MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He’s known as the guy who teaches work out classes in a Speedo, or as the maker of the Twin Cities Pride Parade’s most outrageous float.
But he’s really just a perfect combination of his parents.READ MORE: Ludacris Heading To Mystic Lake Casino In September
Doug Melroe’s mother owned the only modeling agency in North Dakota, and his father is still in the color guard. After a move to Minneapolis, that little bit of “military meets beauty queen” helped Melroe become who he is today. And that’s what makes him a Minnesotan to Meet.
Melroe is a small town guy from Fargo who moved to the big city of Minneapolis in the 1980s.
“I think I graduated on a Tuesday and was here by Wednesday,” Melroe said.
Attend one of his exercise classes, though, and you’ll see that his energy levels could eclipse any city.
“As class goes on, the spirit comes out, the clothes come off and away we go,” he said.
You’ll see just about every age and body type in his high energy step aerobics class. WCCO’s Jamie Yuccas takes it on Saturdays and always leaves feeling energetic. In class, Doug often talks about working out because you can. There’s also yoga for a slower pace and powerful message.
Doug has been with The Firm in some capacity for 29 years. It’s where he met David Gray, one of the founders.
“He was my coach, he was my boss, he was my friend and we lost him to HIV/AIDS a few years ago,” Melroe said. “We can never forget and I will never forget those people who changed my life.”
Gray’s death propelled Melroe to participate and raise money for many different HIV/AIDS charities. Gray was also one of the first Crystal Light national champions, something Melroe would later learn the moves to.
Yes, Melroe was part of that viral aerobics video that started making the rounds again recently when it was set to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
“It was the 1987 National Crystal Light Aerobic Championship,” Melroe said. “It just keeps coming back and coming back. I guess the ’80s won’t go away.”
Rehearsal for this now epic viral video on top of holding a job and changing majors seven times at the University of Minnesota didn’t leave Doug much free time.READ MORE: Minneapolis North H.S. Principal Will Now Finish School Year
“I couldn’t go out with this guy who kept asking me out and I wanted to go out with him,” Melroe said.
But one Halloween, The Firm threw a costume party, where the staff dressed like characters from “Cats.”
“I noticed a huge orange ball next to me and I had leaned into a candle and my costumer caught on fire,” he said. “So I was flaming, literally!”
A night at Hennepin County Medical Center left Melroe without any hair and plenty of scars.
“I couldn’t work for two weeks, but I could go out with this guy. So I finally went out on a date with him and we’ve been together ever since (for) 27 years,” Melroe said.
That guy was local hairstylist Denny Kemp. The creative couple is now known for making over their house.
“Every day I come home and the furniture is rearranged in a new spot,” Melroe said. “I have to turn the lights on so I don’t bump into something.”
Fun fact: His kitchen was even used in the movie “Fargo.”
Their latest project is along Pillsbury Avenue in South Minneapolis, a former home for Jesuit priests.
“We had actually lived in the house next door. The priests came over and said, ‘Are you interested?’ And we said yes,” Melroe said.
Now the couple is looking to downsize, so the home is up for sale. What you can’t downsize, however, is Melroe’s love for life, which can teach all of us to be happy with who we see in the mirror.
“Nobody is like me,” Melroe said. “I just have to put it out there.”
Melroe’s two sources of inspiration are David Gray, who passed away, and his mother, who while getting ready for a performance actually hurt herself very badly and was in a coma for two weeks.MORE NEWS: Jif Peanut Butter Recalled Over Salmonella Concerns (CBS News)
He said he realizes how precious life is and tries to make sure people leave inspired from class.