Don’t let nerves get the best of you, whether on a long training run or in a race. Instead, harness those “butterflies” and let them lead you to success. That’s what two of our BAMRbassadors do, thanks to some sage advice from Coach Liz Waterstraat. One of the gals even got a tattoo to remind her of the wisdom! 

Here are recent messages from the two butterfly-believers: 

Sarah Speer, a marathoner, cyclist, and BAMRbassador in Ohio, emailed: 

“Do you remember the episode where you were interviewing an AMR coach, talking about a retreat and someone getting a tattoo of a butterfly? The coach said ‘make the butterflies work for you.’ I can’t find the episode but that phrase changed my life.”

BAMRbassador Sarah Speer, the one searching for the butterfly advice

I couldn’t find the podcast episode (I mean, we have nearly 1,000 to comb through!). But I knew another BAMRbassador, Cynthia Vissers in Maryland, is the gal with the tattoo, so I reached out to Cynthia, who replied: 

“I got that tat after the Cape Cod Retreat in 2019. It was Coach Liz that gave me the pep talk! She also wrote the nicest Facebook post about it.” 

Cynthia followed up a few days later:

“Reading Liz’s words brings tears to my eyes. I’m so glad I thought to screenshot her message because I re-read it every few months.”

Cynthia’s butterfly tattoo, born of the same advice

BAMRbassador Sarah then excitedly emailed me:

“Found the episode: It was with Liz, at the end of the show, at about an hour and six minutes in. What she says is life changing! ‘Butterflies in formation.’ All I have to do is tuck into formation!” 

Later, Sarah confided she’s been on a rough road, missing several marathons this year and last due to a 2022 bout of COVID, which triggered an autoimmune disease. She wrote:

“It was everything to do a half marathon in April. Heavy, hurting, and slogging, I finished. Again, the podcast helped me realize that activity—any way possible—is the goal. I’m hoping to get my body back and do another half, maybe in November.”

Here’s to making those butterflies work for you, whenever you need a lift.