Melissa DeChellis is the founder and director of a non-profit, adaptive CrossFitter & Coach, personal trainer, avid yogi, life adventurer, dog mom, and she does it all on 1 leg. Melissa was born with a congenital clubbed foot and despite that excelled as a 3 sport Varsity athlete (softball, soccer, basketball), until a devastating traumatic softball sliding injury destroyed her already reconstructed right foot. Further complicated by years of reconstructive surgeries and eventually a massive blood clot she sustained while attending medical school, her right leg continued to fail. In April 2013 Melissa made the difficult but best decision of her life to amputate her right leg below the knee. Since that point, Melissa hasn’t looked back. Following her extensive rehabilitation, she traveled down to Dallas, Texas, where she trained as an Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF) ReDefine Program Class X athlete and rediscovered her inner athlete. While there she attained her Adaptive CrossFit Certification through the Adaptive Training Academy as well as her Adaptive Exercise Specialist `Certification through ATF. Upon returning to Boston she started working as a clinical research assistant in the Spinal Cord Injury Research Department at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and launched her own non-profit, Adaptively Abled Amputees, Boston’s first social and activity group for those living with limb loss and other physical disabilities. Through her non-profit Melissa created and directed, with the help of over 60 volunteer fitness, rehabilitation, and wellness professionals, an adaptive functional fitness and wellness program for those living with physical disabilities, Adaptively Abled Fitness (AAF), and graduated the first class of 10 adaptive athletes this past September. This program hopes to offer an 8-week fitness and wellness Bootcamp quarterly as well as AAF alumni and community fitness programs. Melissa continues to compete as an adaptive CrossFitter and will compete in next summer’s WheelWod Games. Melissa recently attained her personal training certification and hopes to help adaptive and able-bodied athletes achieve their fitness goals. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Melissa and Adaptively Abled Amputees have risen to the occasion and are continuing to provide support, social, and fitness sessions virtually via Zoom to keep the Boston Adaptive community positive and continuing to work on rehabilitation, fitness, and wellness goals. She also co-created and co-hosts a new podcast, The Adaptive Collaborative Podcast, which serves to connect the adaptive community.
Follow Melissa DeChellis
Follow the Adaptive Collaborative Podcast