Three-peat Champion Melissa Clark on off-roading, Rebelle skills and Ford


Rebelle Rally 3x champion, Melissa Clark, shares her life in off-road from Pritchett Canyon to the Glamis Sand Dunes. A Ford sponsored driver, Melissa brings Tread Lightly! policies to everyone she teaches. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


5:00 – I still consider myself an OR nurse

9:05 – …it got me close to Magic Moab

16:56 – my real gateway drug was definitely Moab

23:28 – we teach good solid off-road techniques and then the nuances of the Bronco

35:37 – I’m very competitive by nature, so I like games

40:57 – the suffering aspect of the Rebelle is what makes the finishing so sweet

49:42 – your vehicle is your third teammate and there’s pros and cons to every person on the team


[00:01:39.740] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I have a friend that we’re going to interview that I’ve known her for quite a few years now. I don’t even remember the first time I’ve met her, but maybe it was on The Rebelle, maybe it was in Moab. But Melissa Fisher-Clark, now known as Melissa Clark, and we’ll talk about that, is an extreme trail wheeler. She’s one of those that opened up the trail Rear Steer in Moab. She belongs to friends of Moab Wheeling, and is most recently a three-time straight winner of the Rebell Rally in the X-class in a full stock Bronco Sport. Everybody says those cars are not capable. Melissa would like to argue that point with everyone. Melissa, thank you for coming on and spending some time with me.

[00:02:34.850] – Melissa Clark

Yeah, thanks, Big Rich. It’s an honor to be here. Glad to show up and have a conversation with you anytime.

[00:02:42.020] – Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Let’s get started. The easiest question for most people to answer. Where were you born and raised?

[00:02:52.210] – Melissa Clark

I was actually born just north of Indianapolis in Indiana, so I was raised there. I’m a Hoosier. That’s what we call ourselves from Indiana. I actually spent quite a bit of time right around that area. I went to school there. I went to Indiana University for a nursing program right after I finished high school. Then I practiced nursing at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. I spent the first 34 years of my life in Indiana.

[00:03:26.770] – Big Rich Klein

Wow! Okay. With that pedigree of going to school and getting a degree, you were probably a pretty good student?

[00:03:37.990] – Melissa Clark

Well, when I went for my associate degree, I married very young, Rich. I was 19 when I got married, and I was going to school at the same time. I only went for my associate’s degree to start with, and I did a fair amount. But when I went back for my bachelor’s and masters, I got quite a bit higher GPA because I had a different focus, I think.

[00:04:03.440] – Big Rich Klein

Married at a young age, high school, right out of high school, was it a high school sweetheart?

[00:04:12.070] – Melissa Clark

No, actually, he was quite a bit older than me. A weird story as I went to work for Wendy’s, it’s a fast-food place, and he was the assistant manager there. He was 25 when I was 17. That’s why… That’s why I have a different last name now.

[00:04:32.150] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. Sorry to pry too deep into that if that’s.

[00:04:36.650] – Melissa Clark

A- It’s fine, Margaret. It’s fine. No hard feelings now. I think I just married too young, so.

[00:04:44.650] – Big Rich Klein

I can understand that. I can understand that. So getting your degree, your nursing degree, that’s been your primary occupation for most of your life then?

[00:05:00.630] – Melissa Clark

Until this year, Rich, yeah. I worked in the operating room for several years. I also consider myself an OR nurse when it’s a management in the operating room, and then I made a shift to the medical device industry. I started working with surgical products, and as a nurse, I was a dual role on a marketing team with some product development, but also spent a lot of time educating surgeons and nurses on the use of the product. I’d go into the operating room with these products and help show best practices and safety and things like that.

[00:05:38.200] – Big Rich Klein

So sales at the end.

[00:05:40.350] – Melissa Clark

It is. I’m very closely with sales, but I didn’t directly sell. So it was supporting sales all the time. So basically that’s true. But I had a big at the end here when I finished this year, I had a pretty big territory and I was traveling in it last year. I think I was 200 days on the road just with my job. I was covering about 13 states, and it was starting to get not fun anymore.  READ MORE

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