She’s funny, witty, smart, inspirational and a damn good businesswoman. Amanda Stevens, might be the most in-demand motivational speaker in the country, but for now, she’s my very good friend who will be telling us all about her fitness… and how she manages to keep up with it.
Amanda Stevens first took to the stage in 1996, and 17-years on, Amanda has built a multi-million dollar marketing consultancy, which was sold to a global recruitment firm in 2011, collected an impressive array of awards (including Young Australian of the Year for Career Achievement) and written five books.
If her life CV hasn’t impressed you yet, wait till you read about how she manages to look after her health and wellbeing despite being so busy.
Heard that famous quote, “Someone busier than you is running right now”? Yes, that applies to my friend, Amanda. Let’s meet her…
What does an average week of exercise look like to you?
It looks different every week; I travel a lot so depending on where I am, I’ll go for a run in the morning or evening. It’s a great way to take in a city and a great way for me to prepare for a presentation. I will sometimes top that off with half an hour in the gym, a sauna and swim. If I’m home, I’ll run on the beach and alternate days with a gym session. I’m currently training for a half marathon so I’m training a minimum of 4-5 times a week. I also do a couple of sessions of yoga.
Where do you train mostly? Gym? Outside?
Again, a combination. Although I exercise regularly, I don’t like a regular routine. I get bored really easily so mixing it up is the only way I can maintain enthusiasm.
How long do your sessions last for?
Depends on my week and where I’m at with my overall training schedule. I guess when you’re working towards a goal that dictates how hard you might push in a particular session, particularly if you’re in ‘catch-up’ mode, as I seem to be a lot lately. If I’ve got time and it’s a gym session, I actually really like taking my time and spending two hours there. It makes for a good workout and some ‘me-time’.
How would you describe your training intensity? Are you a slow burner or fire cracker?
Combination. I mix it up a lot so whenever I’m doing a run, for example, I’ll throw in some spontaneous sprint challenges for myself. I’m quite competitive so I just find it breaks the monotony of a long run.
How do you fit exercise into your crazy schedule? When do you train?
Everyone complains about how busy they are but you can always make the time to exercise – it just depends on what level of priority you put on it. For me, I just schedule it like any other meeting, rather than seeing if I have time or not at the end of the day. I’m also combining exercise with other things more and more – particularly meetings. I have a couple of clients – very busy senior executives and politicians – who I run with. Some of those runs have been the most productive meetings we’ve had!
Do you like to work towards a goal? What’s the current one?
My first (and possibly only) half marathon in July on the Gold Coast. I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that I’m doing it so there’s no backing out now!
What do you find hardest about exercise?
I’m a naturally lazy person and love a short-cut. But you can’t take short-cuts in training. From that perspective, it’s great discipline for me as it’s one thing I can’t negotiate my way out of!
Have you always been an avid exerciser?
I’ve always been active, but running is a relatively new thing for me. Until five years ago I couldn’t run around the block and now I love it.
A song (or two) you like to work out to?
If you saw my running playlists you’d think I was a schizophrenic. Believe it or not, if I’m in the mood, maybe on a weekend, I’ll run to Mozart. Sometimes I need to focus on my breathing and that type of music is more helpful than something upbeat. But there are days I listen to crazy beat pop if I want to go out and smash it.
How does exercise improve your life? What do you notice about yourself physically, mentally, day-to-day when you are training regularly?
Speaking of schizophrenics, I turn into a crazy, snappy bitch if I don’t exercise. When I’m fit, healthy and training regularly, it improves every other aspect of my life – my attitude, my productivity, my outlook, my creativity, my sleep, my relationships and my general wellbeing.