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'Titan Games' athlete and army veteran Michelle Lewis took a pandemic-related financial hit. How she's fighting back

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How this veteran is staying resilient amid the pandemic

Michelle Lewis is no stranger to extraordinary challenges — or obstacles. The 32-year-old "Titan Games" Season 2 competitor from Atlanta claims her military background has prepared her for high-stress situations, a mindset she needed not only to conquer the grueling obstacles she faced at the Games but the ethos she is depending on now to overcome a pandemic-related financial blow.

When not keeping fit, Lewis is a real estate agent. Although based in Atlanta, many of her properties are located in Texas, a state with skyrocketing coronavirus hospitalizations.

With the number of Americans out of work due to Covid-19 near 20 million, and rent freezes put in place in several cities, Lewis lost several clients. "When Covid hit, I think my income took a 65% hit." The sudden loss in pay forced Lewis to dip into her savings account.

Michelle Lewis, center
Michelle Lewis

Lewis realized then that a recovery would be a long way off. Government mismanagement on a federal, state and local level has led to cities reopening too early and thus forcing them into lockdown for a second time. Texas was among the first to widely open its economy in May but has since had to walk back some of its reopenings as cases spiraled. 

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But these setbacks have not stopped Lewis from moving forward. Blessed with a tireless work ethic and the experiences from war — after getting her father to sign for so she could join the U.S. Army at 17, Lewis was involved in three separate IED attacks while driving for an armored convoy before being honorably discharged eight years later — Lewis looked for ways to earn extra cash. Though her friends scoffed at the idea, she signed up to make deliveries for Instacart, the online delivery app that has seen an explosion in activity since lockdown began

Michelle Lewis while on tour
Michelle Lewis

Recently, Lewis joined the retail investing revolution, using a commission-free ebroker. As she learned in the army and the competition in the Titan Games, Lewis understands the patience and determination needed to see her investments blossom but, as always, remains optimistic she will cross the finish line a winner.

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CHECK OUT: Get to know 4 everyday heroes who are going above and beyond during the pandemic via Grow with Acorns+CNBC. 

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal broadcasts the athletic competition series "The Titan Games"