As I mentioned last week, I was asked a while ago to host the most recent New Balance Girls Night Out event here in Boston. This event took place on Thursday evening, and I must say, it was incredible.
I arrived at the store at 5, quickly checked out the bikes being set up across the street in Copley Square (more on that in a bit), and headed into the store. Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a massive sign out front and there was my name, smack dab in the middle of it! I may have loved that sign so much that I kind of wanted to take it home, but alas, I knew Will probably wouldn’t be too happy with a 6 foot tall sign taking up residence in our living room. (What a party pooper, huh?)
Ok, back to the night. Having gone to a few NBGNO events in the past, I knew what to expect. Being the host though, it was a whole different ball game — we were on a pretty tight schedule and I wanted to make sure that the ladies in attendance had the best time possible! I was super excited to have home friends, Boston friends, work friends, and blog friends in attendance, and was ecstatic to be able to share the night with them. I welcomed the girls first and gave them a little bit of a rundown about what NBGNO is all about. If you’re not familiar, you can read about it more in my previous posts here, here, and here. Basically, Girls Night Out is a new kind of ladies night out, one that brings together fun and fitness with the emerging fitness trends today.
The theme of this particular event was Shake It Up — with the underlying theme of using dance and music to help motivate and shake up your fitness routine. Each GNO event begins with a workout, which always consists of a run as well as an alternative workout. The alternative workout this time may have just been the best one yet — A spin session in Copley Square with the famed Aly Raymer (New Balance Ambassador and lead spin instructor at B/Spoke studios here in Boston). Aly is famous for providing a “dance party on a bike” in her classes, and boy did she deliver at Girls Night Out!
Aly CRUSHING it in Copley Square
A group of girls headed out for a run through Beacon Hill, which I heard was amazing but also TOUGH. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience Aly’s dance party on a bike though, so I stuck with the spin group for the workout portion. Unfortunately, once we got out there and started getting everyone set up, we realized that we were one bike short. I was already feeling pretty spoiled as the host of the event so I gave my bike to another participant so that she could experience this awesome workout. It was too late for me to leave with the run group, but have no fear, I spent the whole time just dancing around the bikes to the live beats being dropped by the incredible DJ Brek.One. Seriously, whether you were on the bike or off, Copley Square turned into a dance party like no other.
The girls on the bikes worked it, Aly was absolutely amazing, and the views were incredible. I felt so lucky to be a part of such an awesome event — and judging by the crowd we drew, it looked like a lot of other people wanted to be a part of it too!
Once the workouts were over, we headed back to the New Balance store to continue with the event. Back in the store, we were hydrated by Essentia Water, the leading alkaline balanced and electrolyte infused water on the market. There were also some delicious cocktails, as well as smoothies from Thirst Juice Co., which is a local smoothie and juice bar here in Boston. The smoothies were out of this world, and I can’t wait to get my butt on down to Thirst sometime soon to try some different flavors!
Once everyone was back and settled from the run and spin workouts, Aly and I got to share a little bit with the crowd about what Shake It Up means to us. Aly spoke about shaking up your fitness routine, as well as your location. She talked to the crowd about traveling somewhere warm during the winter to get out of your winter rut and jumpstart your fitness. I can’t say that’s a bad idea — don’t we all wish we could escape every winter?
When I stood up, I talked about “shaking things up” in terms of trying new things and getting outside of your comfort zone. I briefly told the girls about my recent transformation from someone who is in the weight room 100% of the time, to someone who still enjoys lifting immensely, but who also has begun to enjoy running and spin. Last year, I pushed myself extremely far outside of my comfort zone by signing up to run the Falmouth Road Race, a 7 mile race in August. It terrified me and couldn’t be further from what I was used to doing — that is squatting and deadlifting in a power rack. But I took on the challenge because I knew that I was in a rut and needed to “shake things up”. I ended up loving the race, and honestly would love to run it again this year. I’ve found a new appreciation for running, and more recently for spinning.
It’s been interesting to watch myself go through this transformation. Honestly, if you’d told me 2 years ago that I’d be running and spinning regularly, I would have laughed in your face. At the time, those things seemed like a waste of time for me, the weight room was the only part of training that was important. Now, I really treasure the variety in my training, and feel better mentally and physically than I have in years.
The important thing, and my main point on Thursday night, was that it’s ok to take yourself out of the little box that you’ve put yourself into. Before, I was a weight lifter. Now, I’m a weight lifting, running, spinning fitness enthusiast, and I’ve found the right balance for me at this time in my life. It’s ok to shake things up, and it’s ok (and encouraged!) to try new things every once in a while.
This is one of my favorite pics because it makes me giggle — could we look any sassier?
After our mini-speeches, the night continued with Brek.One spinning the beats, a little bit of dance floor action, and more tasty food, smoothies and cocktails. One other great feature of the night was the Instaprint station that New Balance had set up. Just by using the #NBGNO hashtag, Instagram photos would be printed out immediately in the store, so that you could take them home at the end of the night! This was very cool, also something that I think would be PERFECT at a wedding.
The night finished up with the Swag “bag” giveaway, which were actually Swag Cups this time! The girls were lucky to head out with an NBGNO shaker cup that was filled with treats such as ear buds, a class pass to B/Spoke studios, a flash drive playlist from the amazing Brek.One, and some other awesome goodies. The ladies of this Girls Night Out lucked out, if you ask me!
Honestly, I can’t express how happy I was to be part of such a wonderful event. I am a huge believer in Girls Night Out and everything it stands for, so to be able to play a part and hopefully help the crowd have a great time that night was incredible. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next GNO event, and if you’re in Boston, maybe I’ll see you there! I would also like to give a huge thank you to New Balance for inviting me to host, and also to Aly for providing such a kick ass workout with such amazing energy.
For more pictures, check out the entire gallery HERE. There are some awesome pics!!
Readers: How do you shake up your workout routine? Does music and dance play any role in your fitness program, and how does it motivate you?
Disclaimer: I was compensated for hosting this event, and was also provided items from the New Balance spring and summer collection through my affiliation with Girls Night Out. As always, all opinions are my own.