Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Calling All Girls: NBGNO Is Hosting One More Event!

Dear friends, 
I have some GREAT news. 

New Balance is hosting one more fantastic Girls Night Out Event, and they want you to come!

The event theme is called 'Staying Fit On The Go' and is being held on Tuesday, November 4th at 6 p.m. Unlike the other gatherings, NB is throwing this NBGNO at the Westin Copley! 

The night will include your choice of a workout: bootcamp or a run with the Westin Run Concierges, meet and greet as well as tips on staying fit on the go with the NBGNO hosts and of course, appetizers and drinks!

And there's one more thing ... 

I am going to be one of the hosts!! 

The lovely Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor and I will be co-hosting this fun evening -- and if any of the past GNO events are any indicators, this event will be exceptional. 

This free event fills up quickly (I'm talking one day!), so RSVP today here.  

So, are you coming??

One Sweet Evening

You guys. 

Sunday night ... blew my mind [and taste buds]. 

I was invited to the Taste The Seasons fall menu preview courtesy of sweetgreen. The DC-based company is by far my favorite joint in the city. I will go out of my way or stand in an absurd line just to inhale their Kale Caesar.

So when I heard this event was going to be a farm-to-table dinner hosted my by favorite healthy restaurant, there was no chance I was going to miss it. 

My plus one for the evening was my beautiful best friend Sarah. Who also goes out of her way to get her hands on the Kale Caesar. 

We arrived at Ward's Berry Farm a little early, so in true 27-year-old fashion we played with disfigured pumpkins and sat on hay. 

Once everyone arrived, the evening began with hayrides around the farm. It was SO great to see some of my Boston friends there — Sarah, Eliza, Christina, Lucie, Rachel (who works for SG and helped put on this incredible event!!) and the whole Flywheel crew :) 

My girl Christina from Flywheel and Barry's Bootcamp!
We munched on popcorn made from corn grown on their fields and drank hot apple cider  Yup, can't get more New England than that. 

Post-hayride, it was cocktail hour. 

Yes, ma'am. This freezing cold blogger needed a hot toddy ... pronto. And that I got ... as well as wine. 

Passed appetizers kicked off the mouthwatering array of food that was served to us on Sunday. Avocado toast, ricotta with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin hummus were all passed out. 

When it was time to eat dinner we entered  wait for it  a greenhouse that was elegantly decorated with perfect fall touches. Our menus with all of the course offerings were beside our plates  I literally couldn't wait to try out their new combinations!

My favorites? 

Wild Child: Wild rice, cilantro, peppers with a ginger miso vinaigrette. 
Curry Cauliflower Quinoa: Chicken, roasted curry cauliflower, warm grains, dried cranberries, arugula with a cucumber basil tahini. 

As an amazing bonus, the founders of sweetgreen (along with many other important members of the team) came up from DC and NYC for this event. They wanted to break bread with us just as they did every Sunday evening while they were starting this company. 

Their mission is simple. Serve authentic food and form authentic relationships with the community. I'd say this dinner was a fantastic representation of that. Thank you again sweetgreen for inviting me to #tastetheseason with you!! 

Maybe now I can order something other than my beloved Kale Caesar. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Take a Sporadic Step Back

This past weekend I traveled down to Charleston, SC for the wedding of my two amazing friends. While I’ve known the groom since 3rd grade (we grew up in the same neighborhood), I recently was introduced to his new beautiful bride 2 years ago. 

Funny story. 

Every year the neighborhood I grew up in throws a Christmas party. There is food for days and the drinks are flowing. On top of this, I have the luxury of literally walking two doors down when I’m ready to leave. So, two years ago, after many many years of disconnect (college, living in Boston, etc.), I decided to attend. 

My sister, mom and I stopped over for a Christmas Eve cocktail when I recognized a few people that I grew up with. I’m talking middle school and junior high. I went over and said hello — a decision I am so so happy I made. 

Two couples and myself. We hit it off. After a little talking and a lot of wine, we all discovered we legitimately all lived less than a mile from each other in a city outside of Boston. 

Small world. 

Fast forward 2 years and us ladies have had countless girls nights, Bachelorette viewings, backyard BBQs and bottles of wine. They truly have become some of my best friends and I am forever grateful. 

This weekend allowed me to recognize the importance of these relationships — both family and friends — as well as take a moment to embrace them.

