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MoreThanGenetics: Chernise & Melanie

It’s been two months since I posted on this blog and I don’t really have a valid excuse (work got busy, blah blah blah). But I am back baby!

My first post back obviously has to be about the MoreThanGenetics Series I started a few months ago. So, like I promised I will be updating you on the great conversations I have had! So far, I have completed Season 1 with 7 amazing conversations.

To kick it off, I want to talk about Chernise and Melanie…

Chernise Clayton

Chernise was my first guest! She is a co-owner of ProEdge Elite Training, in Bedford. Chernise surprised me for a couple of reasons. First, being a freaking co-owner of an amazing facility at the age of 23 is WILD #goals and second, her vision for community-involvement is inspiring.

Chernise and I focused on the misconception around Black athletes not having to work as hard to reach certain athletic and body composition goals and also having higher expectations of performance.

Chernise and Pro-Edge are changing the game for personal trainers in the HRM. They are providing a space for local trainers to build their business AND make a living. Unlike all gyms, ProEdge contracts out their space and time to the trainer, rather than taking a large portion of their client’s hourly rate. This will allow beginner and veteran trainers to significantly increase their income for similar hours worked.

Improving community health and wellness is also a huge priority for Chernise. She hopes to create wellness programs for youth in marginalized communities to improve overall quality life through fitness and physical activity!

Melanie Gallagher

There are so many good things I could say about Melanie. She was the first person of color I ever looked up to in the fitness industry, and to have been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside her when I worked at Blended briefly was an experience of its own.

Melanie is the Chief Heart Officer at Blended Athletics (former programmer), she is a decorated athlete from PEI and the strongest mom and breast cancer survivor around town!

Mel and I spoke on many topics. I want to highlight how open she was about her experiences of growing up as a person of color, with a White mother and a Black father. She spoke on the ways she had to conform to the society around her, so she did not play into the stereotypes of Black people. This is a way of living that is known to many Black individuals who grew up in predominantly white spaces; myself included.

Mel’s journey from a CrossFit Games Regional Athlete, to becoming a mother, to going through a double mastectomy, having a second child and now training for powerlifting cannot be matched.

These are just the cliff notes of these conversations. I encourage you to check the full conversations out on my Instagram page:

Stay tuned as we are working together on something HUGE



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