Kind Lab: Please introduce yourself.
Amanda: Hi! I’m Amanda Goedde. I’m a movement instructor on the North Shore of Massachusetts, and when I’m not teaching, I’m the managing editor of a large information security publication for a tech company in Cambridge, Mass. I am an advocate for diversity & inclusion in wellness & fitness spaces and am the co-facilitator of Holding Spaces, which is a monthly discussion about how to make wellness spaces inclusive, diverse and safe for every body and everybody.
Kind Lab: What does women’s health & wellness mean to you?
Amanda: Women’s health & wellness, to me, means feeling empowered to show up exactly as you are. It means being able to take up space, stand in your power, and move the way your body and soul want to move. It means taking the time to put yourself first, which will look different to everyone. It is not a cookie-cutter – health & wellness look different on everyone, because each person is different.
Kind Lab: Tell us about your wellness journey – how & why did you become a wellness professional?
Amanda: I became a wellness professional via being a blogger. In 2013 I had started my first blog as a way to hold myself accountable to try to live a healthier life. I was working at a brewery, drinking too much, eating whatever was around, and I was too broke to afford new clothes when my clothes started to not fit. I decided that I would lace up some stark white Nike shoes from Kohls and try to run. The blog was called “The Road To A Healthy Life”, and weirdly, my posts started to gain some traction. I was invited to go to a blogging conference at IDEA WORLD in LA to talk about how to be an authentic presence on social media in 2015. I was one of the only people there that wasn’t teaching, but the community that I felt in that conference center was incredible. Listening to how people were working together to help people realize their inner strength, and how they were helping people realize that YES they belong was captivating. I didn’t know that kind of passion existed in a professional setting. After the end of the conference, I promised myself that in one year, I would start teaching. In fall 2016, I taught my first class and haven’t looked back since.
Kind Lab: What inspired you to start Holding Spaces, your discussion group that focuses on diversity & inclusion in the wellness industry?
Amanda: Conversations. Samantha Mendonca and I would DM each other every day about things that were messed up, things that were said that made us uncomfortable, or just general trends in the wellness world. We noticed that so many people were talking ABOUT diversity, but not really doing anything about it. We wanted to make sure that we were truly holding safe space in our classes, but also realized that in order to hold safe space, we had to learn and hear what other people are currently experiencing in wellness and fitness spaces. We decided that if we were having the conversation, maybe other people would want to have the conversation as well. We hosted our first Holding Spaces discussion in July 2019, and haven’t looked back since. We aren’t there to teach – we are there to learn alongside everyone who comes.
Kind Lab: What are 3 things women can do to promote their own health & wellness?
Amanda: Learn about yourself: what feels good, what doesn’t feel good, what makes you happy. The more you learn about what it is that you and your body needs, the more comfortable you’ll be advocating for yourself.
Use your voice: don’t be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t seem right. The best way to promote your own health and wellness is by using your power.
Move the way your body wants to move: there is no “one size fits all” for health and wellness. Find something that you love to do, and that makes you feel good. For some that might be CrossFit, for some that might be yoga, for some that might be dance, for some that might be something completely different. Find something that truly brings you joy, and let that movement guide you to you.