I flew down with my best friend and was so lucky to stay with my family that lives in Charleston as well. 

I was surrounded by those I loved. Maybe I am gushing because I am still coming off of the wedding high — because seriously, the ceremony and reception were incredible — however, I believe it is important to take these sporadic steps back and view these friendships. 

In life, so many people will come and go: Co-workers, college or high school friends — we all grow up and begin to move on with our lives. It may sound harsh, but it’s true. And guess what, I don’t think it’s a bad thing! 

But … and this is a big but … those who are meant to stay, those special individuals who love you no matter what … they’re the real deal. 

They will text or call out of nowhere to see how you’re day is. They will offer advice at a time where you feel no one understands. They will dance with you, laugh with you and always keep your wine glass full.

You will most certainly disagree on topics ranging from politics to ABC’s newest Bachelor — and that’s a good. 

It is these individuals that you must encompass yourself with. Because, at the end of the day, these influences are what really matter. They will help shape you. 

So surround yourself with this kind of love. 

And ... once and a while ... remember to take that sporadic step back.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Boston Fitness Brand That Inspires Me

Before I started working at BostInno, I had no idea just how many fitness (athletic shoe to be exact) brands are head quartered right here in Boston.

Reebok (Canton, MA)
New Balance


So it goes without saying that if you're a fitness professional living in this city, it's best to try out each one and find the brand that most organically meshes with your authentic self.

Example: If you participate in CrossFit, you're probably most likely going to gravitate towards Reebok.

As an all-around exerciser, I try not to discriminate any one workout. I find I feel best when I mix it up. Currently I'm loving ClassPass for this reason -- lots of class, all different studios = jackpot.

Me and my Btone babe, Emily

Orangetheory Fitness!
Specifically, I've been obsessed with Pilates Megaformer classes at Btone and Studio Empower, HIIT classes at Barry's Bootcamp, Zone5 and Orangetheory Fitness and of course ... lots of yoga to ease my stress.

So there you have it. I love versatility in my workouts. And so does New Balance.

They not only support about a billion Boston-based studios, they are extremely involved with the Susan G. Komen foundation ... I'm talking about a 25-year collaboration and over 20 million dollars donated to breast cancer awareness and research.

Um. Yea. Amazeballs.

And if you follow me on my different SM platforms, I'm sure you've seen me post about the Lace Up 365 campaign ... again, linked with the Komen foundation. Brilliant.

Last night New Balance hosted their final Girls Night Out event. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they went out with a bang.

I'm talking passed appetizers, open bar and incredible swag. All for free. All for a good cause.

Out host for the evening was my dear blog friend Sherri, who told her emotional story surrounding her sister's recent breast cancer diagnosis.

We began the night with a fun run hosted by yours truly and the ever-so-awesome Sarah over at Blonde Bostonian. Let's be clear, she led the 4.4-miler ... I led the 2.2-miler. Loved every second of it.

Upon coming back to the store, we were greeted with wet wipes to clean up along with waters, apps, drinks and a live DJ. New Balance was even offering discounts on all of their shoes and apparel. Gah.  I just can't.

All the 2.2-mile ladies!!
Sherri, our host for the evening, telling her story.
But, aside from the sensational swag, delicious eats and fantastic look and feel of their apparel and shoes, it is their generosity that inspires me. It motivates me to dedicate my workouts to those struggling with the illness. It gets me donating my time and money to the cause.

They are truly an amazing company.

And I feel so blessed to be a part of their community.

What is your favorite fitness apparel brand? Why?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Our First Adventure: Turnstyle Cycle [VIDEO]

Puddles of sweat and beaming red faces. Yes, that was Will and I after completing our first (of many) fitness adventures!

If you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, read this

It began Monday night around 6:15 p.m. when Will and I met over at Turnstyle Cycle in Cambridge. As many of you know, this is where I teach the majority of my cycle and TRX classes each week. I really wanted to kick off this adventure with a BANG.

And we did.

Let's get one thing straight. Indoor cycling is my baby. A form of fitness that has followed me through college and helped me discover this passion for coaching others to live a healthier lifestyle.

This was Will's first indoor cycle class.

And while I rode to the beat, I was continuously looking over my should to see how Will was holding up. And the answer was -- really well.

Okay, okay -- I know he is an endurance athlete, competing in worldwide (yes, GB this past summer) competitions, but I am the kind of gal that looks after those newbies I bring in. Call me crazy but it's just me. 

