By Annie Sliman

As Schmidt explored options, it seemed to her that elements fitness for women offered exactly the mix, and the opportunity, that she was looking for.

Melissa Schmidt grew up with a dad who let her know that she could do anything she set out to do. Inspired by his faith and with lots of self-confidence, she started a landscaping company that grew with revenues just under a million dollars. She next became interested in massage therapy and soon was supervising 75 therapists at one of the top-rated spas in the country. Schmidt is now a founding partner in the Henderson elements for women fitness club, which is scheduled to open this fall. Her varied background has given her some insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur. For her, it’s not about creating a job for herself. Rather, it’s about the freedom to pursue the things in life that she loves.

But she knows it’s not enough to have vision, desire and willingness. To really succeed, you have to take action. She believes that action, with all the risks that it implies, is the key to freedom. When she found herself exploring the world of health and fitness for women, she came to a few significant conclusions. The first was that women have very different challenges and fitness goals, which were not being met by traditional gyms. She also discovered a critical second factor that she believes is key to a successful fitness effort. It has to be tailored to meet individual needs, including ongoing personal motivation and support, for long-term health and wellness.

The third thing Schmidt discovered in researching her new passion is the compelling need for a sense of community in today’s busy world. She wanted to create a place for women to gather, without judgment or fear, in a space that nurtures and motivates them and helps them become stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. As Schmidt explored options, it seemed to her that elements fitness for women offered exactly the mix, and the opportunity, that she was looking for. She said, “I share the elements emphasis on a new and healthier lifestyle. It’s great to reach a target weight and achieve fitness goals. It’s through maintaining those results that you really change the way you live and make it fun. That’s what lifestyle means for me. I want to work with each client to identify what in life she enjoys, what gives her a sense of well-being, and incorporate those things into a long-term program.”

At elements, the space is carefully designed to make women feel comfortable. The staff is focused on getting to know each woman as an individual and on making sure she is getting the support, counseling and coaching she needs to be successful. Schmidt explained, “If it’s fun and rewarding to come to the gym, then you will. It’s consistency that leads to good results over the long run. Reaching your goals is the first part. Learning to incorporate balance into your life is the second. elements provides everything you need to do that.”

Schmidt knows that fitness and weight loss can feel like work. She thinks of this, though, as the action steps that are the route to freedom. “Any woman who wants to change her life can come into elements. Whether she’s never worked out before, she’s a total gym rat or just feels a need to do something different, it doesn’t matter. She will find the tools and support that she needs to make positive changes in her life. I believe in action and this new venture gives me the perfect opportunity to teach other women this wonderful life skill.”