Melissa is an American marathon, channel, and ice swimmer based out of the Pacific Northwest. As such, this is a blog about all things swimming….. and some things not, but mostly swimming.
All things swimming …
I started swimming in the Great Lakes of Michigan and haven’t stopped since!
I love the feeling of the water, how it awakens you, and how it makes everyone and everything around you come alive. I love the silence of the water, the meaningful play it provides, the therapeutic quality, and the inspiration it gives. I discovered open water swimming in 2012 as a part of a relay in a triathlon with my family and loved it! The half mile shortly turned into a mile, into two, then three, last year eight, and this year 20+ miles.
Everyone starts somewhere and I am hoping that by sharing my love, joy and passion for the water, that others will want to join in on this amazing world unknown, unfamiliar and a little mysterious (in a good way, not in a I’m going to go into a dark cave, alone, without a flashlight to see what that mysterious sound is type of way).
… and some things not
In addition to swimming, I work as a project manager and consultant to support this wonderful swimming habit. I’m a seriously not serious person and also happen to be the self-proclaimed starfish non-expert of the Pacific Northwest, professional amateur creator of things out of things, master long nap taker, slave to two high maintenance yet loveable pillow hogging cats, egg salad sandwich connoisseur, trying-to-be driftwood artist, and home remodeling DIY Bob Vila-ette extraordinaire (I’m sort of doing pretty awesome at it when I’m not screwing things up or doing too many projects at once).
Public Speaking, Coaching & Giving Back
I regularly speak at sport events and conferences, health clubs, and other professional events where there is a need to connect with others for motivation, to provide insight into the esoterics of the swimming experience, or to help other connect with themselves for a more centered life. I am known to others as “The Triple Crown Mermaid” and believe that the world we live in is full of wonder. We owe it to ourselves to live the life of our choosing, find what we are passionate about, and spread that joy and passion to others. Hearing stories and learning about each other’s passions helps motivate each one of us to continue our journey to discover what we may not know is missing. For more information on speaking, please use the Contact Me page.
In 2018 and 2019, I was a Skratch Ambassador for Skratch Labs, an awesome company specializing in food and drinks that taste great, that are made from real ingredients, and that solve problems for active people. Skratch Labs continuously strives to help customers improve and thrive in their lives. I’ve used Skratch hydration, energy and recovery products for all of my marathon swims, love the variety of flavors (pineapple and cinnamon apples being my favorite), and love the customer service even more. As the products are naturally flavored, they are super light and easy on the stomach, which is critical for marathon swimming, all while tasting great. Check them out and if you have any questions, ask! I love me some Skratch!
Giving back is very important and helping develop athletes and swimmers through coaching at VO2 Multisport has been a critical part of my personal development as well as my passion seeing others achieve their goals. We are a group of spunky, fun, supportive endurance athletes across all sports. We motivate each other, workout together, eat together, have fun together, and most importantly enjoy in each other’s success regardless of if they are new or a pro to their sport. We do a lot of cross training at Build Performance Center, also in Redmond, WA, which enhances our team environment and the family that we have built.
I also give back through helping others with their swimming skills, training plan guidance, observing and crewing for marathon swims in hope that the water turns into a passion for them. I am a former board member and current lifetime member of NOWSA, the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association, which promotes open water swimming and sanctioned events in our beautiful Pacific Northwest. NOWSA is a non-profit filled with people who love the water as much as I do. The water in the Pacific Northwest is beautiful, refreshing, clean and has a world all of its own that we need to learn more about in order to conserve and protect our playground.
** Please note that I do not provide full-service coaching at this time. I am more than happy to provide guidance and mentorship for swimmers and triathletes, but are unable to accommodate new athletes under my current coaching and athlete portfolio. If you are interested in full-service or prescription coaching, I can refer you to other resources for consultation and evaluation for fit into their programs. **
Melissa Fun Facts
- Favorite Swim Event: Harbor Springs Coastal Crawl
- Favorite Place to Swim: Alki Beach with the Notorious Alki Swimmes
- Favorite Sea Creature: An orange sea pen or a friendly harbor seal
- Favorite Pie: Key lime pie or custard pie
- Favorite Self-Proclaimment: I am the self-proclaimed Pacific Northwest’s foremost egg salad sandwich connoisseur
- Favorite Swim Toy: My breaststroke fins
- Favorite Irrational Water Fear: An earthquake causing a major fault line to open up during a swim and being sucked into the earth’s mantle
- Favorite Water Temp: 58o F and sunny
- Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Buying more swimsuits
Thank you so much for being a part of my adventure and I will see you in the water soon for the beginning of your adventure!