This week we are proud to share The Launch of Melanie Redd Performance Training, the evolution of Power Glow Fitness. It's rare to meet people so passionate about their career you feel their energy via a phone conversation. Melanie is busy. Not only a personal trainer and business owner; she is a practicing lifestyle change/health/mindset coach, has developed injury prevention and performance programs for high school and adult athletes and has launched a virtual personal training app. It's my pleasure to introduce you to Melanie and share her story and entrepreneurial journey! -Jessica Lea Nolette (blog creator)
What is your secret to balancing projects and can you share with us what you are most passionate about today?
I try not to think of my life as “busy”, however, I am fully immersed and dialed into the work that I love. As a Fitness Business Owner, and having my studio in my home as well as the virtual training product, in addition to a Corporate Wellness division and my work in Athletic Performance and Injury Prevention, my day is filled with seeing clients in person and communicating with clients in the virtual interactive space of the app. Whether we are chatting in the app space about how a workout went, or whether it's supporting and strategizing over health plan execution, I am generally present in that virtual space from morning till evening, but in small increments of time. I work in the Strength & Conditioning Space 4 afternoons a week for a local high school Football and Track Team, and then finish up whatever work I have left and answer messages etc up until about 8 pm each night. Somewhere in there, I find time to cook healthy dinners for my family and hang out with them! Achieving balance for the business and family would be difficult, if not impossible if my husband didn’t help me so much. Luckily, we both control our schedules (he’s a business owner too) and make sure at least one of us is present for our daughter and her needs and activities.
My secret to balance is something I have to work on continually. Recently I have been able to streamline and automate some of the app services with the help of my App Developer, which has helped free up some hours each week. I have learned the hard way that burnout can happen quickly in this business because it’s physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. A few years ago, I stopped working on the weekends, so I have Saturday and Sunday to recharge and spend time with my family. When I stick to that policy, I can truly regroup and refresh over the weekend.
In my line of work, there are also pockets of time here and there where I can walk away from the job demands and get in a quick stretch, ride my skateboard or take my dog for a walk. Taking mini-breaks throughout the day has gone a long way toward helping me stay balanced. I travel as often as I can as well which is my favorite way to recharge!
What I’m passionate about today: Spreading the message that we are all capable of immeasurable power and whether or not we discover that power, is in our control. I’m passionate about helping people discover what they really want for themselves and their lives and helping them find answers through movement, nutrition, optimal health and changing thought patterns. The end game is health and happiness. Because once optimal health and happiness are achieved, new opportunities are open to us personally and professionally.
I’m also passionate about brain health and how movement and food are directly related.
How important do you think building mindful technology is today?
Mindfulness is not just a trendy term to me. It’s a game changer. While too much technology can lead to negative results, mindful technology can be an extremely valuable approach to living healthier, happier lives. This is exactly why my virtual space is a positive, encouraging, loving space full of support and happiness. Through the use of technology, my clients know they can log in and get answers, support and loving motivation from me and the others. I think any technology that offers a space for positivity is a good thing and can also create an opportunity for users.
What separates you apart from other trainers and fitness experts?
There are 100 different kinds of trainers and fitness experts, so finding footing in this field can be a daunting task. I believe what separates me from others is my philosophy. I start with science and my education both from books and certifications, and what I know through application. Understanding that every person and body is different, and where science fails to answer questions, the art comes in to play. I combine the art of movement and the art of relating to and understanding clients so as to reach them in a meaningful way. I practice my craft relentlessly and I have unique intuition when it comes to people and their body and that skill is one that helps me deliver what I promise. It’s important to me that I know what I’m talking about and that anyone who interacts with me knows that as well so they can feel comfortable that they are in good hands and that I will get honest answers for them. A great deal of time goes into being a thought leader, and I take that very seriously.
What is one challenge and lesson you've learned from your experiences as a personal trainer and business owner?
I’ve also learned to be confident in my expertise, how much I charge for it and strictly adhering to policies that protect both me and my business. As a Fitness entrepreneur, often the public thinks that because we are so passionate, that we would be willing to discount or offer free services. Becoming confident in my expertise and sticking to policies ensures that I stay in business and often that means politely saying no to discount requests. It’s an awkward part of the business, but it’s what best in the long run.
You mentioned the impact of your mother's diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease at 46 and your brother-in-law who passed away from cancer. How did these tragic life events drive and challenge you to become who you are today?
