Melanie Parker gains while losing

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Color Run coordinator full of energy after inspiration to get fit

By Becca Owsley

For Melanie Parker, loss is gain. Training for the upcoming Color Run 5K in Elizabethtown, Parker has lost 50 pounds and gained energy and confidence.


Her first experience with The Color Run was in October 2012. She went with some friends to a run in New Orleans. She met a lot of people from all over the country among the 13,000 involved. There were young and old, women running with babies and co-workers running together.

“I thought, ‘What a fabulous thing to bring to E’town’,” she said.

Whenever Parker does something fun, she thinks about who she can share it with. Because she’s on the board of directors at SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program, she thought it could benefit from the run.

The charity solicited votes for the run to come to Elizabethtown and was chosen. It is set for Saturday at Freeman Lake Park and Parker is the Elizabethtown coordinator for the event.

SpringHaven will receive $40 for every volunteer registered on the Color Run Elizabethtown website.

“We’re the smallest community they’ve come to so far, but they were very impressed with the votes and passion coming from our community, which did not surprise me in the least,” Parker said.

The Color Run combines her passion to give back to her community and her new passion to live a healthier lifestyle.

Parker is involved with at least seven organizations in the community and strives to give back to the city she has loved for 16 years.

“Melanie is a self-motivated, hard working, determined woman,” said Tanya Thomas, SpringHaven executive director. “Her work ethics are impeccable and when she is working on a project, she surrounds herself with good people to make sure the end result is the best it can be.”

On top of all that, Thomas said Parker is a “dedicated friend.”

Sarah Vaughn has worked closely with Parker on The Color Run and other community boards.

Vaughn said she enjoys working with Parker because of her “wonderful ideas” and creativity.

“Melanie will always work tirelessly on causes she supports and is always there to give a hand,” Vaughn said.

But preparing for The Color Run isn’t just about event planning. Parker is preparing herself physically.

Five months ago she started going to a personal trainer after seeing what her son was doing through training to get ready for football season.

“Watching him, I thought, ‘I want to lift that,’” she said.

She wasn’t the kid in school who could do pull-ups, but after chatting with the trainers she thought she could do it, even if she was a 43-year-old grandmother.

Parker tried it and was hooked.

“I’m doing cartwheels now, literally,” she said, adding she’ll be doing cartwheels with her granddaughter soon.

People need to stop saying they can’t accomplish things, she said.

“It’s serious when they say it’s mental,” she said. “I really regret not doing all these things years ago”

Parker does personal training at Evolution Fitness and yoga at NTouch Massage and Wellness Center.

Although she loves her new, fit lifestyle, she’s discovered one important thing — she hates running.

“I’m still going to run The Color Run, I’m just not going to pursue another 5K after The Color Run,” she joked.

Working with a trainer helped her stick with her fitness plan. Parker admits she’s not disciplined enough to hold herself accountable and needs the trainer to keep her on track.

She said she’s disciplined in her professional life as a marketing director with Wright Legacy Group, but when it comes to taking care of herself, she’s been lacking.

A trainer also taught her to correctly work out and about which exercises work best for her, she said.

She likes that the trainer tells her to go for big weights and that she’s strong — a real confidence booster.

“I feel fabulous and my energy is through the roof,” she said. “It’s been a life-changer for me.”

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know Melanie Parker 

  • Favorite color: Green, because it’s the prominent color outside.
  • Hobbies: Community service: SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program Board of Directors, planning committee for Hooray for Heroes, advisory council for Big Brothers Big Sisters, chairwoman of marketing council for Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Ambassador, Woman’s Club of Elizabethtown and the marketing committee for United Way of Central Kentucky.
  • Favorite music: She likes Pink and Aretha Franklin. “You play ‘Respect’ and I’ll bust a move for you,” she said.
  • Children: She’s very proud of her three children, Megan, Tori and Trevor, and says they have volunteering hearts.    
  • Grandchild: Annalee, 2

Color Run 5K
Color Run volunteers are needed for a variety of stations on race day. Register as a charity partner volunteer at www.thecolorrun.com/elizabethtown.
The Color Run 5K is Saturday at Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown.