After moving to Toronto, one of my favorite things is the fitness community. You meet so many wonderful and likeminded people who become some of your greatest friends, mentors, and inspiration to keep going. Today on Behind the Chair, I'm so happy to introduce you to Nat Harrison. She is the leader and creator of an amazing community called Well&Tight! Nat is an incredible bosslady, that I had the pleasure of meeting in person earlier this year. I did her hair for a shoot, and when I left, I felt so encouraged to keep training and crushing my goals! We met up again for Behind the Chair Interview and I left with a giant smile on my face because Nat is so amazing to be around! She's an incredible athlete, she truly enjoys motivating people to crush their goals and chase their dreams! Enjoy today's read, and maybe join the Well&Tight Community!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an east coast girl at my core, but I came to Toronto so I could study business at Ryerson and fell in love with everything the city has to offer and never left. I had a very traditional marketing career for my first 15 years, starting at a boutique agency before I moved over to PepsiCo to work on incredible brands like Gatorade and Pepsi. From there I followed my passion for athleticism and went to Nike in brand communications (advertising) and ultimately lead the women’s category through the Nike Women’s 15 k event in Toronto as well as the World Cup. It was all incredibly rewarding work and I learned so much during my time in the corporate world. I’m an avid runner, triathlete and yogi. I’ve completed multiple marathons, ironman competitions and am now in the process of completing my 200-hour power yoga teacher training. I am a certified nutritionist and have a tremendous passion for eating whole foods and nourishing our bodies properly. Most importantly I have a very loving and supportive husband and 2 small adorable children.
2. What is the inspiration behind well&tight? How did you know you wanted to help people live a healthy lifestyle?
When I left Nike to be at home with my children full-time (hardest decision ever), I quickly realized that while I am so lucky to be able to be home spending time with them, I needed a project that would allow me to continue to express my own personal passions. I started inviting neighbors and friends over for boot camp sessions in my backyard using the Nike Training App. Our little community grew so quickly that we moved to a local dance studio. I added a nutrition element to the training because I personally believe that what you eat is more than half the battle in reaching our weight loss goals and I was thrilled to see so many people lose so much weight. It was that magic combination of training, nutrition and a community to support you that helped Well&Tight come to life so naturally and organically. We launched less than a year ago and have been growing ever since.
3. I love that Well&Tight provides recipes for all meals. For someone who is always on the go, what is a snack(s) that they should keep in their bag so they don't resort to eating fast foods?
Preparation is critical. I always tell our members that you have to have healthy food as accessible as the unhealthy stuff. We have a rule in our house that as soon as you come home from the store, all the fruit and vegetables go onto the counter until they can be washed and cut into snack sized portions. I also love the almond protein balls and spelt banana muffin recipes on my website. I keep them frozen for easy grab and go options.
4. What advice would you give to someone training for their first full marathon?
There are 3 runs you must get in each week for your training. 1. Hill Training: This will help you build strength in your legs to carry you the distance. 2. Tempo runs: This will help you train your body to hold onto your race pace for longer and longer periods of time so you can sustain the energy on race day. 3. Long Slow Runs (LSR) These are your longest runs that you keep adding distance to each week. Take them really slow and practice your mental game, how much fluid you’ll need and when, fuel like gels and how they react to your body etc… I have a couple great training plans that I am happy to share if anyone needs them.
5. Is there a quote or saying that inspires/motivates you on days when we don't feel like running or working out?
Remember why you started. I find this quote personally so powerful. When we embark on a new goal we have so much enthusiasm for the outcome. As life starts to get in our way we lose sight of that initial goal and can lose focus. Remembering why you started is a very powerful tool to harnessing that initial enthusiasm again.
6. Lastly, I have to ask: what is your favorite way to wear your hair?
Side braid. It’s easy, loose and the perfect no fuss solution to accommodate the daily demands of my day!
If you'd like to get in touch and join the Well&Tight Community I've linked it here for you. Friends, I cannot stress enough how encouraged I am by Nat. I'm so thankful to have finally met her! You can (and should) follow her on social media here, here & here.
Hope you find encouragement and motivation to get up and go crush your goals this year! Don't give up and just like Nat says: Remember WHY you started!
Until next time, have a great hair day! xo
ps. if you'd like to get this same hairstyle as Nat go here for the tutorial. I would love to see your fitness hairstyles so use #ihaveathingwithbraids and/or #cabellobycarolina