Saturday spotlight! What?!! I was so excited about this when Lou messaged me a few weeks ago, and quite frankly I was surprised because I haven’t been at the hills as much as I’d like to. But anyway, it’s now 6 PM. I had written out a long, beautiful Saturday Spotlight this week, and shockingly I left it at work. I didn’t email myself a copy, I didn’t add it to Dropbox, I simply left it on my work laptop, left the office on Friday, and promptly forgot all about it. Soooo, fast forward to this morning when I was searching everywhere for it on my computer and then you should have seen my face when I realized what I’d done. It wasn’t pretty!!
Amanda Mills, 43, what?! Feel more like 23, but I checked with my mom and she said I was definitely born on May 18, 1973, around 4 in the afternoon. So I guess I’ll trust her and my birth certificate.
I have one brother, Carl IV, my parents, Nancy and Carl Wellington Mills III. The irony is not lost on us that we are totally down to earth, blue collar hard working to the core, yet my dads got a name you expect to see on a statue in London (and there kind of is a similar one…!).
Divorced — LONG story, short marriage, not much to tell but it got me running, so if there’s a silver lining, that’s it!
Currently happily engaged to Matt Robar, we love life, the ocean, laughing, food, puppies, music, working on the house, travel, kayaking, biking, camping… etc.
Home now: Hampton Bays, NY
Thank you everybody for this fantastic opportunity. I love this group, and am so thankful for the kindness, support, and friendship of the Selden Hills Warriors. Lou, you have done a really, really awesome thing here, and I am forever grateful to you for sticking with it, showing up, and being just generally an incredible human.
I was born and raised in Manhattan, and went to school there through high school, and then one horrific year of college at Fashion Institute of Technology (nightmare, long story if you ever want to hear the horror just ask!). My parents always wanted my brother and I out of the city in the summer, so they bought a modest home in Westhampton and I spent most weekends if I wasn’t at camp, or travelling. My parents sacrificed everything for us, and so we got to have a lot of cool experiences before we even went to college.
After the awful year at FIT I decided to leave NYC for good. I hopped on the LIRR with my backpack of clothing, got off at LIU-Southampton (this was the 90’s) and the train stopped right on campus! I walked into Admissions (no appointment) and asked to fill out an application. I also got to go on tour with some student who was working in the office that summer and he reluctantly showed me around. After my tour, the Director of Admissions, Carol Gilbert, asked me a few questions, found out I liked to write, and asked me to send in some writing samples. Then she asked what I was going to do after I left her office! I had planned to take the train back to Westhampton, and then walk to my parents summer house. She was kind of surprised, but I don’t think she realized how independent I was at that point. She offered to drive me to the supermarket, A&P at the time, and then dropped me off at the house! I think I was more surprised then she was!!!! So I attended Southampton College, and it was the beach life that I loved with some work thrown in.
Another big influence on my life was my College 101 Professor, and then-Provost Tim Bishop. A year after I graduated I was in a job I hated as a newspaper editor. I set up an appointment with him and asked him how he knew he wanted to be a Provost at a College. He told me that he started out in Financial Aid and Admissions, and that sparked the idea that I could do that! He also mentioned they were hiring, so it all fell into place, and within a few months I began my career in Undergraduate Admissions. I worked there for 6 years, holding various positions ranging from Admissions Counselor to Director of Graduate Admissions, and then they closed…. soooo I moved on the Stony Brook University, finished my Master’s degree there, and I’ve been there for about 13 years! Working in Admissions developed my group presentation skills, my counseling background, and allowed me to travel.
During this time I had the typical Hampton’s fun (which I feel like I outgrew before I turned 21…) and then got married. I was fairly miserable and he turned out to be a bipolar alcoholic, so that ended rather quickly, but not before I realized I required an outlet. I started walking, often back and forth over the Ponquogue Bridge, and eventually it turned into jogging, and then I finally felt like I could call myself a runner when I ran a 5K in Westhampton one summer. After that I got really focused and really excited about running, and often was the instigator for many of my friends to start running! I loved watching them realize what they were capable of. My brother went from non-runner to training and racing for the NYC Marathon (he bought a book), and that fired me up and pissed me off enough that I signed up for the Long Island Half and trained all winter and spring. I’ve raced 4 Halfs, and have plans for more. The thing is, I love so many things, like yoga, spin, boxing, zumba, I’ve done CrossFit, pilates, swimming…. you name it, I’ll try it. And I like to keep switching up what I’m doing every few months: it keeps life interesting, and keeps my body guessing what’s coming next. I have never training to be a fast runner, but that’s on my list next!
I have 3 careers: College Admissions is the one that I’ve had the longest but doesn’t really challenge me anymore; my Amanda Mills Lifestyles Coaching business is the love of my life: assisting people with health goals, energy and performance goals, weight loss obstacles, mindset training, and wealth creation, allows me to use all of the skills I’ve learned my life and actually assist transformations; and the third is a life-long commitment to education and personal and professional development. This is a daily commitment that I have. For example, I’m in the process of completing my AFAA Group Fitness Certification, and then my Spin cert, and then Yoga Teacher Training! I’ll always be a runner no matter what else I tackle. It’s my freedom, my meditation, it’s where I find my balance. #namaste