We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Strother and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Sometimes the biggest risk we perceive in life is believing we are worth taking the risk. So many people avoid risks because they are afraid of failure, but all that is really saying is they don’t believe they are worth the risk or that they don’t think they will be successful in that risk. I have always seen risk as something that is essential in life, if you want to live big and make an impact in this world then you will have to take risks along the way. I quit my steady job in a Division I Athletics program for a complete unknown. I didn’t know what my income would be. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills. I didn’t even know what my steps to success were going to be. What I did know was that I wanted to make a positive impact in the world and change the way people looked at their fitness and health. When I quit my job of 7 days a week, with 70-80 hours a week, I realized how much I wasn’t actually living. I was going day to day, and month to month and it was all flying by, and I wasn’t even sure if I was making a difference in anyone else’s life, but I knew I was barely living my own. When I looked at it this way quitting my job and starting a new business was a simple decision, but a simple decision doesn’t make it any easier to change your entire life in an instance with so much uncertainty on the horizon. The funny thing about taking risks is that more often than not it will breed more opportunity if you are open to possibilities. When I quit my job to start a new business I did not know that would put me on a path to become a professional athlete. That is the thing about risks, they can be scary and overwhelming, but they can also open up your life to new, exciting and transformational experiences.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I began Diamond In The Rough SD LLC because I wanted to change people’s perspective on health and fitness. I have been an athlete for 33 years as well as a Certified Athletic Trainer for over 15 years. During my time in Division I athletics I found so much of my time was being spent working with athlete’s mindsets and then working on the physical aspects. The mind controls what the body does, but the mindset controls the way in which it does it. I heard athletes say over and over again “I have to” go workout, practice, train etc. It was such a negative connotation of something they were supposed to love to do. I never heard “I get to” fill in the blank. It was like everyday the athletes were on empty, and I was trying to motivate them or change their perspective on the fact that they have an opportunity to play the sport they love, at a level that so many other athletes would do anything to be at. I saw it over and over again, that love they had as a child, when they got to play their favorite sport, had vanished and it was filled with “I have to’s”. I heard the same thing from friends in my life that they “have to” go to the gym or eat healthy. Health and fitness are not something that you “have to” do, they are something that make every aspect of your life better. So, I set out on a mission to change this perspective and I invite everyone to join me on this journey to change the way we look at health and fitness. I think 2020 and the entire Covid-19 pandemic has taught us life can drastically change rather quickly, but more importantly it is essential that we change with it. Health, fitness and athletics were heavily impacted by the changes in society and limitations due to Covid-19, but the question is did you go into a stand still as the world kept turning, or did you adapt and overcome? Did you tell yourself you “have to” and inevitable fail or did you say you “get to” and found new or unique ways to workout? That is probably the most important lesson that I have learned through all my time in the health and fitness industry, it is always our choice. We can make all the excuses in the world as to why we didn’t do a workout, but at the end of all those excuses, it is still our choice. I want Diamond In The Rough SD LLC to inspire, motivate, but also change people’s perspective on health, fitness and life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely love San Diego, not only do we have amazing weather, there are so many places to go and things to do all wrapped up in the San Diego vibe. I mean with the weather we have of course everyone has a smile on their face. I love when people come to visit and say they want to go to the beach, well how about we go to a different beach every single day of the week! Coronado, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Beach, La Jolla Tide Pools, Pacific Beach, Black’s Beach, Cardiff, Carlsbad or my personal favorite Windansea, it is a plethora of fun in the sun. I also love all the hiking in the area: Torrey Pines, Los Penasquitos Canyon, Cowles, Iron Mountain, Cuyamaca Peak, Mt Woodson, Devil’s Punchbowl and Three Sisters Falls just to name a few. San Diego is also filled with hidden gems like the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, suspension bridge at Banker Hill, or Elfin Forest in Escondido. I try to explain to people that coming to San Diego is like a choose your own adventure book, there are so many unique and fun things to do, it is really about what type of adventure that you want to have. I also think we have some of the best array of restaurants in the country, it is not about having a go-to place, it is walk down the street and try something new everyday. I tend to go to an area like Gaslamp, Little Italy, Liberty Station, North Park, Ocean Beach or Belmont Park and you can just walk until you see something new you want to try, or maybe the smell of the glorious food draws you in. I love living in San Diego because it has so much much to offer in so many different ways, but it all brings a smile to my face.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been playing women’s football for 13 years, it has always been a passion of mine and a competitive endeavor that has brought me so much joy. However, it was not until I met the ownership of the San Diego Tridents that I truly believed women’s football could be taken to the professional level. This group of people believed in the hard work, dedication and love that we have for this sport, and want to put it on a platform to not only change women’s football, but to change women’s sports. They are passionate about women’s empowerment to inspire future generations of girls that anything is possible if they work hard and believe in themselves. They want to inspire women around the world that their dedication and discipline in their sport does not go unnoticed, and they have powerful voices for their sports, but also for their communities. The San Diego Tridents want to inspire the world that women not only belong in football or any sport, but that we can thrive and make a positive impact on anyone who watches us compete. I am extremely grateful to be a part of the San Diego Tridents organization and I can’t wait to take this journey as a professional athlete with them.
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