End result: He crushed it. And without a doubt, he tried to make everything more of a competition/the most difficult possible.
Example: During one of our "abs" songs, I caught Will 'crunching' without the use of his hands ... a sign he wanted to up the ante.

At the end of the day, while I was wiping my brow and Will was mopping up his puddle, I was really proud of him. I realized this was just the beginning of a long road of adventures.

Each one being an opportunity for me to realize what it was like to take these classes for the first time -- through the eyes of Will. So thank you Mr. Allen for teaching me a thing or two about group fitness. I can't wait to explore more studios with you.

UMM ... and check out this video he made. Unreal.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Sweaty & Trendy Fitness Adventure

A while back I attended an event in Boston after one of my good friends urged me to come.

The event was Boston Social Athletes, a community where area fitness lovers get together once a month at a nearby bar and gather, meet and mingle over cocktails.

Meet the organizer of this group, Will Allen. He and I immediately hit it off and quickly realized that while we're very different individuals our passion for health could not be more radiant.

Not too long after Will and I were emailing back and forth about starting something really unique and fun regarding fitness in Boston.

Enter: Will & Caroline's Fitness Adventure.

While I am a fitness instructor, trainer and all around wellness geek, Will is a pure athlete. He has rowed competitively for years and recently traveled to Great Britain to compete in the Henley Regatta.

Holy wow. 

Will & Caroline's Fitness Adventure was born over drinks and a discussion. We knew that taking on the Boston fitness scene together would be pretty amazing ... For a few reasons.

1. We could not be more different when it comes to fitness. I have tried every trend under the sun, Will, well he has not. 

2. We both have a decent sense of humor. Or I like to think so. (Hint: Videos will happen.)

3. Why not?

So what does this Fitness Adventure entail?

Well, each week Will and I will take a fitness class together in Boston. From CrossFit to hot yoga and indoor cycling, we will experience it together. There will be Instagrams, tweets and blog posts galore from each of us telling our side of the story.

The best part is we start tomorrow.

Turnstyle Cycle in Cambridge is our first spot. Be ready to see two sides of the fitness spectrum ... and most importantly, enjoy a little laugh.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why I Believe Everyone Should Fail

"Failure should be your teacher, not your attacker. Failure is a lesson, not a loss. It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end."

I recently saw this quote on one of my favorite websites. Instead of passing it by — as I do many — this particular post spoke to me.

No, I didn't have this revolutionary ah-ha moment, but I did however take a step back and think about all the moments in my life that I have "failed".

And trust me, there have been plenty.

From quizzes and texts in high school to missing my AFAA Group Fitness Certification exam by one, yes ONE, point.

I was in college — my senior fall — and I had decided to go after this certification in hopes of one day in the distant future becoming an indoor cycling instructor. Mind you, I graduated with my BFA in art history — a far cry from the field I now work in.

After busting my ass for months studying for an exam based around exercise science, kinesiology and music phrases (all of which I knew nothing about), I spent one very long afternoon in our campus rec center taking this 9-hour certification course.

While I passed the practical with flying colors — I've always been more of a presenter than test taker — it was time to get comfortable, grab our #2 pencils and complete the written portion of the exam.

Even though this was 6 years ago, it honestly feels like yesterday.

About an hour later I finished my composition book of an exam and turned it into the proctor. 4 long weeks passed before I was mailed my results.

Fail. 22 points to pass, I received 21. Fuck.

I vividly remember calling my mom as I was holding back tears and walking to my dorm room. She did what all caring, compassionate people do and listened. And then she gave me sound advice, a quote that I will always remember from one of my favorite books:
The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

And she was right.

Instead of sulking in my own sadness, I picked myself up, studied harder and went back to retake the exam. I passed, and of course, the next 6 years building my career in the fitness industry has proven successful.

The point is this: If I had let that moment of failure detour me from becoming an instructor, I would never be where I am today. The people I've met, trained, chatted and worked out with are exceptional.

I genuinely believe I needed that failure to prove to myself how badly I really wanted to work in this industry.

Because, after all, a detour just takes you on a different path. It's structurally set up to reroute you, not derail you. And while this uncharted path may get confusing along the way — the end result is worth the journey.

You just have to be willing to drive on a new road.

What kind of failures have you experienced?