Love Squad’s “We Love Her” series takes a deep dive into the personal fitness journey of a guest writer, in weekly installments told over the course of several weeks. These narratives will get real and open as they talk about life-changing events and personal obstacles that were somehow overcome through fitness, exercise, and both mental and physical wellness.
Introducing Amanda Fink Mandell (@missladyamanda), our first “We Love Her” guest writer. Amanda is a New York native who rediscovered her love for physical fitness and now feels her strongest at 35.
This is the first installment of Amanda’s series.
Born and raised in the beautiful, vibrant and exciting city of New York I was exposed to a life not many Americans get to live. I saw Michael Jackson in concert at the age of four, dined at Parma on the Upper East Side on the “reg,” and spent winters skiing in the Catskills. I am blessed to have been born in NYC! Moving to Long Island at 5 years old, I still had The City at my fingertips. It was in my DNA.
NYC is pulsing with the arts, and I was certainly aware of it. With Broadway at the heart of Manhattan, I was exposed to wonderful acting, dancing and singing. At 5 years old I was hooked! I grew up taking dance, acting and singing classes, but also found time for my competitive nature by actively skiing, snowboarding and competing on swim, tennis and volleyball teams throughout middle school and high school. There was my performer side, as well as my athletic being.
While some see New York City as the center of the world, I wanted to push my boundaries and chose to attend The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. It was close enough to home, but I needed a new experience. This desire to push my comfort zone and explore led me to sunny Los Angeles, CA with the dream of “making it” as an actress post college. I was now just one of a seemingly endless number of waitresses trying my hand at breaking into the industry. I had become a cliche. It wasn’t all bad though! I found my squad at one very special waitressing job, and they are my best friends to this day. We were strong, eccentric, outgoing and ambitious women trying to make it big. Some of the best nights in my life were drinking wine and laughing with these ladies until the early morning hours.
Four years passed in Los Angeles, with more auditions, students films, plays and side jobs. I began to feel spent. My heart couldn’t handle the rejection anymore and my dream of stardom was overshadowed by my disappointment and despair. My experience in California made me ashamed to tell people I was an actor. It took the magic and the craft out of the thing I loved most. At 27, I finally considered shifting my career goals, but I was scared. I thought acting was going to be my life. Through fate and a few lucky connections I met the fine folks at Mophonics, a bi-coastal boutique music company specializing in music for commercials, nestled in the heart of Venice, CA. My experience on set and keen ear for music made me a great candidate to intern and was given the best of opportunities. I fell in love with the culture and the people who made up these Mophos. Again I found my people. Music heads, weirdos, ocean lovers, and artists. Over the next year, through the help and tutelage from my amazing mentors, I was offered a Producer position. I was faced with yet another life choice. Stay in LA or move back to my native NY to run the East Coast office? I wanted so much to live in NYC as an adult and I even hoped it might even lead me to finding love. So off I went! Over the past seven years I rose through the ranks and am now proudly the Senior Producer of Mophonics East.
My new life was more steady than ever. I was exposed to incredible musicians, worked on inspiring ad campaigns, took clients out to shows and got to travel for work. It was a great life. It looked so cool from the outside, and it was! But it started to weigh on me. I found myself again asking, is this it? Is this all I can offer to the world? Am I destined to foster and cultivate other peoples talents and not my own? Then I realized, maybe not.
Over the next 6 posts I will tell you my personal tale of how rediscovering my love for physical fitness lead to brand new creative endeavors in my career and feeling the strongest I’ve ever felt in my entire life at 35 years old. I truly feel like in this very moment I am living my best life. Love Squad is the perfect outlet to tell my story and hopefully encourage others to dare greatly.
By Amanda Fink Mandell
#weloveher #amandafinkmandell #lovesquad
Tune in each week for the next five weeks to keep up with Amanda’s story.
If you are interested in contributing a personal story of your own as a part of our “We Love Her” series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org !