I’m seriously still riding my endorphin high from yesterday. I think I banked enough endorphins for at least the next week or so.
After the half yesterday, I skeddadled home, and even the 1 train being off couldn’t mess with my great mood.
I went home to put some clean workout clothes on my sweaty body (so classy) and get down to Union Square for workout #2 of the day. (Please note that I rarely, rarely do two workouts in a day, much less two intense workouts, but I couldn’t say no to this second one.)
Workout #2 of the day was the Sports Bra Challenge, which benefits the Seak Foundation. I was invited by Glam, my blog ad network, to participate for free, which I’m incredibly grateful for, as this is not a cheap fundraiser. The cheapest bike was $150! The foundation raises money to work with schools to help them renovate gyms and set up fitness programs, as well as providing them with the necessary equipment and appropriate apparel/footwear. In 2014, the foundation is launching a Seak Builds Confidence Retreat to work with women between the ages of 16-22 who have dealt with eating disorders or body image issues to help them build confidence through fitness.
Charlotte from The Great Fitness Experiment and Rachel Wilkerson both had great posts on their opinions on the event beforehand. I had wanted to participate in the event mostly because it seemed like a ton of fun–a spin class outside? Sure!
I loved what Rachel had to say about taking her shirt off to run in just a sports bra during a really hot run a few years ago: “During that run, I realized…sometimes a body is just a body, existing in space, doing its thing. It’s not there for others to look at. It wasn’t even there for me to feel good or bad about. It was just…a body.”
When I was overweight, I certainly struggled with body image issues. As I lost 50 pounds, I learned to love my body. Yeah, a lot of that was how it looked, but I also learned to love it for what it could do as I started running. As I’ve acclimated to my new normal of being at a healthy weight, I sometimes, like most people, compare myself to others and wish I were a little thinner or a little more toned. Then I remember where I came from, and how much I sacrificed and how I’m happy to eat mostly healthy now but not be afraid to indulge or drink some wine.
So I was mostly excited about this challenge, but I still had a bit of trepidation about taking my shirt off. In front of hundreds of other people. With lots of people watching (and there were plenty of spectators on the outskirts of Union Square watching us.)
But I did. There you go.
Me, the lovely Alyssa and Morgan from Glam, and Kristin McGee, the cutest pregnant person ever.
I got on the bike, was a bit concerned about being in the back row and everyone behind me watching any back fat jiggle, wondered if you could see my spine, if seeing one’s spine was even normal…and then I got over it. I was basically in the middle of a Soul Cycle flash mob in Union Square. Whatever you felt about the event, it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event.
Our class was taught by Stacey Griffith and Melanie Griffith. I’ve only been to Soul Cycle a few times, so those names don’t mean much to me, but other people were very excited they were teaching. With my post-run high and the excitement of such a wild event, there’s really no way I wouldn’t have enjoyed this. I’m pretty sure I was grinning the whole time, and so were most other people. Since I’d, you know, had a 13.1-mile warmup, I took the class relatively easy, but my heart rate monitor still said I burned 450 calories. I’ll take it.
A fun part of being so involved in the fitness community is that I knew a gazillion people there. My Uplift buddies were all just a few bikes over from me, and I ran into so many other people I knew.
My Junior League buddy Mary.
So, no, I don’t have the perfect body, and I certainly don’t have the perfect abs, but my body doesn’t define me.
Would you work out in just a sports bra at an event like this (or…elsewhere?) Do you think that something like this is empowering?