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The Crown Diaries: Mackenzie K. Phillips, Esq., of MAEVE40 Fitness

Spartan Race, Filming & Photoshoots, Personal Training Sessions... and lots of coffee.

Welcome to The Crown Diaries, an SXS look at the real-life experiences of women running businesses, crushing their career, and rocking their passion projects. For each Crown Diary, we ask one woman to provide a behind-the-scenes account of “a week in the life”: where did she go, what did she do, who did she meet? Read on to find out!

The Crown Diaries: Mackenzie Phillips, Esq., Founder of Maeve40Fitness

ABOUT ME: Mackenzie K. Phillips (@maeve40fitness), 42, of Maeve40Fitness

CITY: Chicago, IL

MISSION: To empower individuals to reclaim the same warrior spirit they bring to everything and everyone else in their lives, and channel that life-giving force for their own wellness and self-care needs. #STAYAMAEVEING

At Maeve40 Fitness, we challenge clients to query how their lives and their relationship with their bodies and minds would be different if they brought the same fight they brought to everything else in their lives and claimed it for themselves. We inspire and teach individuals to establish and maintain that fight with genetically-driven, customized training and nutrition programs. 

DEGREES/CERTIFICATIONS: NASM Personal Trainer, Spartan SGX Coach, Russian Kettlebell Instructor.  Executive-level lawyer at Axiom. Partner at Townsend & Lockett LLP.

FAVORITE SETTING TO WORK: Soho House Chicago, Maeve40 HQ, Ruin Daily Coffee Shop (their breakfast tacos are amazing!)

FUN FACT: "I interned in the West Wing of the White House in the White House Counsel’s office during the second Clinton administration."

BUSINESS or LIFESTYLE MEMBERSHIPS/COURSES: 2016 Fellow, Leadership Council for Legal Diversity


SPECIAL SXS OFFER: Upon signing on to Maeve40 Fitness newsletter, SXS subscribers receive the following perks:

  • Complimentary Predictive Index Assessment and analysis with Maeve40 Fitness as well as an online workout especially designed for our SHE x SHINES Society. 

  • 15% OFF 2 CARBON38 orders with special code. (70% of all brands on Carbon38 are women-led!)

  • 25% OFF all Spartan 2020 Open heat, U.S. Sprint, Super, or Beast obstacle course race and all Spartan 2020 Trail events.

**The link to the assessment, workout and codes will be sent upon subscribing to the Maeve40 Fitness newsletter.




I wake up with jitters as I normally do before a race, but know I’ve got to get up and get some food in me so I feel ready at the start line.


I am racing in an age group Spartan race in Michigan and have to arrive about 90 minutes before my start time to get my headband and racing chip.


I’m at the start line trying to stay warmed up and not too freaked out. Even as a coach of obstacle course racing, I get nervous at the beginning of every race unless I arrive late to the start line. Today, I’m on time! AROO!


I’m off to the races--literally. 


I am proud of my finish and take a couple of pics with my cool medal, before getting ready to coach some clients along the course.


I’m back on the course with some clients and cheer them on to the finish. I’m a proud coach of these amazing human beings getting to their next level of greatness.


I drive back to Chicago from the Spartan races and coaching. I’ve gotta get home to get ready for a busy week ahead.



I tune in to “On Being,” one of my favorite radio shows by Krista Tippett. I always learn something new about spirituality and find it a great program to challenge myself to think outside the box.


Even though it’s been a busy week, I make it over to my local church. Since I travel fairly regularly for races and work, sometimes it’s hard to get to church but today I made it for the early service. Woo hoo! I am reminded of practical solutions to stay on my goals and for overall self-mastery.


I have some “me” time today so I make it to the nail salon and then pop over to FoxTrot to pick up some quick grocery items for the week. Given the combination of my entrepreneurial and corporate life, my amazing cooking has been eliminated from the regular schedule of things to do. It’s taken me awhile to stop feeling guilty over this, but I’ve finally leaned in to the fact that sometimes I really can’t do everything at the same time.


I make it back home and hang quietly with my pooch Bella for the rest of the day.



I wake up naturally even though I have 2 alarms go off; one is my nightstand stereo and the other is my Garmin watch.  I love meeting with clients, but the initial wakeup can be rough on some days.


As I get ready, I publish my Facebook and Instagram posts that I prepared the night before.


I like to make strong coffee using whole beans from my recent travels. Today, I used coffee I purchased in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The coffee beans remind me of good days on the mountain with friends in the snow. This is some of the only quiet time I have in the morning, so I relish the opportunity to make an expert cup of coffee.


Bella has already been harassing me with the cutest doggie gesture to take her out for her morning walk.I finally take her out and we have a great jaunt. She likes to chill when we’re at home and takes lots of naps.


I work from my home office for a bit before seeing a couple of my 1-on-1 clients.


I drive down to Hyde Park to train a few clients before heading back downtown. Once there, I read a bunch of legal documents and get some emails out to get ahead of my deadlines.


I take a quick break between calls and emails to head over to a Carbon38 Ambassador event. I take time at the event to learn about new group exercise classes and network with other like-minded women in the fitness industry.


I drive over to Soho House Chicago to take a quick shower and warmup for my collaboration with Rhonda K Brown Fine Art in our Iron and Lead Gesture Drawing class. We’ve never presented this kind of class so we are super excited! 


I am supremely pooped but Rhonda and I take a quick pic and then sit down for a delicious dinner to discuss future collaborations. The Iron and Lead class went really well. Our participants walked away with some new skills and cool art to boot.



This is a typical Tuesday so I still press snooze when the alarms go off. I'm tempted to continue hitting that button but I really do need to get up to see my clients. 


I get down to the gym and train my 6am small group clients. 


I head over to the gym closest to my home for the first 1-on-1 session of the day. 


I don’t have time for coffee before I start training, so I am struggling a little. Thankfully, I’ll have a little time to cherish a cup after my last morning client.


I head to my next client and when I get to her house for our session, I discover there are a lot of folks milling throughout the house. Soon I realize that the band Rising Appalachia is staying at her home and the two sisters of the band want to workout too! I think fast and see how we can make this work for my client and her guests.  We have a great time and I’m introduced to a fantastic new indie folk band. Score!


I finally get that cup of coffee, work on my laptop, and get a few moments of silence to regroup before my next meeting.


I meet with my client and PR guru to discuss some opportunities for segments to present on Live TV. We are pretty efficient and I am grateful so I can run home to take care of some additional work. I also have a quick power nap planned.


I am heading back to Hyde Park for the last class of the day. My evening classes are typically my clients preparing for their next Spartan race. I get there early to setup the climbing rope so we can practice some techniques.


I head to my salon to get my hair rebraided. I know I’ll be able to get some work done in the chair since I’ll be there for a while. I also take the time to get a little nap in while getting beautified.


I arrive home pooped but at least my hair is tidy and there's one less thing I have to worry about.



I don’t have to rise as early this Wednesday so while the alarm still goes off at 5am, I take some more time to get some shut eye. I have a lot on the docket to do today!


I get up, walk Bella, and get some kisses in from her. She really is the best dog EVER!


It’s been a few days since my race so this is the first day I feel good to workout. I walk over to gym nearby and get a sweaty sesh in. I only have about 45 minutes including warmup and cooldown, but I manage a quick workout so I can get back home to get ready to go into the office. Of course I have enough time to snap a few quick pics before heading back home!


It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to one of my client sites and I’ve already done my workout so I don’t have to be the bag lady today. No need to cue Erykah Badu’s song. I’m light and airy today. Yay!!!


After a day at my client’s office, I head out to meet family for high tea at the Peninsula Hotel. 



Like Tuesday, my Thursday starts very early. I have an extra long day ahead of me with a presentation at the end of the day. I am already second-guessing whether I am ready or not.


I get down to the gym and train my 6am small group clients. 


I head over to Dark Matter coffee shop near the gym. Time for a quick coffee break between clients!


I'm done with clients for the day since I changed my small group class schedule to accommodate a special wellness presentation for the ladies of Dress for Success, in the evening. It’s time to get some research, emails, documents and marketing collateral done especially for the Wander Woman Wellness Retreat in June 2020. I am nervous I won’t be able to deliver the same quality and uniqueness of experience, but I’m starting early and make a list of research topics to exceed the expectations of our 2020 retreat guests. 


I take an Uber to the Capital One cafe to chat with a group of women from the Dress for Success program about igniting the warrior spirit for their own wellness. It was nice to have the opportunity to meet some fabulous women ready to take their next step towards healthier choices.



I sleep in a little today since my client schedule starts later on Fridays. I take a quick look at what I have programmed for my clients for the day and grab any additional special equipment I might need.


Thankfully I don’t have to drive far today. With a short commute, I can take my time getting to my first client and decide to walk.


I head to Neiman Marcus to get my makeup done before a big film and photography day. I have a few collaborations on deck and content that needs creating. I've learned that you just need to be ready for those magical moments that come to you from PREPARATION. Today I have a fun shoot with Beautiful Jigsaw, a budding styling business led by a wicked smart corporate lawyer.  I get ready for about 6 hours of shooting and running around the city with Beautiful Jigsaw, the styling team, and even my dear dog, Bella Rose. I’m excited she might make some of the shots. Bella is a little shy when it comes to taking photos. 


I made it to our first location for the photo shoot on time and just need to finish my makeup. I’m thinking I’ll start more neutral and add a pop a color towards the end of the shoot.


I am getting a little tired but still have a few hours left in the shoot. I am loving the selections my stylist made and even get to pop into one of my favorite consignment shops.


It’s getting dark and I’m meeting the girls for cocktails in a few hours. I am super tired at this point, but we get some final cool shots. Despite feeling sleepy, I'm very pleased with the outcome! Plus, I have an outfit to hang in for tonight!


The Crown Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect SHExSHINES point of view.

Do you have a Crown Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.



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