HIH x Les Best

Making friends is hella hard. 

I’m not talking about people who you can go for dinner with, or grab a post-work cocktail with, I’m talking about people who you can call on when the shit hits the fan, share the exhilarating highs with, wear matching onesie pajamas with and clocks in all kinds of #HIHmoments with. The old notion of you are what you eat, extends to your relationships and the energy you share with your tribe. 

Someone I feel extremely grateful to call a friend is Amy Patel. This woman is a multi-faceted, passionate, warm-hearted, intelligent, and a true boss in everything she does. Whether it’s whipping up healthy culinary delights, styling outfits worthy of editorial shoots, promoting living your les best life, being the ultimate friend (she packs snacks!), sharing nuggets of info on lunar energy or reminding us that taking a chance on life and listening to your inner voice is always worth it - Amy is all of this, and so much more. 

Recently, Amy hit a massive runner’s milestone by achieving VOLT STATUS on the NRC app which means... she’s officially joined a select group of individuals having clocked in over 15,000km. (And no, I did not make a mistake and accidentally add an extra zero, you read that right: fifteen thousand kilometers.) 

Each of those kilometers was a moment in time, and I was curious to learn more about the story of Les Best and her relationship with running over the years. Get ready to be inspired. 

1. What is your first running memory?

I mean, I tried out for cross country in middle school and made it, and to top it off, I came in like the 1000th place. I remember thinking running wasn't for me. I tried again at university with my roommate and hated it. Then when I met Kona, we bought Nike's that had the sensor in the shoe and I literally could only run 1KM before I gassed out. So my first memories have always been pretty defeatful. This isn't a story of a "she's always been a runner".

2. Looking back, how would you describe your relationship with lacing up and hitting the pavement?

I had this funny fear of leaving home and not being able to get back. I'm predating myself when I say there weren't apps where you could just call and a car and viola you were back home. So initially I was a treadmill runner with a tv show, and usually something on TLC.

When I started venturing outside, I would always have to listen to rap or reggae, and my longest distances would be no more than 4 KM. My trick was running somewhere that I deemed the halfway point, to ensure that I'd be able to turn around and get back home. Slowly I'd make it to one more traffic light, and therefore playing games with myself and increasing my distance.

3. Out of your many runs over the years, which one holds a special place in your heart?

Everyone remember's their first right? I think I'd have to say my first half marathon. Oct 2015. I trained so hard, mentally and physically. I became selfish for myself for the first time in my life, with my free time, with my training, with everything. I had so many people in my life that were excited about it, that cheered me on and didn't get upset at the fact that I couldn't hang because I was choosing training over them. Those real ones are the ones that are still around today. Be mindful of the energy you have around you when you are trying to better yourself. Energy vampires are a real thing.

4. Do you listen to music while running? If so, who? And if not, what’s the best part about running with nature as your soundtrack?

I loved listening to music at first, it was always, reggae, rap or soca. Just uplifting music with amazing tempo to make you hit the pavement HARD. But in 2015, I gave up listening to music, during training for my half. It was the best decision ever. You pay attention to your OWN thoughts, it forces to be one with yourself. It forces you to get emotional, and cry sometimes. I even find myself talking to Siri, getting her to open up notes on fun ideas and pitches that come up in thought. Some meditate, this solo time is my meditation.

5. 15,000km is a feat that a handful of runners hold, what does this accomplishment mean to you? And what goal is next?

It means so much. 

It means dedication. It means sweat. It means busted feet. It means sad times (let's be real, all runners are running from something). It means happy times. It means countless hours away from doing something else to do this. 

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I'm so proud, I'm not the first, I'm not the last, but if at some level I can inspire someone who's a version of old me, to continue to push and try then I feel honoured.

Next? I'm not quite sure. I still keep up my running, this isn't the end, just the beginning. I still make running while traveling a priority and look at goal setting for my running future.

6. It’s no secret that you are a boss in the kitchen, cooking up homemade meals fit for a queen. Which begs the question... what is your favourite post-run snack?

On a crunch: Chia, lemon squeezed, water. Quick hydration, heart healthy, full of omega 3, iron, fiber and calcium. Really great for someone who just can't eat right after a hot and sweaty summer run.

Post-shower Brown rice cake, squeeze lemon on top, spread half avocado, chili flakes, a fried egg cooked in coconut oil topped with sea salt, fresh pepper, and more chili flakes. High in healthy fats, magnesium, omega 3 and CANDIDA FRIENDLY!

7. Running has ample benefits both physically and mentally, not to mention a euphoric after-effect. Describe your runner’s high.

The feeling of not giving AF! But all of them all at the same time if that makes any sense.

I feel happy, grounded and the best version of me post run. 

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8. Running can be intimidating at first, what’s your advice for getting started and sticking to it?

Try the Amy method!

Go only as far as you think you can, knowing you need to make your way back. Even if that's less than a kilometer away. Week by week, make small increments, maybe by a traffic light or block. As it increases, your stamina will too, and you will shock yourself. 

9. Top 3 tips for living your les best life?

1.) Take care of yourself first and foremost. I know people say take care of you AND your loved ones, but apply the rules of an aircraft, when shit hits the fan, you have to put the mask on yourself first before you can help anyone else. 

APPLY THAT SHIT TO LIFE.

2.) Trust your gut. Eat good food. Cook good food. Treat your insides with love and tender care. Also regarding your gut, your instincts are usually 100% correct. Don't forget to take a probiotic daily!

3.) Have fun and enjoy! The money will come, the time won't.

10. What does Healthy Is Hot mean to you? 

Being the version of yourself that you love it hot, period.