a sit down with newbury street store manager adam amundson
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Adam Amundson?
Sure! I’m the store manager at the Boston Newbury Street location for Rhone. I’m a coffee drinking runner who enjoys great conversations and loves to share my favorite spots in the city with anyone who will listen. I’ve had a few different careers throughout my professional life, working in marketing, advertising, and retail management. I’m happiest when I’m traveling with my wife or exploring with my pup. I believe in people-first leadership and encouraging people to pursue the thing that fuels their fire. I’m a voracious consumer of information and I like being able to start a conversation about nearly anything, then learning from someone who knows the topic in-depth. I’m easy to get to know, so pop-in the store and say hi anytime!
How did you first get started at Rhone?
I was working for a Boston ad agency as a copywriter and I knew I couldn’t be behind a desk forever, but I wasn’t actively looking for a new job. I had seen Rhone gear at a few local spots (Everybody Fights, Equinox, Peloton) and something about the posting for Rhone on LinkedIn caught my attention. I decided to see what the brand was all about. From my first interaction with David Benavides to my final interview with Nate Checketts, I was so incredibly impressed with the passion and people-first vibe of the company that I had to give it a shot. Now we have been open five months at the Boston Store and I continue to know daily that I made the right choice to join Rhone.
How would you describe community?
Community is the group of people, places, and interactions that YOU make. Community does not exist without makers. It is something that is continually shaped and refined through intention, effort, and buy-in from the people and places who compose the community. To me, community is a shared act, where everyone has a say in how the collective grows and changes.
What does community mean to you?
My community is a place where people are encouraged to come and be their authentic selves. Where we don’t shy away from hard conversations, we bring a genuine curiosity for understanding others, and we care deeply. Community is never having to apologize, but instead answering the question, “what did you learn?”. I’m a proponent of acknowledging and considering perspectives that are not my own, so a big part of community, for me, is listening. If you ask questions, your community will tell you what is important to them.
What is your day-to-day like as the manager of the Rhone’s Newbury Street store?
I wake up in the morning and start like any reasonable person would, by taking the dog out and then making an espresso. I usually try to get a short workout or run in before I start getting ready to head to the store for the day. Before I leave I review our sales, needs, and trends for the previous day and the week. I hop on a bike outside my apartment and ride to Newbury Street where I dock and try to walk down the block and back just to get a feel of what early day traffic might look like for the store that day. Once we open the doors at 11am, it’s go, go, go until 7pm when we shut down. We focus on making sure our incredible product is presented in the best way we can and that my team and I are eager to help you find exactly what you are looking for when you come to Rhone. Once we close for the day I wrap everything up and jump back on a bike to ride home (yes, even in the winter!). Once I’m home I turn the work world off, it’s a chance to make dinner, relax, and spend time with my wife and my pup. Then, it’s off to bed and ready to do it all over again!
If you could describe the Boston community in a few words, what would they be?
Authentic. Invested. Loyal.
Authentic. Boston is as real as it gets. There is no pre-tense here, no “look at me”. People are exactly who they are and they don’t care if you like it or not. It’s honestly refreshing. Boston is a city of people who are really comfortable with themselves. Hard work and a little grit is the hallmark of every Bostonian, whether that is machine work, office work, or running a fitness studio. We are a city of people who just get it done.
Invested. I hear all the time that people in a city don’t care about other people. I think that is entirely untrue of Boston. People here don’t have time for long-winded stories about nothing. They DO have time for genuine connection and they care deeply for people who invest in their community. We value an investment of time here more than we value an investment of money. Showing up for the community, over and over again, even when it’s not “convenient”– that is the way to get Bostonians on your side.
Loyal. We stand by our city through thick and thin. We’re loyal to the people, places, and groups that have been there when it wasn’t easy. We’ll be there for you if we’ve seen you be there for others.
How did you get into running?
I was the kid who really liked the running portion of practice growing up. Baseball, soccer, football, whatever sport I was playing, the running part of practice was fun. I used to get so fired up for 1-Mile run day in elementary school. My love for running just grew from there. I would casually run 5k and 10k races throughout young adulthood, but I never really signed up for any kind of distance race until my mid-20s. I was running a lot with friends and was looking for something challenging. I had this idea that the marathon wasn’t for me, yet, so I went straight to trail running. Long days in the mountains and the flow of a technical trail really helped me focus and quiet my mind. I found a sense of gratitude during running that kept me coming back. I guess you could say that for as long as I can remember, running has been part of my life.
You ran the Boston Marathon–that’s incredible! What an accomplishment. Was a marathon something that’s always been on your radar or was there a certain spark that lit the flame of desire to run one?
When I first moved to Boston in 2012, I ran with a large group of friends for two years that trained for Boston 2012-2014. I was at the marathon in 2013 when the bombing happened. I lived a few blocks away from the finish line, and the thing I remember most about everything from that day and the days that followed was the way that every person declared an ownership of their city, and the way they would carry their community through some difficult days. There was a level of care, compassion, and friendship in this city that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I knew in 2013 I would run Boston, but I had no idea when. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, I worked from home and like most people, I became a little inactive and wasn’t really happy with myself from a fitness perspective. Rather than easing back into running, an opportunity presented itself to run Boston, and I knew this was my year. The 125th Boston Marathon, in the Fall for the only time ever, and after 2 years of no Marathon Monday in the city? I simply could not miss out on this opportunity.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience while training for and running the Boston Marathon?
To be completely honest, I wasn’t feeling like very much of a “runner” when I made the decision to run Boston. I was coming out of a desk job during a pandemic, working from home every day, and my longest run in 18 months was 5 miles. A good friend owns the original run studio in Boston (shoutout to MYSTRYDE), and they have a few incredible run coaches on staff. I decided to train with them because I knew I could not possibly do this alone. My coach and I worked together to start with a pretty ambitious goal (and then adjust as I came back to reality). Over the span of 18 weeks, I built up to a long run of 22 miles (but I got lost so it was more like 24.5 miles) before dropping down to a nice 3-week taper period. Then it was time to lace up and head to the starting line on Marathon Monday.
My training schedule was usually 4 days of running, 1-2 days of crosstraining, and 1-2 days of rest. My runs would vary in intensity and length throughout the week, giving me a chance to work different muscle groups and really build some great endurance. I was most concerned with getting to the starting line happy, healthy and knowing I could finish the race. I’m happy to say I accomplished all 3, and now I’m ready to add “faster” to that mix for my next marathon.
This month’s theme is gratitude. What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude for me is all about the here and now. Appreciating and being thankful for the moment you are in, whether that is athletically, personally or professionally. AND then passing that feeling of appreciation and thankfulness along to the people with whom you interact. Gratitude is not a selfish act, it is a shared act.