May 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Terry Foster: Terry's Town

A daily helping of good work


Melissa Borden isn't your typical personal trainer.

How many personal trainers leave Harsens Island with two goats, two children, two pigs, a dog and a pregnant cat in the back seat of their car? She also adopts horses for a farm she helps run with a friend in Ortonville.

In the course of one day that often begins at 4 a.m. and ends at midnight, she could stretch and train folks at her studio, train obese children at the Livonia YMCA and feed horses in northern Oakland County.

"My life should be a reality show," Borden said. "You can't write stuff like this. Only I can get myself into situations like that."

She's a woman with a big heart who works long hours and travels all over the state. While most were with family on Memorial Day, she was at her farm giving kids rides on her horses.

She runs a nonprofit horse rescue mission on the farm.

"I have to find something to do every minute of the day," Borden said. "We rescue horses that have been neglected. People cannot afford them anymore. We also use them in day camps for kids. We educate the kids on horsemanship, abuse and neglect."

She works out of Body and Balance with her partner, Lisa Nash, a former Detroit firefighter and manager of Cheli's Chili. Borden, however, feels most fulfilled when she trains overweight children at the Y. Sadly, some of these youngsters weigh 300 pounds or more at age 9.

"That is kind of a soft spot for me," she said. "We train the parents, too. If the parents get into good habits, then that trickles down to the children."

By the way, she's also a huge Wings fan. That's why the goats are named Valtteri and Lilja, the dog is Ozzie, and the cat is Jiri, named after Jiri Hudler scored a winning goal the day the cat was found in a field.

Listen up

Teammates tease Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford about his rich contract. Some people in Detroit are appalled by it.

I don't take issue with the money he's getting. But he has to erase the perception that he's draining money from the community and start making it look like he's giving back. That's why the timing of Stafford's private signing with Legends of Lansing and Grand Rapids is bad.

He has signed photos and mini-helmets with prices ranging from $70 to $250. That's appalling in today's economy, especially when he has $41.7 million guaranteed money coming.

Stafford's people must advise him to do something for displaced auto workers or other folks who are hurting.

Probie watch

Former Red Wing Bob Probert remains a lightning rod in Detroit. Some fans continue to look for his second coming. But many were taken aback when they saw him drop the ceremonial puck before Game 4 wearing a Blackhawks jersey. He played half of his career here, where the Wings helped him battle chemical dependency.

People here still love the Windsor-born enforcer. There just might not be as many after that appearance.

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