold, hard cash.”

Past challenges have included courses like Pulverizer, Pain Train, and Barn Burner, and dirt hills dubbed Ass Kicker, Ball Breaker, and one just called Tired.

How appropriate that our hometown hero Ana makes her debut during March 2016 – otherwise known as Stone Cold Steve Austin Month (remember that whole Austin 3:16 thing? The "Code of Stone Cold." No? Okay, fine).

Marquez possesses an impressive athletic résumé. She grew up competing in soccer, swim, and track, and attended the University of Arizona on a soccer scholarship. She went on to play two years of professional soccer – one year with the Boston Breakers and another with the Atlanta Beat. This is what led her to competing on the show. She was contacted through her professional Facebook page, and one Skype interview later, she found herself flying off to Broken Skull Ranch, itinerary in hand.

"The hardest thing was keeping it a secret while stepping away," she says.

Meeting the famed Stone Cold Steve Austin – former WWE bigwig and current reality show host – proved to be a positive experience for Marquez. “He’s just a genuine guy,” she says. “He’s an athlete, so he understands what an athlete is going through.” Another take-away from this experience was witnessing how the show was put together. “One of the most fascinating things was watching production and how it works,” she says. Marquez describes it as interesting, choppy, and even a little awkward.

Now that she’s been there, done that, and got the Broken Skull Ranch T-shirt (a woman’s medium, we would guess), she continues her work as coach and competitor in the Chandler community. Her schedule includes coaching youth soccer in Chandler and Ahwatukee, and training (both personally and as a personal trainer) at the East Valley CrossFit in Chandler.

“The people that I’ve met through the CrossFit community is like a second family to me,” Marquez says.

So how did she do?

We really can’t say. But Marquez says she “pretty much performed how I was expecting to.”

If you want to keep tabs on Marquez after watching her take some names on her March 13 première (CMT Channel at 8/7 p.m. central), you can follow her journey through the CrossFit competition season on her Instagram.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano