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Amy Sturdivant '13

Stunt performer 'fights and falls' on high-profile productions

Few people would take a punch or dodge an explosion for their livelihood, but for stunt performer Amy Sturdivant '13, peril is a passion (as it is for stunt performer and stunt coordinator Mikal Kartvedt '88).

Sturdivant began researching stunt work as a sociology major her junior year at Whitworth, after her dad sent her an article about stunting. "That curiosity turned into a dream that grew into something I realized might be attainable," she says.

With stunts, "the 'bread and butter' is fighting and falling," Sturdivant says. To maintain these skills, Sturdivant undergoes a regimen of martial arts, yoga, and cardio and strength training. "You need to be very in tune with your body, its abilities and limitations, air awareness, reaction time and strength."

Amy Sturdivant

Sturdivant's stunt skills have landed her in high-profile productions including S.W.A.T., Call of Duty, Captain Marvel and, most recently, The Mandalorian.

Whitworth helped Sturdivant adapt to new surroundings by expanding her worldview, which now helps keep her safe on the job. "With the risk involved, I need to put trust in those around me," she says. "I enjoy getting to work with so many people from different walks of life who have a mutual goal and love for what they do."

Though stunting is not what Sturdivant expected as a career, she finds purpose in her work. "Faith has kept me on the right path," she says. "In times of discouragement and hardship, I have always been able to push through by trusting that there is a plan unseen."

This story appears in the fall 2020 issue of Whitworth Today magazine.

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Amy Sturdivant's Top Workout Tips

While your everyday life probably doesn't require outrunning explosions or tumbling from a speeding vehicle, exercising will still provide a multitude of benefits. Here, Sturdivant shares her top tips for working out, sticking with it, and having fun:

1. It's OK to start small. It's OK to not be good at something right away. Set goals for yourself and take little steps each day toward achieving those goals. Find others with common interests to help keep you on track. 

2. When it comes to working out – just like most things in life – balance is important. A combination of cardio and strength training yields quicker results in weight loss, muscle definition and overall health. You only get out what you put in. 

3. Find activities that excite you, surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you, and enjoy the process. Cross-training is encouraged – find variety in your movements; don't just limit yourself to activity in the gym.

4. Do yoga. I enjoy yoga for many reasons. I tend to set time aside to practice without distractions, so I can mentally decompress. Yoga is a low-impact activity that allows me to assess any pain in my body and relieve it. And yoga encourages me to stretch when I sometimes neglect proper warmup and recovery.


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