It’s called a “different kind of night on the town” where you “sweat and drink … a whole lotta water” and I love the concept. I was fortunate enough to attend a Girls Night Out event at the Houston New Balance store recently. Renee Rivellini, a Houston group fitness instructor, led the event which consisted of three stations: push-ups, overhead sit-up throws, and planking. The format was a sort of contest, and yours truly took first place in planking with a five minute plank. Woo hoo! There were snacks aplenty and wine a-flowing and lots of good conversation. I met one fun woman who was at the beginning of her fitness journey. We happened to start a conversation and enjoyed each other’s company quite a bit. We exchanged stories and she revealed that fitness intimidates her. I know exactly how she feels. I, too, am intimidated by fitness, even though I have put in a lot of time on the streets running, in the studio practicing yoga, in the pool swimming laps, and in the gym lifting weights. She seemed surprised that I was intimidated too. I told her that over time I have begun to feel more comfortable, but that no one starts out a workout regimen without struggle and that it remains a constant struggle to stick with a program. After all, isn’t it human nature to want to exert the least amount of effort but still make great gains? Don’t we always naturally gravitate towards the shortcuts in life? I told her that I practice planking regularly and that if she did the same, she too would hold a plank for five minutes. I also told her that each week when I sign in at the gym and make the walk towards the weight machines, I feel intimidated. I feel as if people are silently judging my form and the amount of weight I’m choosing.
I think many of us are intimidated in some form or fashion by fitness. This got me thinking about this Girls Night Out event. What a wonderful concept New Balance has come up with. A fun, semi-competitive event where the main goal is to get in a little exercise, snack, meet wonderful people, possibly win some door prizes, and walk away with a little free swag. More than all of that, though, the event was about women uplifting other women. So often people that feel intimidated tend to put others down in an attempt to feel as if they are on a level playing field. A person that is strong and secure doesn’t feel the need to tear others down, instead they build others up. This event is about creating a sisterhood of fit, strong, supportive women. Women that admit they are intimidated, but refuse to give up. Women that juggle family and work and still make the time to better themselves. Women that want to feel strong and confident and genuinely wish that for others.
What New Balance has done is captured the whole essence of what a fitness community should be. “Community” can be defined as a group of people that share common interests. “Fitness” can be defined as a state of physical and mental well-being. In essence, a fitness community is a group of people that desire to remain physically and mentally well. This is certainly a community I want to be a part of and I wish this for others too.