When I got to college, I didn’t plan on being an athlete. But when does life ever go to plan? During my first few weeks at Bryn Mawr, I found myself training alongside the other women on the swim team. As the season hadn’t yet officially started, we were just doing short captain’s practices in the pool. But everyone was looking forward to starting “Courtney Workouts.” All the upperclassmen on the team were talking about it with so much excitement. I asked them what Courtney Workouts were and who Courtney was. To answer the first question, Courtney Workouts were our dryland practices with Courtney, and to answer the second question, we have a special little interview with Courtney herself!
Photo courtesy of Courtney Morris
Bachelor’s Degree: Bryn Mawr College (Class: Green)
Master’s Degree: West Chester University
Undergraduate Major: Biology
Undergraduate Minor: Psychology
Master’s Degree: Kinesiology
What’s something people should know about you?
- I have a younger sister named Brooke who lives in Philly with her husband. She is an artist (Instagram @blaurenart, if I may!).
- I have a tuxedo cat named Neena who is a snuggler and mischievous and my favorite photo muse.
- My best friend of 20+ years, Lindsay, lives in New Hampshire. I visit her up there every summer!
- Random fun fact that no one knows: I started weight training when I was 14 years old. My first personal trainer was a New Jersey State Trooper!
What’s something people should know about you? (answered by a friend)
Lindsay (my best friend) responded to this question by talking about my love for music. I have listened to, explored, and tried to experience almost every genre. I love live music, especially in small venues. If I can find meaningful lyrics, an acoustic set, and a guitar, I’m a happy girl!
Who are some of your favorite music artists, what are some of your favorite music venues in Philly, and what are you currently listening to?
My all time favorite artists are Prince (hands down, my most favorite favorite), Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Marc Broussard, Ani DiFranco, and Citizen Cope.
Philly has some great places for live music. One of my favorite venues is World Cafe Live. But I’ve also seen great shows at the TLA, the Tin Angel, and the Mann Music Center. I hear the renovation of the Fillmore Philadelphia is supposed to be great, so I’m looking forward to heading there for an event soon.
Currently, I’m exploring different music for yoga and chanting: Krishna Das, Girish, Gurunam Singh, Deva Premal, and different types of Kirtan. I play this music early in the morning when I’m in my office to keep a chill vibe throughout the day.
How did you get from your major/minor in college to the career you have now?
Medical school was not for me – though the path I started on was with the intention of becoming a physician. Even though I changed my mind about that early on, my love for science and the body never changed. Therefore, the Biology degree was always the right choice. As an athlete, I learned so much about my body and what it could do, I chose to continue my education at the Master’s level with a focus on physiology and human movement. I guess I just never wanted to leave Athletics!
What do you do on campus, and what’s your favorite thing about your job?
I am the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fitness Center Director here at BMC. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to work with people from all over our campus community, and in that way, I feel quite connected to the campus as a whole. My favorite part of my day, though, is when I get to work with our Varsity Athletes. They are the reason I’m here, and they remind me every single day why I LOVE my job!
What’s your favorite memory from your time at Bryn Mawr?
My favorite memories as a student have virtually nothing to do with academics. Granted, that was why I was here! Nevertheless, the best memories are etched on my heart: Lantern Night, May Day, ringing the bell, dancing in the fountain, traveling with my soccer teammates, Hell Week, flowers, late night discussions, finding the friends I will keep for a lifetime.
Now that I work on campus, my favorite memories revolve around the athletes. Being there when someone hits a personal best, tries a new exercise, or meets a challenge head on: these are the coaching moments I live for. But, the most memorable and special moment for me occurred a few years ago during an end-of-year Athletics banquet. My name was announced (I actually do not remember why) and the entire room of athletes celebrated me with an Anassa Kata! Unforgettable.
What other activities are you involved with on campus? Off campus?
I had the opportunity last fall semester to teach in the Biology department! I co-taught a 300-level Bio class with Peter Brodfuehrer. I taught the Anatomy portion of the course. It was fun and challenging and everything I had hoped it would be! I have also had the occasion, several times in fact, to lead meditation sessions for various campus groups. I teach different meditation techniques, and talk about the benefits of regular daily meditation. These sessions have been so well received, and I hope to do more in the near future. Off campus, I teach Yoga, Meditation, and Spinning at a few studios in the surrounding area.
What are some of your hobbies?
I practice Yoga and I run. But if you are looking for non-exercise activities, I love to cook, paint, and watch old movies.
How can students get involved in athletics at Bryn Mawr? (For example, tips for a student who is not doing a collegiate sport but is looking to be active.)
We have a huge variety of PE and Fit Club classes that students can join in order to workout, stay active, and get in shape. Our Fitness Center opens early and closes late – we also have weekend hours – so there is plenty of time to get to the gym all week. We also love having support from our friends on the sidelines, so coming to a home event to cheer on the Owls will make you feel like you are part of the Athletics community too!
What’s your favorite method of self-care?
Because my schedule can get completely insane, my favorite methods of self-care are those activities that I identified as hobbies. I take relaxation as seriously as I do my job! It is so crucial to have that balance of working hard and chilling out, so when it comes to relaxation (when it comes to ME time), I do yoga, I run, I cook, I paint, I watch movies. I’m also a big fan of taking a nap – I became an expert nap-taker while I was a student here :)
For anyone visiting Bryn Mawr or Philly for the first time, what recommendations do you have for them?
Be a tourist! Our great city of Philadelphia is home to some of the most exciting history of our nation. So do the touristy stuff! I also love the Art Museums: Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum. The Franklin Institute and the Mutter Museum are super cool and interesting. We also have fantastic food! The Reading Terminal Market is a must, and you are sure to find your favorite cuisine available to you somewhere in the city.
What are some things you’re up to, and how can we support you?
Meditation for everyone! I would like to bring mindfulness and meditation workshops to everyone on campus. As an alumna, I know how stressful and challenging it is to be a student here. As a current staff member, I know that the workday can quickly get away from us as we fill it with emails, meetings, and our everyday tasks and responsibilities. Learning simple relaxation techniques, learning how to breathe in order to calm your mind and body, learning that taking the time to re-focus can truly reduce anxiety – these tools are accessible to everyone, and I would love to share my knowledge with everyone in our community.
Thank you for your time Courtney!
Photo courtesy of Courtney Morris
Keep up with Courtney on Instagram!