Nicole Loher

As anyone who sets their alarm for an early morning run before work knows, getting up and out there can be the hardest part. Meet Nicole Loher, who does that most days, and so much more.

Nicole is a digital strategist who has worked for Microsoft, Warby Parker, NARS Cosmetics, and Christian Louboutin. She also teaches social media strategy and digital marketing at New York University. That would seem like more than enough, yet she’s also a wellness influencer, writes a regular advice column, Part-Time Athlete, for The/Thirty, and finds time to train as a triathlete. Nicole’s next goal is her first half Ironman in June.

Unsurprisingly, for someone in her line of business, she has a popular social media presence, which is a gift for anyone trying to balance a career and a healthy lifestyle—her approach is non-judgmental and rooted in common sense. Initially motivated to exercise to help with anxiety issues when she was studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Nicole’s journey is a source of inspiration.

We met up with Nicole—our first woman Visionary—and talked self-care, fitfluencers, and how simple style choices (and a backpack) keep her on track throughout a busy day.

How important do you think self care is, particularly among entrepreneurs who are constantly thinking about work and success? What’s your advice to busy people who find it hard to step away from their screens?

For entrepreneurs, I think strategic laziness, or self care, an essential building block of success. I often tell my friends who have just started freelancing to schedule their downtime the way they would schedule a client and stick to it. Find what you love to do that allows you to disconnect. For me, it’s triathlons. For others, it may be movies or reading or music. There’s no formula for all but I’m sure there’s something out there for everyone.

You placed 4th in your first triathlon in Hawaii in 2016, a notable achievement that most weekend warriors could only dream of. Was this a surprise? Was it in your plan when you started training?

Yeah! It was a total surprise. I got back to New York from Kona, and my coach texted me to say, “SURPRISE!” It was kind of amazing because I couldn’t swim or bike when I started training—placing like that in Kona, of all places, was not my goal ... I didn’t even know what “placing” meant!

Nicole is pictured wearing the Mulberry shirt.
You’ve written about responding well to goals. What’s your next goal and what, ultimately, would you love to achieve in the wellness industry?

Well, my half Ironman is one. Another is, I was invited to compete for a spot on Team USA trials last year. I declined for a lot of reasons, but mostly out of fear. I’d love to do well enough the next season or two to be reconsidered. But those are only superficial and physical. Something much broader, which involves a deeper connection to my roots, is that I’ve been working with a nonprofit I care a lot about that shines a big light on mental health in today’s age of social media. We’re laying some groundwork right now, but I’m hoping to bring that to life in the coming months.

There are many fitfluencers out there, not all of them focused on the healthy approach that you take. What’s your advice to those looking for some health and fitness inspiration on social media?

Be aware of who you are following. It’s ok to feel ok about yourself, and it’s ok to not want to lose weight, and it’s ok to reject diet culture. Make sure what you are consuming on social media is bettering you, informing you, or entertaining you, not making you wish you were something else.

What does a typical day look like for you, and how does it affect your style choices?

I train from 5:30am-7:45am most mornings, and somehow make it to my office by 9am. From there, I’m in the office until 6 or 7pm before seeing a client or friends, or just heading home to work and relax in silence. Because I live three lives every day, I try to keep things simple. I wear sneakers and sport a backpack most days. I like things super simple and am big on uniforms.

You tried on ZACHARY PRELL’s Mulberry and Glacier white shirts—a classic look! What did you think?

I am definitely going to wear both pieces again. A white Henley-like shirt like the Glacier, and a white button-down, like the Mulberry, were at the top of my to-purchase list for spring. Really excited to wear each with mom jeans and mules!

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