Street Athletes: Thru The Blue
I met Melissa back in 2011 when she was one of the participants in my first ever Team Bangs on the Run, taking on the Paris Half Marathon. At the time, she was just taking her first tentative steps back into fitness. But even then, she had a dogged determination and you could tell, this girl was gonna beast whatever she put her mind to. Since then she’s been on quite a journey and as of the start of this year, it just got more exciting. Anyway, I’ll let her tell it, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, you just done found you some!
Name: Melissa or thrutheblue online
Occupation: Gym trainer and trainee Personal Trainer
– What’s your sport?
Lifting up heavy things and putting them back down – aka Lifting Weights
– How did you get into it?
Late last year I got speaking to my now coach and friend Bradley Aidan Johnson, who had achieved an amazing transformation through lifting heavy weights and tight nutrition. I had been fighting pre-baby weight for a number of years and wanted to take my training to the next level and his videos on youtube inspired me. After some personal research and long conversations with Bradley, I decided to go with his methods of training and nutrition and started in the New Year. He has coached me ever since, through all the good and bad; I haven’t looked back since!
– What’s been your best moment in your sport so far?
There have certainly been many highs and lows to this journey. As much as there are the aesthetic highlights, where you see pictures from December and now and barely recognise yourself, but the real highlights happen in the gym. You are only as good as your last lift, and my last major achievement was dead-lifting 77.5KG this past Wednesday. That’s 1.5x my body weight, and I had to dig deep to achieve it but with much grunting and sweating I got that PR. Friday I’ll be aiming to smash that PR with a 80KG lift!
– What motivates you?
I initially started this for vanity. I am not afraid or ashamed to admit I want to look badass naked. So sue me! However, I really cannot begin to explain what this has done for me emotionally and confidence wise. 2012 was a tough year, and 2013 was always going to be about re-building my confidence and weight lifting does that. When you can hold and squat a bar that weighs more than the average man, there’s not much that scares you. That’s the biggest motivation for me, to feel and look awesome and know that I have total control over that.
– How do you push yourself when you don’t want to train?
Believe it or not, in the four months I have been doing this I have so far not had a moment of not wanting to train. Firstly, I love this ish and also I believe that to achieve results you must be consistent and diligent. There have been days when I have been tired and there have even been tears during sessions but I will not give in to that. I also think about my friends and followers who tell me I inspire them to do better. How can I quit when I am motivating others?
Along with my training, I follow a very precise diet which gives me exact numbers of calories, protein, fat and carbs to eat. This is the key to my success so far but probably what requires the most will power and what causes me most conflict. Sometimes I just want to go and eat, whatever, without thinking about it but then I just look at my journey so far and where I want to be and that keeps me strong. Good thing about my “diet” is that no foods are off limit, I just have to plan them properly! Bring on the Oreos!
– What’s your favourite motivational quote?
At the moment there are two and they are very relevant to the journey of someone who lifts weights seriously.
“Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Unknown
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
– What events do you have lined up for this year?
This year I am simply focusing on honing my skills within my sport. The journey of a weight lifter is a long one and I’ll be a newbie for a long time! My plan this year is to perfect my form along with increasing my strength. Looking forward I would like to compete in Figure Competitions but I am anticipating that will happen for me in 2014. In the mean time, pure focus on my training! I have been eye-balling the odd Tough Mudder, Survival of the Fittest type events but I am not quite sold on the underwater or electrocution aspect of that yet!
– What role does fitness play in your life?
Time to be cliché, but fitness is my life. I live and breathe it 24/7. When I’m not training, I’m thinking about it, talking about it or helping someone else find their own feet with fitness. My fitness journey has time and time again been a place of refuge and given me so much confidence. If for the rest of my life I did this and helped others do this then I will be a happy woman!
– Do you draw inspiration from any other types of sport?
I used to run half marathons, and although a very different discipline, I respect the hustle and dedication that comes from pounding those pavements day in and day out and then shooting for a race. It’s so inspirational! I also love gymnasts, their strength and grace is phenomenal and I can watch them compete all day every day!
– What’s your top training tip?
Don’t be afraid! You will get to a point where you look at a bar with fear and doubt. However, if you have trained right and your technique is down and you have set up your bar with the correct safety measures, then there is nothing to fear. You won’t die, you may fail but if you give it 100% and look fear in the face then who cares! Go for it!!
– What do you do in your down time?
Down time? What’s that? I kid! Down time, is quality time with my children after school and at weekends. We go to the park; they scoot, I ride or we bake brownies. Other than that I like to ride my bike, yup more exercise but for me its freedom, I love to feel air on my skin and just ride with my own thoughts or no thoughts at all. I like to hang out with friends and family, nothing too wild, just good company and chat! Other than that I watch a lot of Food Network UK, plotting and scheming how I can fit cake and American food into my macros!