A big hello to all Garden of Lifers! My name is Melissa Fernandez and as the title of this entry suggest, my life is a circus…no, really! I’m currently touring and performing under the big top in various cities around the United States.
My circus career began in July 2011, one month after graduating from the University of Illinois. I was a gymnast for 17 years, which included competing collegiately at the U of I for four years. I’ve been trained in Russian Swing, Chinese Poles, and Aerial bungees. Currently, I’m involved in an Uneven bar act with a troupe of seven women.
The idea to join the circus came from a highly regarded friend of mine who felt this would be a successful career for me. A couple of months, resumes, and demo videos later, I had been accepted to a training formation with the possibility of a job at the conclusion of the program.
Two years later, I was able to find success on and off the stage, traveled to four continents, 14 different countries, and made lifelong friends. Throughout this journey, I also made a major decision by becoming vegan and incorporating a plant-based diet into my lifestyle.
The road has not been easy (no pun intended!) predominantly with the constant change of cities. Although every day is still a learning process-in regards to properly fueling my body alongside the continuous traveling-I feel I now have a solid grasp on the situation. For those interested, I’ll divulge into my best and favorite health/nutrition tips while on the road in a later blog.
While the show is on tour, workdays are long, strenuous, and insanely active. To make sure I’m properly fueled and not bogged down by heavy foods, I make daily shakes using Garden of Life’s Vanilla Chai protein. I will say though, the new Marley Coffee has me hooked and may be a constant breakfast staple for me!