Friday, September 4, 2015

The Athlete Within With Renee Ramsdell

I'm excited to be sharing with you an interview with Renee Ramsdell, the visionary behind The Athlete Within Summit and other greatly inspiring resources.  The Summit's purpose was to teach the participant how to build a strong and resilient body, unleash your self-esteem and embrace a healthy lifestyle.  Pretty big promises I would say, however, she did deliver.  I totally enjoyed everything about the summit from the diversity of disciplines and approaches to the format.  I was never overwhelmed and I had time to digest the information before it was time for the next segment. 

When I had completed the Summit I wanted to grasp the mindset and intention behind such an amazing and quality production which was being offered for FREE!!  Yup, I said for free.  So without further ado, please enjoy the interview.

MW:  Renee, welcome to! Please introduce yourself.

RR:  Thanks for having me! My name is RenĂ©e Ramsdell and I have a business called Corporate Triathlete. I’m a fitness trainer and online wellness coach. I’ve been on this path for just over 3 years now.

Prior to that I had a very long career in Information Technology. I left IT behind in order to pursue wellness largely due to my own personal experiences with wellness and fitness and the incredible impact they had on every aspect of my life, not just my health.

Life moves fast, so my site is in desperate need of updating, but you can read more details about me than you’d ever want or need here.

MW:  I actually stumbled across your work in Leah Gilbert's Body Positive AthleteFacebook Group.  She mentioned that you had a project called the Athlete Within Summit going on.  I followed the link and I was so glad I did.  What is the Athlete Within Summit and what inspired you to put this production together? 

RR: Yes! Leah was a great interview, and I feel like she and I are very much kindred spirits in our approach to coaching.

The Athlete Within Summit was a project that came about under the guidance of my Business Coach. It was a series of 21 pre-recorded audio interviews with experts in the areas of fitness, nutrition, sports psychology, positive mindset, motivation, and all things mind/body wellness.

I chose The Athlete Within theme because I firmly believe we ALL have an inner athlete that should be nurtured as part of our own individual wellness journey. Getting in touch with that inner athlete changes our approach to exercise, food, and every other aspect of our overall health.

"Health and fitness come much more easily when you’re operating from a place of fun." click to tweet

MW:  I appreciated that even though the theme included the term ‘athlete it was accessible and topics covered were applicable to the everyday person just trying to get out and exercise.  Was that your aim?

RR:  Yes, that was exactly it, so I’m glad to hear it worked! I wanted to attempt to redefine the word athlete in a way that would be meaningful to everyone.

In my eyes, a brand new training client who has never worked out before is just as much an athlete as an Olympian. The only difference is scope. Both have a trainer. Both are doing the work. Both are performing at their current peak ability.

How they match up against each other is irrelevant. What’s important is how they match up against themselves. We should only be concerned with improving our own performance, not with competing against everyone else (unless that’s fun for you, then compete away).

MW: The Summit was immensely beneficial to me in terms of inspiration, concepts and new resources.  What were you trying to accomplish with the Summit and do you think you achieved that objective?

RR:  There were a couple key points that I hoped people would grasp by the end of the summit.

The first is the mind/body connection. Our thoughts have a huge impact on our health, our perception of ourselves and the world around us, how we perform, etc. I dare say every expert featured in the summit touched on that point in their interview.

The second is that health and fitness come much more easily when you’re operating from a place of fun. This goes back to the mind/body connection I suppose.

In any case, there are a million exercises/sports/activities and a million nutrition plans out there. They can all work. What’s important is choosing ones that are fun for YOU.

You don’t have to do what I like. Do what YOU like. And if you don’t know what you like or you haven’t found it yet, keep looking!

Your exercise and nutrition plans should never come from a place of “punishment” or a place of “deprivation”. Neither of those is fun, and ultimately you’ll get frustrated and quit. No one runs away from fun! When you’re having fun, the rest will eventually fall into place.

Rene'e completed the 2015 Boston Marathon. Congrats!!

MW:  Do you plan to make this an annual event?

RR:  It will most likely become at least an annual event. That being said, I do have another summit on the horizon for late this year. I haven’t determined the dates yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

MW:  I see, from your blog, that you have a project coming up.  Could you tell us a little about that? (The Wellness Strategies for Women)

RR:  I have multiple projects coming up actually. Right now I’m working on a 3-part video series on the subject of motivation. This was one of the biggest pain points indicated to me by listeners from The Athlete Within Summit. That will be out within the next 2 weeks.

Shortly after that I’ll be doing a 90-minute live training call which will be a deeper dive into the topic of staying motivated. I’m planning to have a Q&A session at the end, so feel free to jump on with your motivation questions!

