Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series: Rachel Stanley

(This article appeared first on Health and Fitness Travel website)

Rachel Stanley grew up in Barbados, riding big waves at a national level, before relocating to Sheffield University for a degree in economics. Away from the water, she switched to triathlons before injury put her on the bench. “I was gutted. Telling an athlete they can’t move? That’s devastating physically and mentally.”

After three months of rest she was sent to a physio and ran home from the appointment. “He fixed me. I knew that’s what I should be doing.” Degrees in physiotherapy and sports medicine followed, then jobs with the Rugby World Sevens in Hong Kong and Harlequins in London, working with every sports injury imaginable. Treating an increasing number of running injuries, Rachel became obsessed with the mechanics of movement and has one simple message for runners, “Get your tempo up! Most recreational runners run at an average of 165 steps per minute. At this pace, running is hard and it hurts because you’re relying on your muscles and joints rather than accessing your natural spring. Run at 180 and it’s effortless.” 50 years old 45 years International traveller 40 years running 35 years surfing 30 years free-diving 25 years Sports Physio 20 years Yoga 15 years teaching Yoga 10 years Google physio 5 years Run180 Run Coach

Is there such a thing as a typical day for you and what does that look like?

There certainly is a typical day for me and it revolves around running, seeing clients, working on my two businesses and drinking the best coffee and chai that Bondi has to offer. My offices are the beach and centennial park and so I am usually zipping between these two in my little sports car Betsy. My day is 6am to10pm and starts with stretching and positive intention setting, continues with kindness and attempts at being present and then ends with me being grateful for all that I have.  

Can you share a time when you felt your well-being was challenged in the past and what did you overcome it?

I reckon I’ve had three good goes with the blues and during the last one I thankfully learned how to permanently set myself apart from it. There are many many books that elude to becoming the witnessing consciousness of ourselves and yet until I had deeply practised this 4 years ago I only had a cognitive understanding of the principles of awareness, allowing, acceptance and surrender. That 3-6 month period of sitting has given me significant peace and an awesome tool kit for looking at all that life will throw at me. I am beyond grateful for having gone through that.

What does being healthy mean to you and how do you keep this at the forefront when life gets unavoidably busy?

REALLY healthy for me is being peaceful. Reminding myself that this thing called life is but a game and the winning (if that’s a thing) is in the relaxing enough to smell the proverbial roses. My go-to(s) for health are good sleep, laughter, gratitude, the ocean, surfing, free-diving, and precious time with friends and family. My focus on health remains at the forefront with daily practices of movement, drinking water, eating good food and being grateful.

Have you ever taken a holiday specifically for your well-being? Can you share what the experience was like?

I work at Google as their physio and one day about 5 years ago I saw one of my patients and she looked absolutely radiant. Her secret she told me was The Silent Retreat in Bali and so I went … the most beautiful countryside and off the chain good food I had had in a long time. That was my first of 4 silent retreats (the rest were in Australia ( and they have all been instrumental in my continued journey of good health.

Every woman’s idea of self-care is different, tell us about yours?

Self-care for me is slowing down. I am a single mum of three babies – aka my businesses.. my firstborn is 12 years old now (physio for Google) and my newborn twins the Run180 App for iPhone and Android have just come into the world. My adolescent child has pretty much learned to take care of herself but the twins are getting my full attention. Other than slowing down, daily movement is a must, an attitude that Love is the only answer serves me well and I reckon stopping drinking alcohol has been awesome.