Healthy Hero: Melissa Cramton

How long have you lived in St. Joseph County?

I have lived here in Sturgis for almost 5 years!

How do you incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?

I plan my days to include fitness every, single day. Most days that includes running or Crossfit- other days it includes more simple things like making sure we take a walk as a family or go to a park. I run marathons, ultramarathons and workout at Triple River Crossfit.

Who or What motivated you to be a wellness champion?

After having my oldest daughter, I gained a lot of weight and became quite unhealthy. I remember not having energy to do simple tasks or being out of energy to play with the kids. I started running just to lose weight, and found a passion for it. I also started changing my eating habits to include more healthy foods. As I made this change- I found that I also loved helping others learn how to be healthier as well. This also keeps me motivated to continue to strive to improve my fitness every day.

What do you like to do with your free time in St. Joseph County?

Run- both on roads and trails. Meyer Broadway park is a great place to go run some trails! Do Crossfit at Triple River Crossfit. Bring the kids to different parks around Sturgis like Trojan Timbers. I also coach Cross Country at Glen Oaks Community College.

What kind of difference has a wellness regime made in your life?

My energy and my social network. I cannot believe how much more energy I have now through losing weight, becoming more active and changing my eating habits- I am now able to do more things throughout the day than I ever was before. The other huge thing that has occurred through me being more active is my social network of friends has expanded and includes so many other people who are also trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle!

What advice would you have for others that are trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Start with one thing at a time, find something you love to do, and give yourself room and time to fail. Maybe it is starting with taking a walk everyday, joining a couch to 5K group, cutting out fast food- start somewhere. Find an activity you love- for me it has been running for a decade. I’m now really enjoying putting Crossfit into my regimen as well! For some people it may be kayaking, cross country skiing, biking, or dancing. Just find something that gets you going!

When starting anything, it will be difficult at first, and you will probably fail, and that’s ok! I cannot remember how many times I had to start a running program over. I cannot count how many runs I had to take walk breaks during. It is ok! You will get stronger!