As a Mother, Full-Time Stylist, Part-Time Coach and Elite Athlete, Amanda Roberts Believes a Full Cup Makes You Better

April 7, 2021 by
Courtesy of Becky Phelps
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Amanda Roberts’ message to those who believe that once you’re a mom, it’s time to abandon any personal goals you once had is simple: “You can’t pour from an empty cup. I have to fulfill what I need in order to be a good mom and a good wife,” said the 39-year-old Roberts. 

As a result, Roberts is raising two children — 9 and 3 years old — works full-time as a hair stylist and part-time at a coach at CrossFit Compelled in Wichita, KS, and last year became the National Weightlifting Champion in her age division before going on to place second at the Pan American Games.

Courtesy of Becky Phelps

The details: Because of the global pandemic, both the National Championships and the Pan American Games were held remotely. At both competitions, Roberts hit the same total — 176 kg (387 lb.) She admitted competing remotely wasn’t quite the same as going to Puerto Rico for Pan Ams would have been; however, the online opportunity created a surprising chance-of-a-lifetime experience.

  • “I spent all this time getting ready for nationals…I worked and worked and worked…so not going to lie, I was really bummed at first. My plane ticket was booked, my hotel was booked and we were ready to go, but in hindsight, to be able to do it at my home gym was amazing,” said Roberts, whose all-time best snatch is 81 kg (178 lb) and clean and jerk 101 kg (222 lb.).
  • Her gym turned the Pan American Games into a small in-gym event, where people came both to cheer her on and lift next to her. “It was perfect. It made my heart so happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better day than that, to have everyone participating with me,” she said.
  • Though Roberts is proud of her 2020 accomplishment, she’s taking a break from weightlifting this season to focus on CrossFit again. “My conditioning went to hell last year,” said Roberts, who participated in the Open in March.
Courtesy of Becky Phelps

One big thing: While weightlifters often cut weight for a competition, the 5-foot-9 Roberts decided to put herself in the higher weight category for the National Championships, lifting in the 81 kg weight class. Though uncharacteristic, the decision was a good one for her mental health.

  • “I actually enjoyed eating more and not having to worry about waking up on meet day and thinking, ‘Shit, I can’t eat or drink anything until I weigh in.’ It was nice to have that cushion,” she said. 

The big picture: Though Roberts loves competing, it’s not why she makes time for training amidst working a full-time job, a part-time job and spending time with her young children and husband. She does it for health and longevity, and to break the trend of poor health in her family, a history that includes plenty of Type-2 diabetes.

  • Roberts’ father had his first heart attack when she was six years old. Today, both of her parents have passed. 
  • “The doctor told him he hadn’t to quit drinking and smoking, but he never did. And I lost my mom to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) last year because she was a smoker,” Roberts explained. “So that’s another big push for me. I want to be healthy for my kids and potentially my future grandkids so you just have to make time for fitness,” she said.
  • Most of all, though, she does it because she loves it, and because it makes her a better mother and wife. “I get to go train today. I get to go to the gym and be around for grand babies and not worry about heart and lung problems,’” she said of her mindset toward fitness. “Even if it’s just 30 to 45 minutes a day, I just have to keep moving. It makes me a better person.”

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