It all started with a book that no one has ever read. How to Look Better Naked was a book I wrote while in college. At the time I had trained for a couple of years literally all over; on the University of Massachusetts Campus, a bunch of Gold’s Gyms through out New England and in a Health Club for a semester in Brisbane Australia…through my experience working with a diverse range of people; college kids, Professors & Business Professionals, Elderly, people with severe health issues, – you name it, I realized that the training principals from one population to the other are not different…you just have to modify accordingly.
I also began to realized that if the program was designed properly, you didn’t need 60 minutes…I started to discover how to deliver better results in less time.
Looking back, this was that moment the seed for m.e.l.t. was planted…. Young & niave, I figured why not create a book for everyone to read to Look Better Naked? I guess I just assumed everyone would buy it. Without first researching publishing or seeking professional advice, I wrote the book.
I quickly realized he had no idea what to do with this book…For some reason, big time publishers were not knocking on my door!
It became clear I needed a different direction. With the help of my Uncle’s web background and a 16 year old from India, (who I use to stay up super late & wake up early to communicate with due to the time difference), we created a website/blog, www.carabasetraining.com.
During the second Semester of my senior year of college, I landed a very secure and good job at a place where I was interning as I continued to personal train at the Gold’s Gym in Amherst and work on my website. I use to dread the 30 minute drive to Longmeadow (where the job was) and all I could think about when I was there was my website.
I knew there was something bigger for me out there…an opportunity to really make an impact and help a lot of people. Anxious, scared and most of all, INSPIRED, I quit the internship, handed in my offer and decided I was going to start a training business upon graduating.
So with no money, no business plan, no clients and a few pairs of rusty old weights, I started my onsite training business out of my trunk.
For the next year, I pretty much traveled anywhere, trained anyone and did whatever I could do to gain experience. My business operated under “Carabase Training,” “Fit Body Bootcamp,” “Fat Burning Bootcamp,” and “The Fit Tribe.” I had in home clients literally all over, as far as Stonington and Wallingford, Connecticut (30 – 45 minute drives away), a bootcamp with a 1-5 of people at 20 Church Street in Hartford, a bootcamp with 1-6 people in South Windsor at TonSha that we relocated to Meriden then back to South Windsor at Nomads. At any given bootcamp at these locations, some days I would have 5 people, others 1 and sometimes no one…a feeling I will never forget.
During my first year in business, someone had referred me to apply for a job as a Personal Training instructor at Branford Hall Career Institute.
I started teaching part time and shortly got promoted to Direct the Department, while trying to grow an on site personal training business.
Branford Hall was a great experience…certainly gave me a HUGE respect for what teachers do day n day out, year after year… that’s for sure.
I learned a lot there during my time there but the three best parts of that job ended up being three people:
A very smart and hard working girl named Nicole, who had a massage & a retail background. Who asked a ton of questions, was always nervous about her grades yet aced EVERYTHING! She now runs our Communication & Billing at m.e.l.t.
A young, guy with a great sense of humor named Aaron, who played college sports and was looking to start a career in Fitness. He is now our Fitness Director in South Windsor.
An extremely SHY woman named Sue who had a full time job but was looking to learn about Fitness and wanted to do something that helped people. Sue now coaches our Harwinton Bootcamp and a handful of our in home clients.
Aaron and Nicole were both graduating and wanted to intern with me. I had no idea how to have interns or what to have them do, but I felt there was something there and knew we would figure it out so I brought them on board.
After a year and half at Branford Hall, I hit a cross road. I felt there was no more room for personal or professional growth teaching there and I knew that something had to change for my business or else it wouldn’t survive.
I was at a seminar in Kentucky, (which oddly enough ran into one of my clients Kelley Carey on the plane going to Kentucky) and heard a quote that changed my life. Pat Risgby (one of my mentors) said something to the extent of: You don’t know your limits. What ever limits you see are self imposed….You can’t fail if you learn from the situation.
Something clicked. In that moment I decided to open my first location in South Windsor.
The next week I signed a lease to start in August (it was June at the time).
I had a planned vacation to cruise the Caribbean, right after I signed the lease. On the boat, I was jotting down ideas for what my wanted my company to be about and what is was going to be called.
After about an hour of writing, “m.e.l.t. more energy, less time” struck me. IT embodied my philosophy for my training style and sounded pretty dam cool, I must say.
Fast forward to today:
The original m.e.l.t. location in South Windsor that opened in 2010, was moved to a place 3.5 x times the size where we have some exciting renovations & future expansion planned.
m.e.l.t. Harwinton started in late 2010 in a small extra room at a massage school and now has moved to a bigger space at Courtside Plus.
m.e.l.t. Glastonbury started in a long, narrow space in Spring 2011, than moved to a place 3x the size where we are now, but have some exciting relocation plans!
We broke into the mobile market with our “m.e.l.t.30” FREE app launched in May 2013.
And our NEWEST venture, the m.e.l.t.30 At Home Fat Loss & Strength DVD! 9 m.e.l.t. style, follow along workouts; Upper & Lower Body Cardio Strengthening, Fat Burning Bootcamp (2x), Core & Cardio (2x), The “Push” & “Pull” Sculpt Series and m.e.l.t.ed Yoga. The DVD will launch locally August 12, 2013 and will launch online early Fall.
As for my book How to Look Better Naked, its still under my bed. But showing myself I had the ability to write a book, lead to me writing & co authoring five books:
- Co Authoring Total Body Breakthroughs (an international best seller)
- The 1 hour a Week Workout
- Get Dress Ready
- Food Logging Made Simple
- Co authoring The Little Black Book of Fat m.e.l.t.ing Workouts
We are going to continue to evolve to provide an even better coaching experience for our clients.
We will also be expanding m.e.l.t. into NEW markets to help more people in different areas.
Take Away Lessons For You
Looking back on everything, I am truly amazed at the journey. Its been 4 years in business (3 years for m.e.l.t.) and nothing came easy. We have made a lot of mistakes that took up a lot of time, money and energy. There has been aof ups and downs (thankfully mostly ups), but we continue to m.e.l.t. forward.
Wherever you are right now in your life, you’ve got to follow your heart and aggressively pursue what you want in life. You need to understand however, that wanting something is FAR different from getting something. Nothing is easy on your journey towards your goal and don’t be mistaken, it’s a journey – nothing meaningful is one n done. You’re going to have to believe in yourself when no else does, embrace challenges, get knocked down and willing to get back up, make difficult decisions, put yourself out there, detach your ego to let yourself learn and go all in.
But its all worth it.
2013 and onwards –