The Wellness Strategies for Women project sat idle for a long time, and has evolved into what will eventually become my group online wellness program. It will be called Fittest at 50. As I said, my poor site needs several updates!

Fittest at 50 was inspired by my friend and co-coach Dr. Kellee Rutley who you may remember from my summit. Kellee will be turning 50 next summer and has made it her mission to get into the best shape of her life by her next birthday.

I’m coaching Kellee, doing some of the training with her, and we are documenting her progress. At the same time I’m developing the curriculum for my group program during this process.

I think Kellee and I inspire each other and work really well together. By this time next year I fully expect to have a fantastic group program and two very fit, middle-aged ladies! ~

MW:  Well, Renee I will be 48 next year and I will be hanging right there with you and Dr. Kellee, trying to make it the healthiest year of my life.  I wish you both great success!  

I want to thank you Renee so much for having these projects in your heart and putting the work in to bring them to the light.  I am definitely looking forward to the sessions on motivation and thanks again for the encouragement you provide via your work!

To get started listening to the Athlete Within Summit here.  As of publishing the three part video series on motivation is now available here.

If I were you, I would just go ahead and join Renee's mailing list to stay motivated!  You won't regret it. 

Do you struggle with fitness or weight loss motivation?  How do you work through it?


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  1. Very inspirational post, I'm going to be 35 this year and I'm trying to be the fittest I've been. It def takes work and sometimes I struggle.

    1. Thanks Ivanna. That is a great goal you are striving towards. Great struggle brings great rewards!

  2. Wow, it's almost like her story is mine!

  3. Gina, thank you so much for reaching out! I love hearing that pursuing my passion is helping others in some way. That means the world to me. You should come join Kellee and I for some Fittest at 50 training!

    1. Is that an actually program that you have started? Where can we get the details? Do tell, lol!

  4. I love that perspective. I've always been so afraid to use the word athlete to define myself but I put in the work so I guess I am an athlete!

  5. Great story I love it! We all do have an inner athlete in there somewhere. I am trying to embrace mine as best I can. What a positive way of looking at health and fitness

  6. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story! I really need to get back on my fitness regimen before I end up in worse shape than I am!

  7. I love the comment about how your plan should never come from punishment and deprivation... For years I suffered anorexia and was hospitalized. Now I eat, but still lean towards wanting to deprive myself... All in moderation right?? Your story is very encouraging!!

  8. There is such power in determination. I am learning that a lifestyle of fitness is one that begins in the mind.

  9. Renee sounds like an amazing woman! I love the thought that we are all athletes :)

  10. Im really changing the way I live this last year. A great inspirational post! Coming from the linky!

  11. What a great interview! I'm fortunate that I don't struggle with fitness or weight loss. Fitness and nutrition are a passion and a way of life.

  12. I don't struggle with motivation, but I'm pretty interested in her training for the 50 and over set!

  13. I always love hearing the story behind such motivated individuals! Thank you for sharing here interview!

  14. How inspiring!! I wish I had known of this summit sooner. I love hearing stories like this, both from a fitness motivation standpoint and a business motivation standpoint :)

  15. This is so inspiring! Kudos to Renee! I do think that it is more fun to work out if it is fun, so I need to find that perfect activity for myself.

  16. I am going to touch 40 soon, and this year i have been the most fittest in my life.

  17. Great post, very inspirational, especially as an older athlete. As someone who has been her fittest in her thirties I really want to take my fitness to the next level in my 40s

  18. Inspirational indeed! I'll have to show my mom as well. We always send each other articles/interviews of other athletes and runners in order to motivate ourselves :)

  19. Thank you for sharing! I totally agree that your exercise and nutrition plan should never come from a place of punishment, that's a recipe for an eating disorder or bad relationship with food!

  20. What an inspiration! I never thought that I'd be more fit as I continue to age, but like Renee, a regular exercise routine and a good nutrition plan are definitely assisting me with that.

  21. Just what I need, some motivation to get into a routine. After 3 kids and my metabolism not being what it was in my 20s, I definitely need to get on it. Great interview!

  22. Great post and thanks so much for sharing!!

  23. Thanks for sharing this inspiring interview. I've fallen off a bit and I need to get back into a fitness routine.

  24. Great in depth interview. Very inspiring... I would love to become a runner one day. It is still on my list...

  25. This is such a great interview! I love her perspective and that's really good advice. Thanks so much for sharing.

  26. I have always considered myself an athlete even as a child so I love the idea of inspiring women to embrace the one within. Definitely gonna look into her more. Thanks.

  27. I read this last week on your blog and was so excited to see it linked up at Tuesday Talk. Such an inspiration all you ladies. Keep up the good work and do stop back next week to give us more.

  28. Inspirational! Thank you, for sharing your interview with us at Mommy Monday!