Sweat Stories: Melissa Middleton

Currently, I'm out in Toronto for my 10 year reunion from Chiropractic school and am both unbelievably grateful for the chance to reconnect with amazing friends, but also stunned that so many years have flown by this quickly!  It's funny how these moments make you reflect on where you're at, and truly, how you're spending those years that pass so fast. As mentioned, I was a practicing chiropractor for about 5 years, mainly in Calgary, and then I transitioned to a career in disability management when we moved up to Edmonton in 2012.  

After a couple of years struggling with fertility issues, my husband and I had our daughter, and two years later, our son.  They're totally awesome, and the absolute joy of our lives (says every parent ever, right!).  But somewhere in there, in the midst of these wonderful babies, I got lost. 

I had always been so active, participating in everything from hot yoga to running to crossfit, you name it, I was into it. In fact, on our second date I dragged my husband to the gym to make sure he could hold his own!!  I loved feeling strong and fierce, and ready to take on any new challenge.  I was a beast and damn proud of it.  After the first baby, I lost the weight fairly easily but was like a duck out of water, redefining my new life as a parent and never really getting back into the activities that I had enjoyed for so long.  Toss in the next very lazy pregnancy (I think my son might actually be 10% McDonalds with all the mcnuggets I crushed), and before I knew it I was 8 weeks postpartum and a hot mess!  I knew I had to get on top of this, not just for aesthetics, but to find that confident woman I once was. 

So I hopped on google, searching places that had childminding and happened upon Spinunity (sherwood park).  I had done a few spin classes through World Health and they were fun so I figured I'd give it a go.  Being so out of shape at this point, I was a little intimidated, but as soon as I arrived all those insecurities were squashed - somehow, amongst an entire crew of fit, powerful people, there was an overwhelming sense of positivity, warmth, and inclusiveness.  I drove out to the SP location a handful of times, but didn't get hooked until the Windermere studio opened up and that's when I drank the Kool Aid and haven't looked back!  

I am approaching my 90th spin class this week, and instead of getting bored, I find myself more motivated than ever to get my booty on that bike and rock out to great tunes!  I remember one of my first classes, Haley I think, said that she spins because its cheaper than therapy, and she could't be more right - it doesn't matter how bad my day was, as soon as I start riding it all just fades away, and I go home sweaty, calm, and happy.  I don't know how Jordan and Jeff have found so many like-minded awesome people to teach classes, but each instructor, with their own flavour, motivates and encourages and always pushes you to give all that you can.

And where I am now?  It's been just over a year since that first spin class and I am no longer hiding behind baggy shirts and "I just had a baby" excuses.  Some days I pound out amazing rides, and others I can barely keep pace with all the pumps and dips, but each day I show up I'm investing in myself.  The cross training benefits have been pretty incredible too, after not running AT ALL for 3.5 years, I was able to increase my mileage to 10km in just a month with no injury (knock on wood!).  

I'm hoping to do a half marathon in September (Melissa's Road race, I'm a Melissa too, and yes I am that cheesy!), and a 30km next March back in my home town of Hamilton.  My professional life has undergone some change as well in such that I decided to stay home following my second maternity leave.  This has been a rather big decision for me as it was a choice I had never considered, but I'm excited to see what this new path has in store.  I feel that I am in a really healthy place in my life, and I attribute a lot of this to what Spinunity has given me in terms of confidence, strength, and a positive intention for each day.  And while I may not be able to say that I've got it all figured out yet, I can absolutely say that I am no longer lost.

All photos above provided by WeAreYEG.

#ridersforlife #spinunity #sweatstories