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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I’m Amanda, I’m 56 years old and I live with my youngest son in the North East of England.
I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Dental Surgery in 1986. For 30 years I worked in the NHS – most of that time in my own single-handed dental practice.
I offered general dentistry, orthodontics for over 20 years – and facial aesthetics for over 10 years. I’m now retired from dentistry and have more time to follow my fitness passion as well as teach Dru yoga.
I have 4 children ranging in age from 30 to 14.
I have had a lifelong association with fitness – from long distance running in my University days, through swimming, gym workouts and salsa dancing through pregnancies (not all in the same space of time!) to qualifying as personal trainer in 2012 – and later as a yoga teacher in 2017.
In 2013 the sport of Crossfit came onto my radar and in May 2013 I excitedly joined Crossfit B76 as it opened its doors.
Crossfit excited, scared and motivated me all at the same time. Just entering the box at my very first visit felt like going home.
I love the competitiveness, gains in strength and body shape, camaraderie, fitness gains – in fact there’s not a lot I don’t love about CrossFit: that’s probably why I’m still doing it!
When I moved from the Midlands to the North of England after I left dentistry, the first thing I sought out was a new Crossfit box.
As well as CrossFit and yoga I love walks on the beach, ongoing personal development and I’m now learning to play the saxophone. I also dance in a contemporary dance performance group.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I currently go the Crossfit Wolfslair in Newcastle – though as I write this we are in isolation – so I’m currently training in my garden using CrossFit programming from the gym.
Training solo in the garden can be demotivating – but I’ve worked hard for my fitness and I’m not prepared to let it go.
A few of the other gym members and I get together on Zoom to workout daily.
At this current time I’m doing yoga daily – including teaching online, followed by Crossfit workouts 6 times a week.
I have found the yoga to be invaluable to complement my training. Dru yoga is soft, flowing and restorative – not at all ‘fitness yoga’ – and as such really helps keep my body in check.
As a yoga teacher, dancer and Crossfitter my body is strong and flexible. I have a positive body image and feel good about myself, I enjoy all parts of my training and I think that’s important – fitness is for a lifetime.
I prefer to train in the morning after breakfast. After training I use a vegan protein shake as I find whey based ones difficult to digest.
I also use Protandim Nrf2 supplement – which is proven to reduce oxidative stress: I feel it assists recovery and reduces the incidence of illnesses and well as injuries.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
As my main goal is to be as fit as I can for a lifetime I take great care to avoid injury by focusing on technique.
In the gym I am easily the oldest person there, so I enjoy entering the Crossfit Open in order to compare myself against other athletes of my age group.
For the last 2 years I have finished in the top 5 in the UK – going through the Online Age Group Qualifiers. I recognize that I am unlikely to ever get to the Games, but my aim is to get into the Online Qualifiers for every year I am in this age category.
At the end of the day though you can only compare yourself today to yourself yesterday. Every new skill and every PB is a joy – and it gives me a buzz to continue to become stronger, fitter and faster than I was before.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
As the country is currently in lockdown my gym is closed.
Fortunately I have a barbell, weights, 12.5kg dumbbells, a few Kettlebell, a wallball, a TRX and chin up station – in fact quite a lot of gear: so I can keep going. Maintenance is the name of the game here!!
I want to continue to be the oldest – and amongst the fittest – member of my local gym. I love my fitness!
If there was one thing I could change it would be that I’d discovered CrossFit earlier in my life – though to be fair I could say that about dance, yoga – so many things. Perhaps we need to accept that things appear when we’re ready for them!
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I try to avoid injuries by focus on correct technique and not trying to go far beyond my limits. You could argue that progress might be slowed, but I’m in this for the duration.
One thing I can’t do without is enough sleep – regular sleep routine and wake up when I need to. Recovery is key.
I don’t stress too much if I’m our of routine for a short while – for example if I’m on holiday for a week I like to do some walking – but I’m not the person investigating the local CrossFit gym. Recovery can include a week off – that’s fine.
Perhaps the one thing I could usefully add to my routine is a regular massage – at present I rely on my little massage ball to iron out any lumps and bumps.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I’ve been vegetarian for most (but not all) of my adult life. I don’t drink alcohol or coffee.
I don’t track or count anything, instead just listen to my body. I don’t enjoy junk food in any case – I thing if you observe the effect of food after you have eaten it your body will help you choose your diet.
The one rule I stick to (most of the time) is that I don’t eat after 7pm nor before 8am. I find not eating late helps me sleep better and it’s also shown that a regular fasting period improves the body’s biochemistry.
I have been using the Protandim nrf2 supplement for the last 4 years. For more info go here.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I enjoy learning from a range of sources and am inspired by the success of others. I find the other members of the box and the general atmosphere motivation enough to keep on going.
Every coach I have come across in CrossFit has inspired and motivated in their own way. I could say the same about yoga teachers.
You can learn something everywhere you go and everywhere you look.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
To improve any aspect of yourself you need to know what is your goal. Is it fitness for life, a particular event or some other goal?
Once you know where you are going then start the journey – take a step, any step. Find a community that feels like home, surround yourself with people that inspire you and who you like, find a mentor or coach.
No-one started a journey being amazing without effort - enjoy the journey.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I hope that I inspire other older ladies to get into fitness and show that being post/menopausal is a great place to be.
I’m not currently taking on clients as at present that’s not part of my journey – this may change.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My website is innerstrengthyoga.co.uk
💬 Amanda Cartner quotes
Amanda shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