It’s every Gamers dream: to go pro.
That’s just what Melissa Posada did. “Honestly it was a little bit of luck and a lot of just playing the game. I was probably playing Smite like - at my peak, 16 hours a day,” she told me on a phone call. “This was before it was even an established E-Sport and before they brought in professional player salaries and the likes.”
Although it feels like a lifetime again, Posada has been there from the onset. “We were basically playing for pennies back then, but we all had such a passion for the game. I didn’t focus on anything aside from making myself the best player possible. The way to do that is basically spam any game I could, get involved with that network.”
Now, Posada has carved a name for herself in the industry, working as a caster and streamer, now recognized as one of the top streamers in Smite. But all those years behind a screen took a toll. So Posada started to branch out in her internet searches, looking for ways to strengthen her back.
“Three years ago I was just straight up having back issues. My back did not feel good when I would sit down and stream for days. When I started to work at Hi-Rez full time, I was doing my standard 8-12 hour days, and then I would go home and I would stream for another 3 - 4 hours minimum, and it was extremely taxing,” Posada told me in a phone interview. “It was just one of those things where you spend a certain amount of time sitting or standing a particular way and it's like, oh. I am just not in very good shape and I feel like I should not be feeling this way at the age that I am at.”
So she decided to do something about it. She did what she does best: she went to the internet.
“Honestly, I just looked at what a lot of the Gym Shark women were doing...a lot of them were doing stuff and throwing up exercises or movements for particular body parts. So I just found the ones that I liked and thought would work for me, and I started with those,” she remembered.
Hi-Rez, where Posada was working full time doing desk analysis, offered a gym membership to their employees and she hopped on that. For the first few weeks, Melissa just tried to find what worked for her, and focused on form and technique. She’d go back home and scour the internet for more information, helping her learn to focus on individual needs and goals.
She fell in love with fitness, just like she had with Smite. “Like just because I hit 15 # dumbbells and you hit 15# dumbbells doesn't mean we’re going to get the same biceps. So I learned to just kind of understand, as I learned more about the process, how to internalize how my own body is going to respond to the process and then basically, knowing how to adjust to your own specific body goals,” she said.
Now, fitness and nutrition is just as important in her life as streaming and gaming. She laughs, “A lot of people would probably expect a bit more pizazz, but really I have a set routine that keeps me in check. Wake up, maybe eat a bite, then hit the gym and workout. BUBS has been really helping out with that too.There is a peanut butter protein shake that I really love, and adding BUBS to that has been a super help. After that, it's just screaming at the monitor all day,” she said of her daily routine.
But having a routine has helped her tremendously, especially now.
Posada shared that sometimes, “it feels like the internet is starting to get too extreme. People just really like being negative...I just think it's important to remind people that you don't have to feel sad all the time. Going to the gym helps me with that, part of me creating my routines and the structure of my fitness, I want to make sure the things I do in the gym can also be done at home because part of what I need is that consistency of that daily routine, and that's part of what I gain in fitness. It’s so much more.”