Every time I end up in a room with #sweatpink ambassadors, and other fitness- and wellness-lovers alike, there is so much laughter, sweat, and learning. I leave feeling inspired and empowered in so many aspects of my life – fitness, health, creativity and more.
This weekend marked the first Sweat Pink international retreat in Vancouver, B.C. with Lorna Jane. For the weekend, we made the Lorna Jane Active Living Space and the surrounding Gastown neighborhood our home from which to explore, learn, sweat, and have a blast.
I’ve been to about five Sweat Pink events so far, and I’m never not amazed by the way people, sometimes friends, sometimes strangers, come together around a love for fitness, health, being a boss, and trying new things. I love the way after moments of sweating and laughing together, it feels like we’ve been friends forever. I love how people open up and share what they’ve learned, their failures and successes, and how they are willing to help others change, even themselves. And most of all, I love how much fun we have.
We kicked off the weekend with a fun run around the neighborhood. The rain stopped just in time for us to get some miles and stunning views. The Gastown neighborhood is pretty touristy, but beautiful nonetheless, filled with cafes, shops, cobblestone pavement and, once you get out a little bit, beautiful views on the seawall. If you’re in the Gastown neighborhood, I highly suggest going to Revolver (coffee), MeeT (veg food), and Tacofino (tacos).
After our run, Jamie strengthened and stretched us out on the yoga mat. It was so amazing to be in the same space, mat to mat, with so many ladies, moving and breathing together. I knew it was the start of an amazing weekend.
Day 2 kicked off in the sweatiest way possible with a HIIT & Flow class led by me. There’s nothing like a heart-pumping workout to get you amped for the day and our group, many new to HIIT & Flow, crushed the workout!
(Genevieve, one of my #sweatpink IG girl crushes, and I twinning in the same pants. I’m so lucky to have been to so many events with Genevieve. Her energy and smile are just so contagious!)
And then it was time to style it up with Lorna Jane. Janelle, the Lorna Jane Canada #bossbabe taught us all about how to style the different pieces for your workouts and even photo shoots. Everyone got the chance to pick out their favorite outfits and rock a photoshoot with our photographer, Terri.
After we styled it up, we enjoyed a roundtable session with Kusum of Sveeteskapes, who taught us so much about the ways of Instagram and Instagram Stories. I learned different ways to leverage Instagram Stories to engage more people to follow, comment, and even head over to your blog. I can’t wait to test some of these methods on our business accounts and my own. Kusum has a wealth of knowledge on how to adapt as Instagram grows and changes. I feel much more inspired and focused on how to take advantage of our social channels.
Later on, after some eating and more shopping, we came together for what would be one of the most fun parts of the weekend – the scavenger hunt. We split into groups of 3 and set out into the neighborhood to conquer our list. Jamie and I paired up and got ridiculous with as many people as we could – yoga with martial artists, jumping jacks with a group of girls, and even a random quidditch match. The other teams got after it even more and came back with the best stories and pictures. If I could, I would go on a scavenger hunt every weekend.
Our third and final day was so sweaty and so inspiring. We kicked off the last day with a Gixo workout – we grabbed our phones, Gixo fanny-packs and headed out the door for a workout that felt more like an exciting adventure around the neighborhood. In under 30 minutes, we worked it so hard – run, sprints, squats, push-ups and more. And all with the motivation of a live coach and everyone getting after it.
No one wanted this workout to end – it was such a sweaty blast, and I am still sore from this workout. I’ll definitely be hopping in on a Gixo workout anytime I need a break or want to start or end my day with a sweaty bang.
Up next was the roundtable session with Amanda Vogel, a fitness writer who has been in the biz so long and has a wealth of information on working in the online fitness and health marketing world. This session was all about strategy and it made everything seem so much more clear to me – strategy is the key to less stress, your sanity, and staying true to yourself as you build your brand. Her tips for strategizing the different social platforms starting from the ground up has me feeling so ready to get organized and efficient in my work.
(Genevieve crushing this upside-down partner play with Jamie. You did it, girl!)
The second half of the day was all about yoga, taking chances, and finding what works for you. Jamie led a great hip, hamstring, and heart-opening yoga class that felt so good after HIIT and the Gixo workout. We then moved into a workshop class where we went over arm balances, inversions, and partner play. This crew was up for anything and everything and it was such a blast watching them succeed! When you’re surrounded by so much support, how can you not succeed in one way or another?
What do you do after such an amazing weekend of sweat, friendship, and adventure? Well, first you sleep and sleep.
(Photo: Ariana of Evolution by Ariana aka another Sweat Pink Boss Babe girl crush of mine!)
Then you enjoy the swag. Thank you prAna for the new yoga mat, Gixo for 4 months of workouts (so pumped!), Onyx Youth for the face masks, Amazing Grass for protein, elixirs and more, Lorna Jane for the new clothes and for being an amazing host, Shower Pill for wiping up my sweat, Victory Band for keeping everything in place and out of my face, Granola Girl for the fuel, and more for the best swag bags ever!
Can’t wait to enjoy all the swag back at home this week, especially this Korean face mask from Onyx Youth. More to come on that soon…
(Crushing on this girl, Autumn of A Whole Story, even more, IRL than I thought. I’ve always loved her perspective, recipes, and positivity online, and in person, she is the same, but better, because you get to hug and chat about everything!)
And then you reflect on the amazing weekend. This one takes time and I think different parts will sink in at different times. For me, it felt so easy to be with every single person in the room. This group was so friendly and welcoming – we were all friends as soon as the retreat began and will continue our friendships online and at future events – ahem, HIIT & Flow Teacher Training.
(Carleeh and Kusum and two of the first #sweatpink-ers I ever met at an event with AfterShokz in Seattle. They were bubbly, warm, and so welcoming from the get-go and I really cherish our friendships.)
And then you think about your biggest girl crush of all – your mentor. None of this would have been possible without the hard working, sweat-loving, natural networking, taco eating, boss babe, Jamie King. It was an honor and amazing experience to co-host this retreat with you, J. Thank you for always inspiring and pushing us all to our edge.
There are much more thoughts, photos, connections from this weekend, but for now, I’ll be napping, eating, and letting my sore body rest up.
Stay sweaty, stay salty, eat tacos and fries, and do it all with people who inspire you.