Melissa has always had a passion for athletics and exercise, but being a mom of 4, much of that exercise time was sacrificed. However, the itch to participate in group fitness classes became unbearable, and after hearing such phenomenal things about Corps Fitness, Melissa decided to give it a try and was hooked instantly. Her journey with Corps Fitness started being 15 pounds overweight, but through training and weight loss challenges, Melissa has shed that weight and achieved what she feels is the best physical fitness level of her life. Having been a religious participant in the classes at Corps Fitness for 5 years, Melissa soon became interested in helping others achieve fitness goals and to help others also become part of a great community in Corps Fitness. She believes that with a devoted work ethic and a “Yes I can” attitude, any goal can be accomplished no matter your gender, age, size or starting physical fitness level.
I went into the Marine Corps right out of high school as an overweight football player and returned lean, fit and able to take on any challenge. The philosophy that was ingrained in me changed my outlook on fitness and being active. I started Corps Fitness with the philosophy of exposing people to the motivation and self realization I experienced in boot camp. I was pushed beyond what I thought was my limit and that redefined what I knew I could accomplish. In 1998 I was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition and as a result of my Marine Corps experience I only became more determined to make the best of my situation. My goal with Corps Fitness and the IM ABLE Foundation is to inspire others to look inside themselves to push forward despite their challenges. No Excuses…Just MOVE!
My enlistment in the United States Army has helped shape me into the person I am today. Along with instilment of brotherhood and camaraderie, the Army has made physical fitness and integral part of my life. As an Army Sergeant one of my priorities was maintaining the fitness and well-being of my soldiers, and I continue to use this mentality as I lead and instruct others in workouts that focus on improving strength, flexibility, and functional range of motion.
Gretchen got her start with Corps Fitness in 2006 and has been hooked ever since. She enjoys pushing herself to the next level and the quiet competitiveness of a group class. Some of Gretchen’s favorite exercises include pull-ups and kettlebells.
Gretchen earned her CrossFit Level 1 trainer certificate in February 2012 and is currently teaching a few classes a week.
Certification: NETA - Group Fitness Instructor; ASFA Kettlebell Instruction
Hobbies: All outdoor recreation including hiking, camping, snowboarding, canoeing. Cooking and EATING!!!
Why I workout at CF: The Philosophies of accountability, teamwork, motivation, and adaptability strike the same cord as my ideas for living my life. Being a lifelong athlete is one of my goals and being surrounded by like minded people will not only help me achieve that goal but will also make me a better person in the end.
Ed started 2 years ago came in weighing 250+ lbs, out of shape. Being a former athlete he didn’t like how he felt. He came into Corps Fitness, did his first workout and during the lunges he couldn’t keep up but the person next to him kept him moving.
“It was at that moment I knew this was a different gym. Family mindset, leave no one behind. I was hooked, as I progressed I saw changes in my mind and body. My goal is to help others feel better about themselves and have them know all is achievable.”
Corps Fitness can’t really be described as a gym without doing a disservice to how special it really is. After being a member in a “big chain gym” for over 10 years I met maybe 3 people. At Corps people are a family who not only enjoy pushing themselves to the limit and beyond but quickly become caring and compassionate friends. The workouts are brutal in a good way and the gains in overall fitness are through the roof. Thanks to Corps I have realized that being fit is a lifestyle containing equal parts physical, mental and nutritional commitment. I have been blessed to be a part of such a amazing place and the chance to encourage others is exciting.
I enjoy training at Corps Fitness because the workouts are not only challenging but rewarding. I always leave with a heightened sense of accomplishment. I was immediately hooked and after the incredible change I saw in my mind and body, I now want to give back. My goals are to help others reach their goals, and have the same rewarding experience that I have had at Corps Fitness!!
I’ve been into cycling my whole life; road, mountain and BMX racing. I’ve attended many different indoor cycling classes and have always enjoyed how intense and how good of a workout they are. Almost 3 years ago on March 4th, 2012 I was involved in a motorcycle accident that would change my life, I destroyed my left knee, tore my ACL, PCL and MCL. After my crash and first surgery I fell into a horrible depression because I thought my life as a cyclist and an active Father and Husband had been taken away from me. I’m an active member of BAMBA (Berks Area Mountain Biking Assoc.) which is where I first met Chris, we met at the first meeting, I knew of Chris but had never met him, I was on crutches and had a post surgery brace on my leg at the time, Chris asked me about my injury and we spoke about staying active, we hit it off very well, we’re Marines. He told me to come over to his gym and he’d design a workout for me where I wouldn’t even have to use my legs. I was going through very intense physical therapy at the time and didn’t take him up on his offer right away. Then Corps Fitness started an indoor cycling/Krank class and were looking for instructors. I knew I was in no shape at the time to teach but have always enjoyed motivating others to get active and saw this as an opportunity to teach. I met with Chris and I expressed interest in instructing Krank class, he said he’d love to have me teach there, especially with my military and law enforcement background, he said he’d keep me in mind. Corps Fitness started the indoor cycling/Krank classes shortly after that meeting and my wife and I took the class once a week and loved it. Christina Redner was our instructor when we first started at Corps Fitness and we really built a connection with her, she really motivated us and got us through a tough time in our life. Before that we had fell into a very sedentary lifestyle due to my injury and my wife, Theresa, having to take care of everything. After meeting Christina and seeing how she motivated people as an instructor solidified that I’d love to do that someday. We attended Krank weekly until I found out that I needed another surgery on my knee. I was a year out from my first surgery when we found this out, I was devastated but kept plugging away at Krank class. I told myself I was going to do my second recovery differently than my first and I did. As soon as I could get back to Kranking after my second surgery, I did. Chris also hooked me up with a loaner handcycle which I rode often with my family over the summer. After getting myself back into shape again I approached Chris about instructing from a Krank, he said no one has ever instructed from a Krank since he did when the classes first started and he thought that would be great to have an instructor teach from a Krank. I want to show others that even if you have a limitation or disability that there’s always something you can do to stay active. I ended up getting my indoor cycling certification back in December and started instructing shortly after that. I love it!!! I really enjoy interacting with others and motivating them to stay active. I can’t thank Chris enough for giving me this opportunity.