Triumph Barbell has grown from a couple of lifters in the side garage at the old gym to a fully fledged USAW Sanctioned Club. We’ve hosted State Championships, local meets and even threw down in a couple breweries. Along our journey we’ve had national medalist, PR’s broken and thousands upon thousands of kilos lifted. Melissa has been there for most of it. Please officially welcome her to the staff. You can find her most evenings helping out, writing programming for some remote athletes or lifting. We asked her a bunch of questions and she was kind enough to answer them in turn.
Where are you from?
Hamilton, Oh. The hillbilly capital of the Midwest
How long have you been into fitness?
I’ve always been really active. I started dancing when I was 4 and did that up until my early 30’s. I taught dance and Pilates until about then too. I’ve always been fascinated with all the ways the human body can move and all the super cool things we can do.
What got you started in your fitness journey?
When I stopped dancing and teaching Pilates in order to get a “real job” I got really lazy and sedentary. I gained a bunch of weight and just generally felt awful physically and mentally. I signed up for personal training at Urban Active because I was fed up with myself and had no idea what to do. I got really lucky that the trainer they gave me was a badass powerlifter who put me under a barbell immediately. Once I figured out that I could be strong, I was hooked.
What is your favorite thing about working out?
Getting to put the rest of my day aside and just focus on moving.
Who are your inspirations?
Mattie Rogers. She just puts her head down and does the work no matter what the universe throws at her. And Aimee Everett. She is one of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet and a simply outstanding coach. She gives so much of herself to her athletes and to helping them succeed.
What do you enjoy about helping people?
Knowing I had a hand in making someone’s day better in some way.
What’s your favorite lift?
It seems to be seasonal. Currently? I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but jerks.
Favorite cheat meal?
Ugh… That term really burns my biscuits. I think when we assign terms like “cheat” to meals, or a specific food, or whatever, we are creating this sense of guilt around eating that we think we’re supposed to punish ourselves for by being overly restrictive if we “fall off the wagon,” or by going nuts in the gym because we think we need to earn our food. So I don’t have cheat meals. I eat whatever I want when I want it (it usually being baked goods of some variety… brownies, cookies, cake, doesn’t matter, I love all of it) I either chose to make it fit my macros (the majority of the time) or I don’t worry about whether it fits or not and just enjoy food for the sake of enjoying food. But if I choose not to worry about it, I own that decision and get right back to my normal routine the next day or so. This is a whole soapbox topic that I could go on about but that’s a conversation for another time.
What is your least favorite lift?
Behind the neck jerks. I HATE THEM!! They scare the crap out of me. But I do them and I do them regularly because they are making my actual jerks better.