Episode Summary

An Active Point of View with MiMi Melvin is Omega Sports’ newest podcast focused on keeping active in all aspects of your life – from personal fitness, family, and faith, to community involvement. In this first episode, MiMi sits with Gena Wright, a personal fitness trainer from Playa’s Fit Club. Playa’s Fit Club is dedicated to teaching people how to heal and maintain mental well-being through movement. Gena shares her experience overcoming cancer and how she uses her story to inspire others to be the best version of themselves.

An Active Point of View with Host MiMi Melvin and Guest Gena Wright

Top Takeaways

  • “Running for me was more than a sport; running for me was part of healing.”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “It’s not the distance that makes the difference, it’s the movement!”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “Don’t wait for a mammogram to take the place of your monthly self-breast exams.”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “Fitness is not just about how many weights you can lift and how long you can run, it is definitely about the whole being.”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “If your mind’s not well, nothing else will be well.”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “Some people say, ‘I don’t exercise every day.’ All I need you to do is start one day.”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “If people can build some type of wellness into their life and make it become a habit, things get better.”
    – [Gena Wright]
  • “You can’t get to the finish line unless you get up off the couch.”
    – [MiMi Melvin]

Episode Highlights

  • [00:01] Intro
  • [01:02] About our host, MiMi Melvin.
  • [02:10] Meet today’s guest, Gena Wright.
  • [10:33] What is one thought you would want to impart regarding breast cancer?
  • [14:44] How did working out change your life and how are you using it to change the lives of others today?
  • [19:15] About Playa’s Fit Club.
  • [24:59] Gena’s 8-mile run.
  • [31:57] Final comments from Gena.

Episode Notes

Gena Wright (left) and MiMi Melvin (right) after a run in Knightdale

Gena Wright (left) and MiMi Melvin (right) after a run in Knightdale

This is a podcast for women who find time to stay active!

Our host MiMi wants to share her story and encourage other people to share theirs. This podcast will feature experts and leaders that help people live their best lives. It’ll cover sports, fitness, health, fashion, and other inspiring stories.

Gena Wright

This episode’s guest is Gena Wright, a personal trainer at Playa’s Fit Club. MiMi met Gina 6 years ago at a race and has been deeply inspired by her story, personality and success.

Breast Cancer

Gena Wright wearing a "She's a fighter" breast cancer shirt

Gena started running in 2008. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, at which point she commenced treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She negatively reacted to some of the treatment and later came down with very severe shingles. She recovered but started to get depressed as she continued with her medication.

Her friend advised her to run. So she started doing just that. She increased the distance daily as she observed how much better it made her feel. As she got better she wanted to share this experience with people, particularly the role of “running” in her healing.

For her, it has become a message of wellness to share with others facing similar challenges.

“Do not use a mammogram as a sole indicator for whether or not you have a lump in your breast,” says Gena. Instead, she strongly encourages women to do self-breast examinations. She credits God for helping her notice the lump in her breast. She had never checked before. Once a month, it is necessary to take 2 minutes to do a self-breast examination.

Role of running in recovery

Gena running the Mountains to Sea system

Now 12 years cancer-free, Gena’s movement has changed her life in unexplainable ways. For her, it was not about the distance or the intervals but about how her mind was stirred by running. The movement has become her medicine. It clears her head as she draws energy from each step and the environment.

She tries to encourage people daily not to compare themselves to others but to just start from where they are. “What you have to do for yourself is start where you are,” says Gena.

Playa’s Fit Club

Gena showing off her arm muscles

The club started 5 years ago when Gena wanted to share her fun with others. She had always wanted to be a trainer. She’s especially fond of helping women who are over 40 who feel they cannot get into fitness because of their age or weight. For now, the meetings are mostly virtual due to covid restrictions but she hopes to pick back up in person soon.

She has pivoted from focusing on fitness to more on wellness. Wellness starts from the mind, and as such, mental well-being is the first objective of her club. The group is also aimed at getting people moving and bringing some level of fitness regularly to their lives.

The easiest way to join the Playa’s Fit Club is to send her a message via social media platforms and she will discuss your goals. She has a very strong affinity for those who have concerns that they may not be able to keep fit. “If you think you can’t come over here, yes you can,” says Gena.

Gena believes that we need to remember that we are part of God. And the energy He gives is part of us. We can either use that energy negatively and remain depressed or we can turn it around starting with our minds.

It may not be easy to do, but it can start with a simple movement. “You need to think it first to be it,” says Gena. Having no restrictions in your mind is the first step. It is not about the intensity of the movement, but it is about starting where you are and growing.

If you are worried you can’t do it alone then go with group fitness for accountability. It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

The importance of a support system

Gena with her son

Gena’s husband has been a pillar of support by giving her strength and being there for her when she was down. Her son was another part of her support system, even though he was very young at the time. Cancer diagnoses can shake the faith of a person which is why having a support system is crucial. When you can’t be strong, you need someone to be the strength for you. Gena’s family and friends formed a major support system for Gena.


Find | MiMi Melvin

Find | Gena Wright