We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber AlMasri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I spent many years pushing myself to an extreme until I hit burnout in late 2019. I had pushed so hard and for so long to the detriment of my health and the relationships around me. I had no choice but to make a change. I also had to take a really hard look at what I enjoyed most about my business and begin to eliminate the things that did not serve me.
I carried a lot of guilt for the longest time about taking time to rest, setting boundaries and saying the word “no” to things that did not add value or serve me. But, when you hit burnout, you have no choice but to do those things. I also had to recover and reframe my thought processes influenced by the “hustle” culture. I hate the word “hustle” now. I don’t use it and I don’t encourage others to use it. And, you’ll never hear me telling someone they need to “hustle.”
I have learned that rest is absolutely essential and that the relationships with those who matter the most are the most important.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was a high school teacher and administrator for 13 years. When I fell in love with fitness, though, in my early 30s, instead of moving forward with a Doctorate in Education, I quit my education career and started training full time in 2014.
I started out with strength training (primarily kettlebell training) and began teaching small group fitness and personal training in 2014. I fell in love with yoga shortly thereafter, though, and became a certified yoga instructor in 2015. I taught in yoga studios until late 2021. I still refer to yoga as my “first love.”
In January 2022, I made the decision to be solely independent and launched my completely virtual small group strength training and yoga business. I have clients that have been with me since 2015 but am working now to grow my presence in a virtual world.
The journey has not always be easy and there are days that I question if I should continue to teaching (especially as I get older), but I know I am meant to be in the fitness industry. I love teaching and I am most happy when teaching.
I want to reach people who may be intimidated by exercise or yoga and let them know it doesn’t have to be complicated ir scary. Each day you simply meet yourself where you are at. The fitness industry can be a toxic place that makes people doubt themselves – I’ve never subscribed to that culture and am determined to create a safe space away from it. I will challenge you, but you will feel like you’re strongest self when you’re done.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to be outdoors, and in Texas, the hill country is my favorite! We would stay in Blanco, TX at a super quiet, cabin away from the city (Blanco Settlement – I just recently stayed there and loved it!). From Blanco, you can travel 45 min to an hour in any direction and find hills, parks and all sorts of amazing activities outdoors. Hiking, paddleboarding, and lots of lazy time under trees on a sunny day would be on the agenda. As far as food, since I eat a mostly plant based diet, we would find all the best spots with vegan items on the menu.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have had clients that have stayed with me for my just about my entire fitness career. To those ladies, THANK YOU for sticking with me through all the ups and downs and for continuing to show up for yourselves.
And to the book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist – thank you for helping me find rest and for helping to recover from the “hustle” culture.