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A yoga instructor, barre enthusiast, and full-time mom, Amanda Nurse ran her first Boston Marathon in 2010 and 17 marathons later, she's a pro. Now an elite runner, Amanda has pivoted her life to fully embrace the world of fitness—owning and managing Wellness in Motion, Boston's first yoga studio for athletes.
We asked Amanda to share what inspired her journey, and how the MINDBODY and Strava integration will further motivate her fitness goals.
At Bowdoin College, I played Division III Lacrosse and put in a lot of miles during games, but I never had a love for running races until 2009. I moved to Boston after college and joined the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team to train for my first Boston Marathon. At the time, it felt like a bucket list item—one marathon and done (I thought!). But, after meeting so many great friends through the training process and running a BQ (Boston Qualifier) in 3:26 my first time, I decided to run another... and another, and another.
I fell in love with endurance running, and have run a total of 17 marathons, qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I’m currently training to run the Berlin Marathon next month! I started taking yoga classes to complement my marathon training, as a form of both strength training and stretching. Being prone to injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome and runner's knee, I knew I needed to take care of my body, and yoga helped combat these issues. The only problem was, it was hard to find classes geared towards athletes. So, I used my background in running and team sports to create yoga sequences designed to help athletes recover on their off days while helping them stay injury-free.
I have taught classes to Harvard University teams, pro-hockey recruits, Boston marathoners through Runner's World, as well as starting my own yoga studio for athletes. I discovered Barre3 in 2017 when it opened in my neighborhood, and I was newly pregnant. Providing me with an amazing low-impact workout throughout my pregnancy—and now postpartum—barre has been instrumental in keeping me injury-free and strong during marathon training!
Juggling new motherhood and personal fitness goals can sometimes feel daunting, but it's actually helped me stay more focused. I only have certain times each day that I can work out, and almost always it involves running with my son in the stroller. Luckily, he loves running with me so we get in outdoor time together and I find that pushing a stroller has made me a stronger runner. I also love bringing him to barre classes. I don't feel like I need to sacrifice my "A" goals, I just need to plan ahead, and make the most of my time. It's all about quality over quantity.
Strava is an amazing fitness tool and has created a great community of like-minded athletes. I love seeing my fellow runners' workouts, recaps and running routes—it helps motivate my own running. I also love reflecting back on my runs and seeing the progress I've made. I sync all my GPS data to Strava so I can see my splits, heart rate, along with the elevation, etc. It's awesome!
I've found so many great barre, yoga, and running classes through the MINDBODY app, and it's so easy to book. Syncing my MINDBODY classes with Strava will add another layer to keeping my fitness training in one place. I like to analyze what's been helpful in my routine—what I've done for cross training versus strength—and it'll be awesome to have it all automatically synced to my Strava account. It's been really helpful having my Barre3 online classes syncing directly to my Strava!
First off, be kind to yourself. In times when it feels hard, know that it will get easier with practice—don't give up or get discouraged. Secondly, think of each workout as a gift to yourself, rather than something you have to do. You get this time to improve your well-being, so enjoy it.
Get after your goals like Amanda and learn more about syncing your MINDBODY and Strava accounts
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.