Full-time Shaker Heights attorney and new mom Melanie Fletcher raises the bar when it comes to exercise.
Three days a week Melanie rolls out of bed at 5:30 a.m., jumps into her gym clothes and heads to the Mandel JCC for a 6 a.m. class. “Sometimes when the alarm rings I groan, but I remember how good I felt the day before from my workout and want to feel that same high again,” she says. “The amazing things exercise has done for my body and mind are great motivators to get to The J.”
Melanie, 35, became a Mandel JCC “gym rat” as she calls herself, soon after her eight-month-old daughter was born. “I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy and knew I had to do something to get back in shape,” she says.
After looking at big box gyms Melanie followed her sister’s advice and checked out The J - and within minutes she was sold. “Nothing came close to The J in terms of cleanliness, class variety and programs for new moms and their kids,” says Melanie.
With the goal of losing the last of her “baby fat,” Melanie began to swim laps in The J’s indoor pool. But the proverbial loneliness of the long distance swimmer made her look for other exercise options.
“I got an email from The J about small group training classes, and decided to give them a whirl,” says Melanie. Soon classes like boxing, TRX, power TRX, and chisel became an integral part of Melanie’s workout regime. Not only did she enjoy the targeted workouts led by experienced instructors, she began to build a community of friends of all ages and abilities within her classes.
“There is a sense of camaraderie and accountability in a small class,” says Melanie. “We count on each other to show up, to motivate each other, and to have fun working out together.”
The rewards Melanie has gained from her Mandel JCC membership extend to her baby daughter as well. “We have so much fun at the Moms and Babes classes. The J’s Family Place is fantastic and I’ve had a chance to meet and bond with so many other new moms. Plus the Kid Kare baby-sitting service allows me to bring my daughter to The J while I go work out .” she says.
Having lost all the weight she gained during her pregnancy and then some, Melanie could not be happier.
“My only regret is not joining the Mandel JCC sooner,” she says. “Building muscle has made me stronger, and friends and family tell me how great I look. My mornings at The J give me the personal satisfaction of knowing I have carved out a portion of each day to do something special for myself.”
Melanie advises anyone looking for an exercise program to find something they like and stick to it. “Make a one-month commitment and after that time you will be amazed at how good you feel mentally and physically. Remember, it’s not about being the best, but about being the most consistent. The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.”