It’s Saturday night, and while pre-fit-life me would have been posted up at the bar, I’m in bed early… getting ready for the barre. That Sunday morning, I take it easy. I check-in on the ‘gram with peanut butter toast in hand and message an insta-friend I’ve been following, double-tapping, and DMing for months. In a few hours, we’re finally going to meet IRL at a community Barre Class & Brunch. When we finally get together – her with her bestie and me with mine – willingly spending our personal time sweating (and of course, eating), my heart is fuller than my (very-full) belly with feelings of empowerment, belonging, and joy. I kept saying to myself “Damn. It feels so good that this is what I choose to do.” I know, I know, it sounds sappy. But, for someone who was living on autopilot for far too long, these moments bring on ALL. THE. FEELS.
For the past year+, I have had the honest pleasure of interacting with likeminded people every. single. day. and I can’t stress how important I believe this to have been in maintaining my lifestyle. At first, it was all virtual. The decision to get healthy lead me to the #TIUteam, where I connected with fitchicks from across the globe who each were at a unique stage in their fitness journey. I looked to some gals for major aspiration ab goals, and some to hold me accountable as we navigated our lifestyle shifts together.
As my passion for health and fitness grew, I began to take my lifestyle to the streets. Community classes, fit retreats, healthy eatery openings – you name it. **Insert major props to everyone and anyone who I ever encountered – be it DM, email, bootcamp partner, or yoga-mat-neighbor – you all have motivated me, inspired me, and propelled my lifestyle without probably even realizing it**
Hey girl. Yeah, you 😉 There’s nothing wrong with workin’ out in your living room and checking in with your group chat… but I encourage you to get social, IRL, with local events. Why? I believe that health is about total wellness, and that includes social wellbeing. I believe that choosing to surround yourself with people who root for you and uplift you is the best thing you can do. Take it from me, when your passion and your people collide, life gets a whole lot better.
For all my Philly fitties, here’s a round up of my fave community events in the area from to high intensity to slow flow. (And for everyone else, I hope you can use this as inspiration in your hometown.)
- Breathe & Brunch. Let me lead with ALL YOU CAN EAT. But first… barre. Work up an appetite with a FREE muscle-quaking Barre3 Bluebell class in Normandy Farm‘s picturesque courtyard, and then take to The Farmer’s Daughter for an endless brunch complete with heaps of healthy options and a massive dessert display (#balance, amirite?) With that spread, you’d think my eyes would be bigger than my stomach. But, nope. Two plates were had. Some of my faves were the omlette station, ginger grapefruit grilled chicken, roasted seasonal veggies, and raw bar… topped off with a chocolate covered strawberry and mini yogurt parfait, of course. If you can’t make it by the end of august, fear not! Happy Aura, a Monday evening wellness series, kicks off in September.
- City Fit Girls. Who run the world? Girls. City Fit Girls, that is. Every Wednesday, City Fit Girls embark on an all levels 3-5 mile run throughout Philadelphia. During marathon season, the girl gang takes to the road and trails for long distance sessions. Sign up for their boss babe newsletter for weekly tips, recipes, and training plans.
- Fall into Fitness. King of Prussia Town Center knows that fitness goes far beyond the “summer bod.” This September, they’re partnering with LA Fitness to bring FREE community workouts to the green space including Zumba, yoga and BodyBurn. Bonus! Register and receive a free seven-day membership to LA Fitness KOP. I almost forgot to mention food 😉 Enjoy a stirfry from Honey Grow or mouth-watering sweet potato fries from b.good to refuel.
- Go With the Flow. Free or by-donation yoga classes pop-up all over Philadelphia. My faves are Yoga on the Pier, Yoga on the Banks, and Power Yoga at The Oval.
- November Project. #JustShowUp at 6:25 am for a heart pumping, hour-long bootcamp session at the Art Museum and surrounding areas. I promise you’ll be feeling the post-workout endorphins from this committed crew all day long (plus the sore muscles – you’ll probably be feeling them, too).