Q&A: Erin Adams on exercise for self-love & self-preservation
We talked to Erin Adams, a dynamo business woman, mother of two, and body goddess. Adams, the cofounder of Damien Blumetti Architecture, an architecture firm in Sarasota, Florida, juggles motherhood, fitness, and a career—and it remains a moving target.
TCY: Tell us a little about yourself and the role of fitness in your life.
EA: I'm the director of finance at Damien Blumetti Architecture, a firm I cofounded with my husband. I'm a Pure Barre practitioner of seven years and a former instructor—I even taught through my first pregnancy—but I put teaching on pause when I had my first daughter. Exercise was always important to me. I experimented with different styles before discovering that my true fitness passion lay with Pure Barre.
I realized from a young age that exercise made everything better. I was more productive physically and mentally, I was happier, and had more energy. Now, exercise makes me a better person and mother. I learned that if you sacrifice your wellbeing, everything else will suffer, which is why exercise is a non-negotiable for me.
TCY: How did your fitness habit develop?
EA: I discovered the gym at 17 and subsequently went through different exercise phases and personas: gym rat, boxer, runner, yogi, pure-barre guru. I loved the way I felt in the fitness environment, but it took time to discover the exercise style that made me the most fulfilled. I finally landed on Pure Barre. It gave me everything I needed in just one hour and I found the mind-body connection I was looking for with exercise all these years.
TCY: How do you balance motherhood, a busy schedule, and making time for your fitness routine?
EA: When I had my first daughter it was tough initially to figure out a balancing act. There was a tug-of-war between being with the baby, or leaving the baby at home to go exercise outside or at a studio. Eventually, with the help of my husband, I figured out a system that works. I schedule fitness as "me time." Think of it as self-love—or self-preservation—however you have to label it for it to become a priority.
I learned the hard way that the first thing that's sacrificed when you don't have time is yourself, but that has to be a priority. I make time for workouts because I know that it's in my best interest and in the interest of the family.
Scheduling, planning, and support is key. I coordinate with my husband's busy schedule and he accommodates mine. I plan for a minimum of three workouts throughout the week—my husband and I schedule out the childcare—and I do whatever it takes to get these workouts done. I treat these workouts with as equal importance as everything else in my day. If I exceed three, that's great, but I will get at least three done, no matter what.
TCY: What are some tips or advice for making exercise a habit?
EA: Prioritizing and looking at the bigger-picture. Kickstarting a fitness regimen is the hardest part, but when you set realistic goals and finally get going, you quickly start to feel the benefits: better mood, an easier time keeping up with the kids, weight loss, and these positive feelings motivate you to stick with it.
Pairing exercise with a healthy diet is almost more important than the exercise itself. To prepare yourself mentally for consistent exercise, you have to eat the right foods. If you don't, you'll keep finding reasons to put it off, but once you maintain a healthy diet, you'll want to amp up your exercise routine to match.
TCY: How has your fitness journey evolved?
EA: My goals have definitely changed. I don't solely concentrate on how my body looks anymore. I focus on the mental and emotional benefits, and the physical aspect is just an added bonus. When I began exercising for reasons beyond just how my body looked, I realized that I was always lacking core values in my fitness routine. I'm older and more confident now, and I work out for benefits beyond just the aesthetic, and that has really helped me to embrace exercise as a habit.
TCY: Starting up a fitness habit can be intimidating. What do you recommend for someone who’s just embarking on their fitness journey?
EA: Give yourself some grace and set attainable goals. If you've never run a day in your life don't plan on a 10K run next month because you'll be setting yourself up for failure. Make realistic goals because they'll be more enjoyable and achievable. There are fitness milestones and consistency is keying in reaching them.
Also, working out has evolved quite quickly given all that has happened recently. Live-streaming has made it easier to exercise from home—whether or not you have childcare—and to try out new workout platforms, so there are fewer excuses now, and easier ways to squeeze in a workout.
TCY: What do you tell yourself when you skip a workout, for whatever reason?
EA: If I can't exercise I start over the next day. I try not to dwell on the negative, instead I start off with a clean slate. As a mom you have to cut yourself some slack. You've already got enough to handle.
TCY: How do you keep things fun with your exercise routine?
EA: I always change up my exercises. Each day is different, whether it's barre, yoga, a long walk, running, pilates, or just getting outside. I also track my steps—they add up! I aim for 10,000 a day, which is about five miles. I also like to improvise, that way I'm not limited to a particular bodyweight class. I use water bottles as weights, or my daughter's toy as a prop. I get innovative and that keeps it exciting.