Melissa Matthews Allen
ISSA Personal Trainer

Testimonials, Stories and Real Life

THE SUMMER OF 2023 was spent being outside as much as possible.  Physical activity, especially outdoors can not only challenge your body in different ways, it can provide mental relief and boost immunity.  For me, I almost always sleep better when I've spent time outside.  Keep moving, keep challenging yourself, and GET OUTSIDE!









Kyah and Braxson

Excerpts from Kyah Mitchell's essay, "My Michigan Hero" January 2020

"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


"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 (left side photo was taken at the finish line of my 1st half marathon, and the right side photo is Kyah and my son, Braxson)

Testimonial by Keeley Zabel, June 2020

"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, October 2020

"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



Forks Over Knives article published in the Fall 2020 Edition

I will always encourage plant-based eating!  Above is the link to my success story. 








You can also watch my interview about transitioning to Plant Based eating by going to "The Exam Room" podcast and searching "Melissa" from March of 2021

Subscribe to The Exam Room Podcast:



Google: --


In June of 2022 I was interviewed by Dr. Laurie Marbas of Mora Health!

Check out the podcast below:









2022 also brought lots of running adventures with welcomed challenges!

Below are just a couple pictures from some of my favorite runs so far this year. For me, running helps me reset and reconnect.  While there are many physical benefits to running, it has always been more mental for me.  Most of my runs take place right here in Michigan!  I am thankful for all the trails available to me right outside my backdoor.  The changing seasons offer so much variety and adventure, it makes it easy for me to want to get up, get out, and get running!









"This was one of the first snow filled runs I did this year!  I always appreciate the beauty of fresh falling snow.  There is just something so quiet and peaceful about it!  Sometimes, the only sound you can hear is your feet against the crisp snow!   I always say, if you are a runner from Michigan, you just know...nothing burns like a 20-degree run!  SWEAT IT OUT! "













"Third crack at the Dexter Ann Arbor Half Marathon!  The first time I ran this in 2019 was astonishing for me!  I honestly couldn't believe it completed it!  This year was also tough, but I knew I could cross that finish line.  Springtime in Michigan is always very unpredictable weather wise, so I was thankful for the mild temperatures and all the fans cheering us on!" 













"Trail runs always pose the risk of falling no matter how prepared you are.  In August of 2022, I took a pretty good tumble but kept it moving!  It takes A LOT to give up when you are surrounded by such beauty.  I stopped to pose by the wrong way sign, because, let's be honest...if you don't go the wrong way sometimes, how do you know when you are

ever going the right way?"









On Christmas Eve 2022, I completed a 5-mile run in negative 9 degrees.  I knew that the stress of the holidays would be a lot easier to endure with the mental and physical release and also the feeling of accomplishment.  While it was one of my more challenging runs, it still felt amazing, and I was so happy to complete it!  Sometimes forcing yourself to do hard things, can result positive benefits you never even expected!