Melissa is an inspiration and a warrior. I photographed the opening of Pure Barre Walnut Creek a few months back, and was in awe of this woman's strength, perseverance and positive attitude towards life, healing and conquering disease. Read more about Melissa's story below and feel free to share. The power of health, wellness and positive thinking goes a long way!
"Could 2015 have been going any better? I found and became addicted to Pure Barre, landed a dream role at a local theatre (my other passion), got married and went on a fabulous Hawaiian honeymoon, and got approved to become the owner of PureBarre Walnut Creek - my dream job. It was easily the best year of my life… then two short months later I was admitted to the hospital and got diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 26. The doctors told me I had the most Hodgkins Lymphoma in my body than any patient he'd ever seen.
It was the most challenging year of treatment of my life, but Pure Barre empowered me with some tools to help me remain positive despite the diagnosis and through the lengthy months of chemo.
Laying in the hospital after getting the cancer diagnosis, I was wondering what I was going to do. Just the day before, I was dreaming of growing old with my new husband. I was terrified this would mean that might not happen. Believe it or not, the next thing that came to mind was my favorite Pure Barre mantra… “You’re stronger than you think. You can do this.” I laid there chanting it all night. I could beat this. Pure Barre had helped me realize I was stronger than I think during my daily classes and this was no different. Mind over matter. I’ve got this. Cancer just picked the wrong girl!
The things I’ve learned at Pure Barre have helped give me inspiration, determination, and that little push I need to get through a tough day. I’m living proof of the incredible impact Pure Barre can have on clients not only physically but mentally.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout this process though is that life is short. Do what you’re passionate about with the time you’ve got! I was in process to get our lease finalized for my fitness studio when I got diagnosed, during the process of chemotherapy treatments I hired my team, signed our lease, trained our team, got everyone certified to teach, marketed, managed the construction process, put everything together in order to get our doors open for business. a month after my last treatment we opened for business!
Now that we're open, I couldn’t be more excited about doing something I’m passionate about as my career and bringing the Pure Barre technique to my community.
Going through this experience only solidified my decision to become a Pure Barre studio owner. Knowing that the studio would be launching at the end of my treatment proved that the cancer wouldn't win. The future would be there waiting for me at the end of treatment.
If you’re interested in pursuing a passion or making a change in your life, but are afraid of taking the plunge, know that you’re stronger than you think and you can do it! Do what makes you happy every day! If I can do it while undergoing cancer treatment, you can ABSOULTLEY do it! Positivity is exuded throughout Pure Barrestudios across the nation, and the Pure Barre corporate team has helped me through this experience as well.
As a new fitness studio owner and first-time entrepreneur, things can seem overwhelming, particularly when my energy is low. But, I know I’m stronger than I think and keep moving forward. You can too, no matter what you're going through."