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Beating Diabetes, Depression, and Obesity – Perpetual Fitness Broadview Hts


Our new Perpetual Spotlight athlete is Melissa Huff! Melissa has been with us for 6 months, and has a truly inspiring story. From being diagnosed with and BEATING diabetes, to losing over 80 pounds, to overcoming depression and obesity, Melissa has used fitness to hedge anything life throws at her!

Melissa joined Perpetual Fitness 6 months ago. Over the past 6 months, she has shown tremendous improvements, and has been a great example and embodiment of our core values.  When asked what has changed in her life since joining Perpetual she said, “Everything. The major thing that my entire family notices is that when I come back from working out, I’m in an awesome mood! That’s been huge.”

Melissa and I got deep, Check out the full interview to hear more about Melissa’s amazing and inspiring fitness journey.


What is your occupation? 
I am a legal assistant/paralegal for a Solon law firm

Where are you originally from?
Brunswick, OH  now live in Hinckley

What do you do for a living? 
Paralegal to a bunch of attorneys at the law firm in Solon

What is your most recent or near-future adventure?
Near future adventure is going to the Keys this October with my parents, hubby, brother and should-be sister in law

What is something we might not know about you?
I absolutely hated any type of exercise and only drank diet pepsi before I was diagnosed with diabetes.

What are 3 things you are truly and deeply grateful for? 

  1. having God in my life
  2. beating diabetes!!!
  3. Having my sister found and back in our family


What is the hardest thing you have ever had to overcome? How did you do it? 
Being told I had diabetes and I was going to die if I didn’t do something to change my life style.  I overcame it by believing in myself that I could do it.  Knowing I didn’t want to die and knowing I had to be there for my children, so one day I said I have to do something.  Started by walking, then joining another gym and then coming to Perpetual Fitness.

What are you most proud of?
My children.

Who are your top 3 role-models/who inspires you the most? 
Walt Disney, Barbara Bush and my mother.

What motto or phrase do you live by and/or describes you the best? 
I can, I will!  AND – she is clothed in strength  and dignity and laughs without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25)

If you HAD to perform at a talent show, what would be your act?
Being a silly clown

What are your 3 best qualities?
Loyal, committed/dedicated, dependable

What is one thing about yourself that you are working on?
Physical fitness

What would you do everyday if money was not an issue? 
Live near a beach so I would be able to swim with the sharks, manatees and dolphins everyday with my children/grand children.


What is your athletic background? What were you doing before CrossFit?
I came from a boot camp

What made you decide to check out Perpetual Fitness? 
My best friend Michele was checking you out and talking with Dawn.  Our memberships were both up on the boot camp and we both wanted a change, so we decided to give perpetual fitness a try.  They had a 5 week challenge for a very reasonable price so it was worth the chance.

Why did you ultimately decide to commit to Perpetual Fitness? 
It was so different. The workouts and the coaches.  Blew my mind the first day.  And the people – everyone so friendly, so helpful, so encouraging.  It was fun and I knew that it would be a challenge, but I wanted to do it.

What were your goals when joining here? Have you achieved them? What are they now? 
Main goal was to lose weight.  I am achieving it, but now it just isn’t about losing weight.  It is about gaining muscle and strength.  I want to be able to lift more, squat lower, do pull-ups on my own (without bands). I want to do it all!

What keeps you so committed? 
Everything!  The workouts (though they are hard) make me challenge and push myself.  And when I do something new or finally achieve a small goal of mine, it makes it so worth it to continue to be committed.  I have so many goals that I want to achieve, and not coming is not an option.  First if I stop coming – I don’t want to go backwards and lose my health again. Second, I think with everything going on in my family life I would not be able to handle it as well as I have if I didn’t have PF.  So all of that keeps me committed (you have me for a very long time)

Has Perpetual Fitness affected your life outside the Gym? 
OMG – YES!!!   No matter how down, upset, stressed out I am after a workout at PF, I know I can handle it.  I don’t know why – but I have never been able to put aside my outside life during workouts like I do with the workouts at PF.  And once I leave, I have a clear mind and I am able to handle my life and my family has noticed it as well.  I always come back in a great mood!  Always.  They see me in a great mood and not worried or upset so they don’t worry about me as much (apparently I used to make them worried a lot).  My depression has pretty much gone away which was also a huge issue in my life.  I absolutely can’t say enough how just coming to PF has changed everything about me.

What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit? 
Health – I’m not longer a diabetic (not all because of PF – but I know it was a part of it!). Depression – doing so so much better. Physique – finally seeing some definition and toning.  Losing weight as well.  Overall performance – wow!  I can’t believe I can do some of the things I can do.  Back squatting  165lbs!  flipping a tire.  Pull ups are getting better.  Everything about me has changed.

What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercise / movement / WOD?
Favorite – back squats. Least favorite – burpees.

What sort of life changes have you experienced because of CrossFit that you didn’t expect? 
How much I would love to lift weights and that I was able to lift as much as I can.  And that this is just the beginning – so much more I know I can do going forward.

What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining Perpetual Fitness? 
Have fun.  If you have to modify it is okay – you will get stronger.

Give us some insight as to your thoughts after your first workout at Perpetual Fitness? 
I loved it. It was a true hard workout and I felt like I really worked out. It was an oxygen class and I remembered it was the first time I ever held a barbell.  LOL. The coaches (Brandon and Nick – he was doing the workout) were so patient and explained everything   Deadlifts were part of it.  BUT they wouldn’t take no I can’t do that.  They said yes you can and pushed me.   From day 1 – I can’t tell you how much that has meant.

Favorite music? Favorite music to WOD to? 
Favorite music – Country and Pop.  Love working out to fast fun music or Ozzy and Metallica.

What is your favorite part of Perpetual Fitness? 
EVERYTHING!!!  DAN AND ALL THE COACHES! The People. The workouts!  The gratitude boards (LOVE THIS)!!!  I don’t have a favorite because I love it all!


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