Parkinsons Disease has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My mother's father had Parkinson’s and then later developed the inevitable Dementia that ensues in late-stage PD. When I was my early 20’s, my mother started displaying symptoms of Parkinson’s and was diagnosed. For many years, her disease was pretty well regulated with prescription drugs. Eventually, the side effects of those drugs after years of increasing dosages meant the disease was progressing beyond what they could manage. Her tremors were total body, and she experienced large spastic movements called Dyskinesia that were so violent, she was at risk of falling out of her chair and bed.
About 12 years ago, my mother underwent Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery. A procedure where a device is implanted in the brain that jams the radar and stops the tremors. This procedure gave my mother back a great deal of control over her body and better quality of life for many years. Had she not had that surgery, she likely wouldn’t have made it to my wedding.
But the disease still progresses in the bizarre ways Parkinson's is known for, and eventually caring for her was not safe for my father, so we put her in a nursing home this past August. While she tried to be brave, her transition to moving to the place where she knows she will be the rest of her life, was emotionally painful for her. For the first 3-4 months, visits were spent holding her hand, hugging her and allowing her the space to be sad and scared and angry. I stayed strong during most of those visits, but I would cry the whole 25-minute drive back. This period was difficult for my family and me. My visits were often between work obligations, so I’d have little breakdowns and then have to get it together before the next work task. She’s adjusted to her new living arrangement now, and while she has bad days here and there, she’s generally at ease. She has Dementia, and I know someday when I visit she won’t know who I am. I don’t really know how I will handle that… It’s always in the back of my mind though.
A couple of weeks after my mother's entrance into a nursing home, my husband's brother lost his battle with cancer and passed away in Hospice. It was the first time I saw pain both physical and emotional on that level. It was the first time I watched someone actively yet slowly dying. He was a real-life superhero to my husband and our family so to see him in such a weakened state was extremely difficult.
The timing of these events was quite stressful, and that stress took a toll on me for a while. But, I believe that we can’t stay in those dark places for too long. And my mother would never want me to be unhappy. My brother-in-law would never want any of us moping around. He’d want us all to grab life by the horns! And so my husband and I use these things as fuel for our desire to live vibrant, happy lives.
Preventing Parkinson’s Disease is the driving force behind my own personal health and fitness plan. I have seen how that disease causes a complete betrayal of the body and mind. Over the last 6 years, I have spent a great deal of time learning how to incorporate a movement plan to protect my brain as well as dietary approaches for prevention. If Parkinson's can be prevented, I’m on it! And if it’s my destiny I will go into it healthy and strong.
I’d like to share one message with the world on your behalf, what should I share?
Start each day with a question. Ask yourself what you can do today to make your world better. Change starts within. Love yourself to death!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family, of course. My children are 22 years old and 8 years old, so getting all 4 of us together at the same time doesn’t happen often. I am always happiest when the 4 of us are together.
Travel really lights me up! The beach is where my heart is. It’s where I heal wounds, recharge my batteries and find peace. The mountains are a close second to the beach, but l love to travel to large cities as well. I enjoy Seeing how other people live to get a different perspective.
Sports is also a big part of our family and our go to for fun. I took up tennis a couple years ago and LOVE the sport. I also started skateboarding at age 40 and the last couple years added snowboarding to that. One of my passions is trying new things as a way of exploring different movement experiences. I actually like working on things I’m not so good at. It helps me dial into those movements and check out of work for a while. Riding my skateboard is the perfect distraction from work because I have no choice but to be in that moment…for my own safety!
What is your proudest personal accomplishment?
My own personal transformation of both body and mind. Having switched careers 8 years ago from Advertising Sales Exec to Fitness Business Owner, required me to do a complete overhaul of my thought processes and to break down protective barriers I had with the outside world. A job in a cut-throat field as well as some issues in my personal life, caused me to be a calloused, snarky, person with a chip on my shoulders. When I started down the road to my own weight loss, it stirred up something inside me. When I dropped some weight, I was instantly more self-critical than ever before. My confidence plummeted. I know now, that weight loss was also the shedding of a persona. I had to take some hard looks in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that I had some real personal work to do.
I have re-ignited an intuition that I pay attention to daily. I ask myself every day “What can I do today to be a better person/coach and what can I do today to make my life easier?” It’s important for me to constantly ask myself questions and to assess my own thought processes and whether or not they are serving me well or not. This has to be an honest, non-judgmental conversation with myself.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
“Embrace the grind” From my mentor Tim DiFrancesco of TD Athletes Edge.
In one word, describe yourself: