On Broadway, the lead actors bring the gravitas, but the company brings the vibe. The background dancers and singers inject every show with life, connect to the last row, and uplift the top-billed players. So it was a natural fit for two of those dancers to start a platform designed to celebrate, connect, and uplift people of all shapes and sizes through fitness and body empowerment.
That’s how Amber Rees and Lindsey Clayton created Brave Body Project. The two met as dancers on a national touring production 10 years ago and remain best friends and roommates today, though they’ve left the stage to focus on fitness. Now certified run coaches and Puma sponsored athletes, Rees and Clayton spend their days leading workout classes, consulting Brave Body Project athletes, and dreaming up new projects.
“With Puma’s support, we can dream big,” Clayton says. “They helped us create our own run club and we’re launching our first virtual 10K—with medals and finisher shirts!”
Before their days get filled, Rees and Clayton use mornings to motivate and run with each other—usually on the track a short jog from their Lower East Side apartment. They do all this while radiating infinite energy and room-filling positivity—a testament to how they start every day with intention, self-care, and accountability.Read on to see how Rees and Clayton own their mornings.
Amber Rees’ Morning Essentials
7:00 a.m.: My alarm goes off, and before I do anything else, I meditate
Lindsey: “My alarm goes off earlier than Amber’s, around 7:00, but the first thing I do is meditate—I’ll either come out to the living room or just sit up in bed—for 20 minutes. I set my little timer, close my eyes, and meditate—even when I don’t want to, because I know I’m gonna be better for it. One thing I’ve learned is, when it comes to the mornings, you have to do something that brings you joy. Give back to yourself before you have to give everything back to everyone else in your world.”
Amber: “Okay, I might pee and grab water first. But before I do anything else, I meditate for 15 to 20 minutes. If I get up out of bed and hustle around, my mind isn’t in the right state to be prepared for my run; meditating puts me at peace.”
7:40 a.m.: I set the stage for the day
Amber: “After meditating, I like to journal. Some days I wake up and I’m feeling negative, or tired, or maybe not looking forward to the run, and I find that jotting down a few quick notes—how I’m feeling about my run, what I’m looking forward to, what I’m grateful for, or something I can take with me during my run to help me stay focused and positive—is always super beneficial. I end up running better. A big thing for me is to stay consistent in my routine but find moments to be forgiving and always stay supportive of myself.”
Lindsey Clayton’s Morning Essentials
Lindsey: “After meditating, I move on to the bathroom routine: wash my face, put a little serum on, a little lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen. I brush my teeth, pop my contacts in, and then get my hair in a french braid or a ponytail. I’ve gotten it down to where it’s pretty quick because I don’t have to put makeup on.”
7:50 a.m.:Breakfast and stretch
Lindsey: “I’m an iced coffee person. I pour a big old cup of that for myself, and that’s kind of it for breakfast. I save the food for post-run! From there, I turn on the news to see what’s going on in our wild world, and I’ll do some of my PT stretches to get myself ready. That might take a while—I have had like a thousand injuries—but the most important thing is making it a consistent practice before my run.”
Amber: “I always wake up starving, and want to eat well before my run—at least an hour, maybe two if I have it. Usually, I’ll make oatmeal or Wasa crackers with peanut butter and bananas. And water. Coffee has been bad news bears for me—I wait till after my run for that!”
8:20 a.m.: After breakfast, I get my life together. (AKA, get run-ready.)
Amber: “I usually set out my clothes on the floor the night before so they’re ready when I wake up. So after I eat I’ll lay them out on my bed, make sure I have everything, make sure everything’s been charged, and then I think about what playlist or podcast I’m gonna listen to. Some days my mindset is ready for an inspirational podcast and some days I don’t want any inspiration, I just need Beyoncé beating in my ears to get me through my miles.”
Lindsey: “Unless I’m training for a marathon and going for a long run at 5:00 a.m., I don’t lay out my clothes the night before. I have a special section in my dresser that’s just run clothes, so I’ll grab shorts, a sports bra, a hat, my watch, and shoes, and get dressed. And I get my podcast or my playlist ready to go so I don’t have to fiddle around with that on the run.”
8:45 a.m.: I lace up and head out
Lindsey: “Once I’m dressed and ready, I’ll finish my coffee, finish checking my emails and social media, and then head out the door. I try to get out and get the run going before I waste too much time at home.”
Amber: “After I get dressed I lace up, tie my shoes, and head out the door. I’ve been loving the Puma NITRO Velocity.This might sound weird, but the NITRO line helps keep me consistent—whatever type of run it is, I know I don’t have to worry about the shoes. And, hello, they’re so cute too.”
“After that, I’ll stretch outside the apartment, and then you gotta get in the watch boomerang for Instagram—or else it didn’t happen! That’s me letting my people know I’m up about to run so they can give me inspiration. And then I go out for my run!”
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