Excerpts from Kyah Mitchell's essay, "My Michigan Hero"
"To say the least, this powerful woman has been through a lot of hard times and bumps in the road that no one should ever have to go through. And yet, through it all Melissa Matthews Allen still remains one of the most hopeful and joyful women I know. To have the strength to stay faithful and to never put all of her frustration on anyone else is simply incredible. To have the amount of forgiveness for everyone who has caused her pain, and the inspiration to keep going every morning, sometimes not knowing what is going to come her way or where the next step will take her, leaves me in awe. Often times society can put a title on a hero. Someone who is famous, wealthy, beautiful, popular, but in my mind those things don’t always paint the picture of a hero. Melissa, you are the perfect picture to me.
"When I think of Melissa, the words perseverance, forgiveness and dependability come to mind. She just recently completed her first half marathon which took so much time to prepare for. She needed a tremendous amount of physical and emotional strength to complete the race. That race could be looked at as a metaphor for her life story. She becomes stronger and stronger every day, she cannot be taken down, she is as hard as a rock, she is….ready for anything."
"She has been my super woman, my role model, the woman surrounding me in her unconditional love, flying around me in her red cape. Many pictures flow through my mind, but the picture of my Michigan hero will always stay. My mom’s best friend, and now mine."
By Kyah Mitchell
Testimonial by Keeley Zabel
"I’ve never really been one for ‘working out’. I did plenty of organized sports growing up, but I was never terribly serious about it, and would never train in the off season. It was almost as if I needed an underlying activity to commit myself to any sort of physical exertion. Over the years, I’ve tried different workouts and plans, but have never stuck to them. Early this year, I had a mental breakthrough with taking care of myself – a wake-up-call, if you will.
Cue Melissa. Talk about the right person at the right time. She is one of the most realistic, yet positive people I have ever met. Of course jump squats and inchworms aren’t on top of my list of fun things to do, but Melissa always says that you can do anything for (insert time period here- whether it’s 40 seconds of squat holds or a 2 minute plank). And it is the truth. In the few months we’ve been working together, I’ve noticed a SIGNIFICANT increase in my strength, muscle tone, and overall contentedness and trust with my body, which I did not have before. I am STRONG and I am LOVING IT, thanks to Melissa!
And on a personal note, it is one thing to train with someone who wants the best for you, physically and mentally, but it is infinitely more fulfilling and inspiring to work with someone who wants to be her best self as well. Having someone around who is as interested in your well being as their own is a rare gift."
By Keeley Zabel
Testimonial by Corisa Reed
"Melissa has been an inspiration, an encourager, and a pillar of strength in helping me accomplish my health goals! Coming out of 4 years of school, full time mom, full time work, full time life…Melissa has helped me focus on me full time. Her support and encouraging words and “you got this!!” pushes me to my next goal. She is not overbearing and does not make you feel bad if you cannot do a certain move or walk that extra step. Because of that and with her wealth of knowledge, she helps you listen to your body and you find that you do the move and walk the extra step because you have the support and motivation from her. I know and believe that Melissa has my best interest in mind and always seeks to adjust the work out plan to fit my specific needs and goals."
By Corisa Reed