Melanie is a member of Rise’s Board, the Founder’s Circle. Below is her story.
If off-roading is about pursuing what’s best for yourself and your family regardless of social convention, Melanie is a true off-roader. Like Rise founder Lindsey, she left a corporate job to take the freelance route, and is thriving in it.
She started out in public relations, but after seven years, she was done. The job was making her cynical, not happy. She considered what would actually be fulfilling for her, and decided to become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor instead.
“It was scary handing in my notice and saying goodbye to the corporate world after all that time to go freelance, but it’s definitely ‘me!’”, she says.
Melanie chose fitness as an avenue for inspiring other women. Since having her son Elliot almost two years ago, she’s found that motherhood has helped her connect more with clients as well as giving her personal experience to draw on in her coaching.
But since having her son, family has taken priority in her life. Melanie, who is German, met her husband Chris in London. They were married in 2012 and moved from London to Alexandria.
“I still want to achieve things in my career, but being a first-time mom, bringing up a baby (and now toddler) feels like a job in its own right, so I don’t mind working part-time in my professional capacity, and just letting things “tick along” for a while. I feel like my time will come, later,” she says.
It’s a struggle for balance and priorities all of us have faced in working motherhood, and Melanie has faced it head-on by choosing what fulfills herself and her family. She also advocates for better maternity leave and support of motherhood, instead of the prevailing social pressure for all moms to do everything at once.
“I feel that this should also be something that is more valued and appreciated,” she says. “There shouldn’t be judgement of moms who decide that they want to take a step back from their careers for a while; either because it actually makes better financial sense for their families, or simply because they realize that they don’t actually want to “have it all”, or at least not “all at the same time”. I admire those who make it work and advance their careers while taking care of young children. I just don’t feel that I can do both equally well at the same time. Or that I even want to.”
Melanie is passionate about Rise because of her love of inspiring women.
“I hope that Rise will inspire people to strive for more than they think they can do, because they know the others have their back, and create opportunities that maybe were not there before,” she says. “And I hope that Rise will serve as a platform to bring more awareness to the general public about the many struggles women still face in society today.”
Want to get in touch with Melanie? You can reach her HERE