Meet Melissa Dubois Jenkins of Green Rocks Fitness. She's our Rockstar of the month! Melissa is a business owner, a health and fitness coach, and a dance teacher, and a loving mom. Quite the smorgasbord of awesome, right?
Not only is Melissa amazing at what she does, she's also passionate about building a strong community of health-conscious people.
Now THAT is something we could all use more of.
We hope you enjoy getting to know Melissa as much as we have. And if you're looking to join that community of health-conscious people, check out the link below for her FB group.
For those that may not be familiar, tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a teacher, a coach, a guide by the side. My work revolves around making people’s lives better. My vision is to simplify people’s success around their health & fitness goals. One of the biggest elements of our work is to help break down the confusion around health information and help people reconnect with themselves by understanding how their body works.
Unlike the common trend in the fitness industry, we promote health through educating people how to fuel their bodies with optimal nutrition, how to reduce overall stress and how the proper mindset can set them up for success. We promote health from the inside out.
It’s about understanding metabolism and human physiology, not about restrictive diets, over-exercising and having a destructive mindset! Being healthy should be fun and enjoyable, not a sacrifice by all means.
How did you get into the wonderful world of health and fitness?
Growing up I was always interested in health & movement. I played all the sports you can play until I found dancing, which soon became a passion. For me, dancing was a form of physical movement by which you can express yourself, be creative, feel the music and just be in the moment. It’s like meditation in movement. It brings me joy. When it comes to health, I was always curious about the human body and how it works.
I went to school in health science, ended up completing a certificate in architecture, only to eventually go back to health and movement. I graduated from Sherbrooke University in Canada with a Bachelor in Kinesiology, the science of movement.
I have been working in the health & fitness world for just about 14 years now. From gyms to schools, to private facilities, to my own business, I have seen quite a lot of different facets of the fitness industry. It eventually lead me to expand my work into something more holistic, more sustainable and finally breaking through a lot of myths and misleading concepts. Continual learning is part of my daily life and work never feels like work. I love what I do because I get to improve people’s lives, one at a time.
I still dance and teach dance when I have free time. I started Steel City Kizomba two years ago with my dance partner Mike, who is now running the company while I grow my fitness business. When we teach dance, it’s more than just movement; it’s a cultural experience, a way to communicate with each other and to appreciate the music. I found love in African rhythms, music and its culture.
Dance and Fitness are like my Yin and Yang.
When did your passion for health and fitness turn into a business? Has that changed how you feel about it?
I guess I always have been a natural entrepreneur. Since a very young age, I have started many different projects and small businesses. I love the idea of creating my own path so I can have free range. I need creative space!
When I moved to the United States about 7 years ago with my 2-month old son, I wasn't working. It wasn't until he was almost 2yo that I started working for Urban Active/LA Fitness. About 3 years later, I decided that it was time for me to start my own business. I knew that by doing so I could give my clients so much more value & time!
I am happy to say that my passion for health and fitness has only grown since I first started. It has evolved in a lot of ways and not without its challenges. My perception of the health & fitness world has changed tremendously. I came to understand that health is not just about doing exercise and eating clean. And the fitness industry doesn’t always have people’s best interests at heart... This inspired me to create programs that are centered around building a foundation for people’s health, sharing truthful information and changing the face of “fitness”!
We see a lot of women entrepreneurs struggle to take care of themselves. Do you have any tips for carving out the time and making fitness (or their health in general) a priority?
That’s a great question! Becoming (or staying) healthy is not as hard as it seems. It’s not about killing yourself in the gym 5-6 days a week and restricting your calories! It’s more about finding a balance that works for you — adequate sleep, optimal nutrition, less stress, quality exercise, proper breathing and strong mindset are all part of it. Most people can achieve their health & fitness goals by spending only 3 30-minute chunks in the gym per week, fueling their body to meet their metabolic needs and getting proper recovery. Quality vs quantity, always!
I think the biggest challenge is that it can be overwhelming. People tend to believe that it takes a lot of work to be healthy. It’s not easy but it’s simple. My advice is this: start slow with one thing.
For example, eat breakfast. And make it a point to eat breakfast every single day. Once you master this, add another thing. To only focus on the outcome can be stressful and feel unreachable at times. The key is to put our energy towards the process, as we the progress day by day in the right direction. It’s all about the little wins! Then, we just need to be consistent with it until it becomes a habit.
Setting realistic expectations is also part of this process. Be gentle with yourself, enjoy the journey and practice gratitude by thanking your body for all it does for you! Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
Before you start, find your “why”. Why your health should be a priority? Find your 3 objectives when it comes to your health & fitness. If you can’t find 3, think about your frustrations! Then, think about the value that it will bring to your life once you achieve these objectives. This will help you envision why your health is so important. Once you know this, it’s about blocking time-off for yourself.
Just like you block time off for work and meetings, schedule your appointments with yourself or with your coach. These appointments should be blocked out before anything else. You should be your first priority. Your work and relationships depend on how you manage your energy levels. If you cannot function, neither can the business.
Obviously, I am a firm believer that coaching and mentorship are hugely important. When I struggled with my business, I hired a business coach. Working with a professional can really facilitate the process and put you in the right direction. Women entrepreneurs are busy growing their businesses and they would highly benefit from getting support.
Remember, you can have anything, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. Growing a business is so wonderful but it wouldn’t mean anything without a healthy body & mind.
What has been your biggest struggle as a business owner?
The financial side of growing a business from scratch, with no capital, and being a single mom. As a parent, we have limited hours and so many other responsibilities. Being a single parent is even more challenging, especially when your whole family lives far away. The bright side of this is that it pushed me to become stronger and elevate my standards of living. Giving up is was never an option. This allowed me to face my fears and take action when I needed to. I am very thankful for all the challenges that come my way because they allow me to keep growing!
What has been the biggest blessing or gift?
At this point, the biggest gift of being a business owner is being able to be true to me. My work has become a lifestyle and my life feels more and more integrated. It is truly a beautiful thing!
Where do you see Green Rock Fitness headed in the future? Anything you want to take on or new services to add to your already rockin' repertoire?
Well... our next big step is REBRANDING! With all of the evolution and change we have been going through in the last year, it is time to refine our identity. This will be a very interesting and exciting project, and it sure will change the dynamic of the business!
Famous last words... What advice would you give to women who want to take better care of themselves — mind and body — so they can be even more present in their work and lives?
Ladies, find your worth! You are beautiful, bountiful and you already have everything you need to be amazing and healthy! You just need to believe this and practice it, day in and day out. I find that women who put others (or their work!) before themselves often don’t have a great self-esteem or they don’t think they are good enough.
Learn to appreciate who you are and where you are. You are there for a reason and you have all the necessary resources to change things!
Make time to reconnect with yourself and start building more awareness about how you feel. If you are tired, sleep. If you are hungry, eat. If it doesn’t feel right, say no. It all starts with building more awareness and taking responsibility for your health.
Raise your standards!