Melissa Frazer is a hardworking woman who loves to get out and have a go.
She has run ultramarathons in Australia and abroad and trudged through the nation’s toughest team endurance event, but Melissa Frazer wasn’t always a sporty person.
The Beaudesert local took up running years ago to give her something to do after she quit smoking, and now she is addicted to keeping active.
Melissa, 48, somehow manages to squeeze in training and events around full-time work and the busy life she and husband Brenden lead as parents to three football-mad teenagers.
Right now, she is training another group of students for the 48km Kokoda Challenge, and she has the Gold Coast half marathon in a few weeks.
“Events keep me motivated and it’s empowering to go, ‘hey if you can do this you can do anything because you had to push yourself through all those ups and downs’,” she said.
When Melissa met Brenden for the first time, she was wearing an actual garbage bag.
It was fancy dress night at Brisbane’s Port Office Hotel and Brenden chatted Melissa up at the pub’s Mad Hatter’s Bar, garbage bag dress and all.
“He was pretending to be my neighbour, I think that must have been his pickup line, then I just kept running into him and we always had Sambuca shots every time we met,” she said.
“I think he invited himself as my partner to the Woolworths ball and that was us.”
They were married in 2004 after dating for seven years, including working in England for two years and backpacking through Malaysia and Thailand.
Decades after that wacky night at the Port Office, they still think the world of each other.
“He’s handsome and the most kind and genuine person I’ve ever met, and I will always say that,” she said.
Melissa was 15 when she left school and started working for a solicitor in the city.
She was a Woolworths checkout chick, worked for an accountant and has now worked at Beaudesert High for 10 years after starting there doing photocopying.
These days, she’s putting her decades of experience to use as Industry Liaison Officer, helping students into the workforce.
“The best thing is I get to see all those kids who went to primary school with my kids go all the way through,” she said.
“I tell them you need to be willing to start from the bottom, put in the work to get success no matter what you do, and you’ve got to have the good with the bad.”
Zac, 17, Beau, 15, and Maddie, 13, are Melissa and Brenden’s world.
“The kids are our everything and that’s why we do what we do – even when I do my events it’s sort of showing them, ‘you can do everything you want to do’,” she said.
“Family definitely comes first every time, and just to live – to get out there and not just sit.”