If you want something, go get it. Period.
I have always been obsessed with music, movement and trying to save the world since as far back as I can remember. I have some funny stories about that actually. Those are still interests that I feel obligated to but I have also finally accepted that my world needs to be mastered first so that I can better serve others. This is something I am currently working on. By working on I mean, allowing. Music motivates my everything. Movement from dancing to martial arts and combat sports; energizes me. Lifting helps me to be physically strong and better capable. Am I the best so and so? No, but maybe I could have been. Does any of that matter or mean don’t pursue what I love? Hell no! Never give up on your passion.
I have been in the fitness industry for about fifteen years now in various ways. The amalgamation of the aforementioned as well as the importance of community and social service is a big part of what drives me. I am currently re-branding and am doing a huge 360 back to my original passion of a more holistic approach to life. I am focusing more on public speaking, workshops, seminars and various educational aspects of my business. I am also extending my reach via fitness classes, in-person and online training, nutrition and consulting. I have a few speaking engagements already lined up and am excited to be pushed beyond my comfort zone. I want to be a great story teller and motivator.
I grew up in a place that was in no way conducive with health, fitness or well-being, but somehow it always intrigued me and I wanted it to be a part of my life. It took years for me to find out how I could do that. I didn’t really have “parents” per se but when I did see my Dad he did his best to encourage me in a positive way. I hated the way that I looked physically and felt emotionally and one day something just snapped. I credit “fitness” and the lifestyle overall with saving my life. It has opened doors for me. It has offered me amazing, surreal experiences that I never believed possible. To date I have competed in fitness modeling (bikini and figure), participated in demo fights and competed in a Tough Mudder event.
I had to give up everything and everyone that I knew to embark on this lifestyle. None of it was easy. I didn’t have any family support and at times I still struggle. Most recently I realized that being better in life in more ways than one was more important to me than proving people wrong or feeding my ego. I have not set any goals (for competing next year) and right now I am appreciating the journey without further analyzing everything. I try to practice what I preach in terms of ample recovery time while still pushing forward with my training program. I’m not “superhuman” but at times I totally feel like it. They say that motivation comes from a place of seeking pleasure or a place of avoiding pain and I agree whole heartedly.
Daily I consume a multi-vitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics, whey protein (sometimes veggie protein) and creatine. Occasionally I add things here or there as needed. My workouts vary quite a bit. I may do some combat sports, dance classes, lift heavy or lift lighter but faster. I may use bodyweight or barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells; at other times, machines. I may jump, climb, sprint, hop, bike or cartwheel. I have always loved cross- training and always will.
I eat protein and fibrous foods, grains and good fats. Nothing fancy really and btw that is key. Keeping things simple! I am not dieting for anything specific so I just focus on more nutrient dense foods and foods that make me feel better mentally and physically. Stressing about every aspect of your food will kill you faster than eating a non-organic, non-paleo, uh-oh I went above my daily calorie intake meal; so lighten up a little.
Things are hard in the beginning physically and mentally but you can and will adapt and get stronger to fight the resistance for YOUR goals. Some people don’t like to see others happy and successful because it means they have to look at themselves. That is not your problem. You were put here to be the best damn version of yourself you can be. You have one life to live so you might as well LIVE it instead of sitting idly by because you are too tired, weak, ill or otherwise. You are doing yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and this world a disservice if you don’t allow yourself to be great. A strong, fit, healthy, body and mind will serve to support those around you. Be the example. You can and must take responsibility and control of your health and thus your life. It has a cascade effect to be fit and healthy that will transfer to other aspects of your life.
Be strong, it is within you and there are many who want to help lift you. So keep pushing forward, keep searching, there is a way for everyone. Surround yourself with that and remind yourself every morning and night that you are a gift to this world and we all need you to be strong.
As for my journey, I’m conquering it one day at a time.Melissa Traynor – ACSM-HFS, CISSN, PN
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