This is a really delayed event recap, but hey, that’s okay.

Do you guys remember how I went to pretty much the coolest fitness event ever back in June, courtesy of New Balance? For those of you who might have missed my first post, the gist is that New Balance has a campaign called Girls Night Out, and the main goal of the program is to offer women a different kind of happy hour. Basically, the events are fun nights filled not only with fitness, but with food, music, shopping, and meeting new people. Each event also has an inspiring theme. The event I attended in June was about how “excellent is strong,” and the one I attended in July was all about self-expression through fitness.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Rachel from the blog Healthy Chicks was our host for the night again, and she encouraged us to choose the form of fitness that works for us instead of worrying so much about how our choices stack up to everyone else’s. The takeaway was that our workouts should be something we ENJOY and not something we feel obligated to do just because everyone else is doing it. This is something I try to instill in fitness newbies early on. If you absolutely hate to run, don’t. If you love to dance, maybe Zumba is more up your alley. It doesn’t matter if you are a yogi, a CrossFitter, a lifter, a kayaker, or a spinner. What matters is that you are out there MOVING and doing something good for your body and for your health.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Rachel also talked a lot about how her fitness routines have changed a lot since college (spending hours on the elliptical to burn calories, doing the new Jennifer Aniston abs plan because it was the new hot thing) and now (spending time on the yoga mat because she truly enjoys it, trying new classes around town because they’re fun). Having been an elliptical junkie myself for many years, I found myself nodding throughout this whole section. Working out should not be about how many calories you burn and “getting skinny.” It’s about being fit, strong, and confident, and the feeling you get when doing healthy activities you truly enjoy doing.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014[Photo cred: New Balance Back Bay]

In honor of the theme, New Balance offered three different workouts to choose from: an outdoor spin with Flywheel, a signature bootcamp class with Equinox, or a fun 3-mile run. I opted for Flywheel because I’ve tried lots of cycling and spinning classes before (one of my favorite forms of cardio), but never Flywheel. Plus, Christina was teaching the class. If you’ve never taken a class with Christina before, she ROCKS. She is truly inspiring, and she makes fitness fun. Even after a tough class, everyone was all smiles.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

The class was awesome, and I must say that I felt pretty badass cycling away on Boylston Street as random passerby stopped to snap pictures or take videos. But let’s be honest, that was pretty much the extent of me feeling badass because it was so hot outside, and my legs seriously could not keep up with Christina’s cues for torque and RPMs. The 35 minutes I spent on the bike were no joke, but at least I got to struggle next to my blogger friend Steph!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014[Photo cred: Steph’s blog]

After our sweat sesh was done, we headed back inside to meet up with the bootcamp and running groups, grab some snacks, and mingle. There were so many fun bloggers at this event, and I had a blast catching up with them! I was especially excited to chat with Whitney from Live Run Love Yoga. We have been virtual friends for SO LONG, and I can’t believe our paths hadn’t crossed until this NBGNO event. Whitney said it best, it was like we knew each other in person already!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014I also really enjoyed hanging out with Sherri from Fun, Fit, Flavor. I think we had only been at one other New Balance event together before, but we didn’t get to talk much at that one. Turns out that she and the friends she brought to NBGNO grew up with a ton of my cousins. AND we have mutual friends (Jess and Brett!). It really is a small world. Check us out in our matching NB tops:

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Finally, New Balance also gave everyone a fun swag bag filled with goodies, including a fitness towel that each of us could customize with various inspiring phrases like “girls run this town,” “a new kind of night on the town,” and my personal favorite, “footwear required, lipstick optional.”

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

We also got a thumb-drive loaded with a 30-minute running playlist, a headband, and some coupons. Here’s me and Steph, showing off our swag and cute totes!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

The Boston NBGNO took a little break in August, but word on the street is that it will be back this fall. I encourage you guys to download the GNO app to stay informed and join the party! For those not in the Boston area, you can find similar events in New York, Chicago, and more.

–Let’s chat–
Have you heard of New Balance Girls Night Out? How do you express yourself through health and fitness? How has fitness evolved for you over the years? How does fitness make you strong and confident?

For more NBGNO July event recaps, check out these posts from the bloggers I mentioned ahove: