20 QUESTIONS WITH COACH MELIS

athlete squatting at gym

We are back with another 20 questions post. Let’s get to know our newest coach a little bit better!

1) Hometown?

This one is tough to answer since I never lived in one spot for more than a few years at a time. I was born in London, England and grew up in Istanbul, Toronto, and Paducah, Kentucky. 

 

2) How did you first hear about Yard?

When I first moved to Vancouver, I connected with Reece aka @whiskeymuse on Instagram and she told me about this new, awesome gym. I came in for a class and loved it!

 

3) What was your first experience with Yard?

Not going to lie, I felt intimidated. I’m used to dropping into new Crossfit gyms when traveling and I’ve been a competitive powerlifting athlete for years but somehow coming into this space was kind of scary! That quickly changed and I felt right at home!

 

4) You’re favorite lift?

I tend to favor things I’m good at, so toss-up between deadlift and back squat.

 

5) Least favorite exercise? 

I avoid things I’m not good at! Rowing, especially as a short person is really difficult for me and I just avoid it!

 

6) How do you stay motivated?

I lean more towards discipline than motivation. Motivation comes and goes but discipline gives you structure and a reason to show up even when you don’t feel like it. I also set goals for myself that are outside of “be healthy.” Competing is one of them. I don’t want to step out on the platform and embarrass myself so I show up for my training sessions even when I don’t want to. 

 

7) Best advice you received? 

The first step is always the hardest, just get started. 

 

8) Worst advice?

Don’t lift too heavy, you’ll look like a man. 

 

9) Your favorite part about Yard?

The community! It’s more than a gym. The clients and the coaches, all make you feel like a part of the team. 

 

10) Top 3 songs in your gym playlist?

Left Behind – Slipknot 

Scars- IPrevail 

X Going’ Give it To Ya- DMX  probably the only time I listen to DMX is at the gym 

 

11) Go to post-workout meal?

Cheeseburger and a beer.

 

12) How did you start your fitness journey?

I played sports growing up and in grade 11 my high school had a weight lifting class, which I took and fell in love with. Unfortunately, I listened to the worst advice I received and quit lifting weights because I thought I would look like a man. In University, I went to the gym and even got a trainer but I just couldn’t make it a part of my lifestyle. In 2014 I joined a Crossfit gym which then introduced me to the world of Powerlifting and I was hooked. I competed in my first meet in 2015 in San Diego, and qualified and competed in Nationals. 

 

13) How would you describe the Yard environment? 

It doesn’t matter who you are outside of the gym, you are welcomed at Yard. It feels like a badass community that wants to be the best version of itself. Back to basics training, no crazy movements, just solid training. 

 

14) The last book you read?

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Currently reading Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

 

15) Advice for someone coming to train with you for the first time?

We’re going to have fun but train hard. 

 

16) What are you doing when you’re not at the Yard? 

Pre-Covid I would take any chance to travel whether it was short road trips or going abroad. Having moved to Vancouver during the pandemic, I’ve been trying to explore within the city and surrounding areas. I love checking out new breweries, hiking, traveling.

 

17) Advice for someone who is starting out their fitness journey?

Everyone is so focused on themselves, no one is looking at you or judging you. If you can, invest in a personal trainer that will teach you proper technique and push you. 

 

18) What’s in your gym bag?

Lifting belt, shoes (Metcons & Romaleos) deodorant, dry shampoo, and a snack. Always a snack haha. 

 

19) Are you a morning person?

I am. I haven’t always been but I do enjoy getting an early start on my day. 

 

20) What’s your morning routine?

I used to be the person to roll out of bed after snoozing far too many times and feel anxious the whole day. Now I have a pretty set routine that makes me slow down and start the day right. I love taking my cup of coffee back to bed and reading. Then I’ll take my dog Duke out for a walk, come back home do my skincare routine, get dressed, and go on with my day. I have never been a fan of eating breakfast so I’m glad the popularity of intermittent fasting is making that seem less weird now. Eventhough I consider myself a morning person I don’t love working out in the morning, mid-day/early evening works best for me.

 

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