If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me talk about a free event I co-hosted in Los Angeles this past weekend. My blogger friend Amber from Here For A Few and I have joined forces to host events in our community as a concentrated effort to bring local studios and wellness/fitness companies to a group of strong, supportive women – all in the hopes of inspiring authentic connection with one another.
I’ve talked at length about striving to promote a lifestyle of community, not competition – how we are strongest together, not divided. I’ve shared about the importance of taking care of ourselves first – how both our mental and physical health is vital to our happiness. And, I’ve emphasized my passion for authenticity – not the curated “authenticity” you see online but the real, true, breathing thing, which is why I’ve been open about my struggles with anxiety and body image, among other things. There is enough, for lack of a better term, BS in this world, that I don’t need to add to it.
I was first introduced to the LA Instagram fitness community last fall. And yes, it’s a real thing. I was fortunate to go to a few events and meet some like-minded women in the city, but I felt like some of the connection was missing. The kind of connection where you actually talk to people about things that matter and the kind of connection where you nurture your relationship outside of these targeted events. The kind of connection where you feel safe to ask questions, share your struggles and successes, and be vulnerable. Sure, working out with friends is great (I prefer it, actually), but there had to be more beyond the posed Instagram squares. Thus, She Connects IRL was born.
We hosted our inaugural event with a class at Bar Method Downtown LA, my absolute favorite barre studio. The studio owners, Crystal and Kristen, are so welcoming and have greeted me by name since day one. The workout space is lit by natural window light, temperature controlled, and breathable, unlike other studios. The class itself is killer, and the instructors are so attentive, always making sure the movements are done correctly, which is critical for getting the best results. And guys, I have never felt and noticed my body change more than when I consistently do barre (yes, I’m talkin’ ’bout that booty, y’all). I have tried several other barre studios in LA, and none of them compare.
We also had some wonderful companies sponsor the event with goodies and a raffle:
- Brain Boost Nutrition – raw nutrition bars. A father/son company using only organic ingredients.
- Auka Life – superfood blends for smoothies and the like. Amber actually interviewed the founder at length here.
- Karuna Apparel – fun, colorful, athletic apparel. They even donate 10% of all proceeds to animal charities.
And after the class, nutritionist Miriam Jacobson of Every Body Bliss led a conversation about nutrition and functional medicine, where everyone was encouraged to ask questions and participate. We had some really lovely women in attendance, and I’m hoping we’ll only further this connection at our future events and IN REAL LIFE. #womensupportingwomen
If you’re local to LA, please stay tuned, as this is just the beginning for She Connects IRL. We have a couple more events already lined up and will make the official announcements (one coming this week!) via our Instagrams – @wonderlandsam and @hereforafew.
Additionally, if you are a Los Angeles studio or company who would like to help sponsor one of our events (does not have to be fitness related), let us know! We’d love to get to know you and talk collaboration. You can shoot me at a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by my pal Laurence Tan.