We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for October! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local mamas at FIT4MOM Montgomery + Frederick Counties. We want to highlight her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor....Melissa Francis!
I’m so glad I met Melissa through Fit4Mom! She is consistent and pushes herself while at class. All through the pandemic, I remember seeing Melissa on the screen, working out as her kiddos moved around her. Melissa is encouraging to the moms around her and with her physical therapy background, we always learn something new from her! She has a competitive spirit and fun side too…she always dresses up and takes part in our themed workouts (remember those Princess Leia buns?!). Melissa is a great role model for her kids and friends because she consistently takes the time to exercise and take care of herself! ~ Instructor Meaghan
Melissa was at my very first fit4mom class, over 4 year ago! Through the years, Melissa has always been a constant in class, even throughout her pregnancy and during Covid. We saw A LOT of each other on the screen! She is so easy to talk to and always there if I need advice, especially pertaining to her physical therapy knowledge. Plus, she’s able to find the humor in motherhood and share a laugh! I love having Melissa in stroller classes with her kids as you can feel the love and mutual respect between them. I’m so grateful to have met Melissa and continue our friendship! ~ Instructor Marcie
I loved having Melissa in my virtual classes. She always worked hard and I enjoyed watching her kiddos sometimes join her during the workouts. One of my favorite parts was at the end of class I would stay on the zoom and her daughter would always want to either sing a song, or tell me a fun story about her day. She is a wonderful Mama and I am so happy that I was able to get to know her virtually! ~ Instructor Adrienne
We asked Melissa a few questions so we can all get to know her better, and here is what she had to say:
Who are the members of your family?
Myself, husband Adesh, daughter Adeline (5), son Asher (3), and a TBD due in April, and twin cats, Oliver and Shepard
What is your hometown, and where do you live now?
I am originally from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, lived in SC for a few years after grad school, and have been in MD since 2011. I have been living in Urbana since 2017.
What is/was your career?
I am a physical therapist.
What is the furthest place you've been from home?
Italy, for my honeymoon.
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
Going for walks or hikes.
Favorite thing to watch on TV?
I am a TV junkie; hard to pick a favorite, so here are a few: Abbott Elementary, Home Economics, Never Have I Ever, Ghosts, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor…
Your favorite song or artist?
No current favorites, but I sing/hum In My Arms by Plumb daily (it’s my pregnancy/bedtime lullaby)
List 3 of your favorite things or places.
Naps; Books; hiking anywhere with amazing views and/or waterfalls
Your proudest moment.
Being nominated and accepted to the 12-person national task force that writes the national exam to become a physical therapist (it’s what originally brought me to the DMV).
Any advice for other moms out there?
Advice, both solicited and not, will always be proffered, and can be overwhelming. Pick and choose what’s right for you and your family; trust your gut.
When was your first class with FIT4MOM, and what made you go?
My first official class was (I think) January 2018. Christine Cole had given a preview class a couple months earlier to a mom group I was a part of, and it seemed like a good fit. Took me a few attempts to actually attend my first class, as the classes always seemed to be when baby was napping, and ALL the books/experts say baby needs routine and lots of sleep, etc, and the new mom guilt in me was overwhelmed trying to figure out how to actually get out of the house with a baby without disrupting her routine (remember that question about advice earlier?). But eventually I did, and baby got on board with the new routine. And I finally had something for ME again.
What is your favorite F4M MOCO + FREDERICK class?
Again with the favorites…I’m an over thinker; picking one favorite is nearly impossible! There is a different reason why I like each class.
Exercises that work the posterior chain, since we spend most of our day bent or reaching forward. Think bridges, deadlifts, scap rows…
How has FIT4MOM changed your life?
F4M got me out of the house! I always felt nap-trapped. But knowing I had a place to go, surrounded by other moms who get it, while also getting to sweat and socialize…it was a life saver. And a contributing factor to me having more kids. F4M helped me find me again while also showing me that I can do this whole mom thing. Had that not happened, definitely would have not felt capable of handling another kid (or 2). It has given me good friends, and a village that has helped me in raising my family (as well as clothing them…love the hand-me-down clothing swap!)
What is your favorite thing about F4M MOCO + FREDERICK?
Basically what I said above: it’s not just a fitness program. It’s a community.
October Bonus Questions:
Yummiest Halloween treat? All of them (major sweet tooth over here). Currently enjoying Trader Joe’s Halloween JoJos
Favorite spot to see fall foliage? As a native Floridian, basically anywhere that actually has fall! A memorable time, though, was a weekend in Niagara Falls, Canada, that just happened to overlap with peak fall colors. Breathtaking.
What was your most creative Halloween costume? My mom always made me some cool costumes as a kid, but those were her choices. My own choices haven’t been overwhelmingly creative, though I did dress as a pregnant skeleton for work during first pregnancy, and affixed a pink bow to the fetal skull as a way to reveal baby’s sex as my 20-wk sonogram was a few days prior (would have been a blue bowtie had it been a boy)
Thank you so much, Melissa for being such a valuable part of Our Village here at FIT4MOM Montgomery + Frederick Counties! We truly appreciate you & the positive energy you bring to class and Our Village!
Check back to see who our next MOM will be in November!