Time to recap the New Balance Girls Night Out event from last week! In three words: SO MUCH FUN.

NBGNO March 2015

If you missed it, New Balance recently asked me to be the Boston blogger emcee at their 2015 launch event for their Girls Night Out campaign. These events are amazing and designed to unite women through fitness and social connections, and the community of women that New Balance is creating through them is phenomenal.

NBGNO 2015

As the emcee, I was on the mic all night. It was my responsibility to kick off the event, make everyone feel comfortable, and keep things flowing smoothly.

NBGNO March 2015

When I first got up there, I introduced myself, I talked a little but about what NBGNO is all about, and I touched upon the theme of the night, body breakthroughs. I gave a little teaser and said that body breakthroughs could be a lot of different things, including how we break out of fitness plateaus to get to the next level, how we find lost motivation when feeling emotionally or physically drained, or how we quiet the voice in our heads that tells us we can’t do something. Basically I wanted to let everyone know that body breakthroughs are a positive thing because they help us when we feel stuck!

NBGNO March 2015

I then introduced Shay Kostabi, the New Balance fitness ambassador who was leading one of the night’s workouts. Everyone got to choose between a 3.6 mile fun run around Back Bay or a resistance band workout led by Shay using the Rexist 360 band system.

NBGNO March 2015: Shays Workout

While the resistance band workout would have been my preferred choice, I volunteered to lead the run outside for New Balance. I was happy to have Marty, Monique, and Dani to assist me with pacing. Marty stuck with the folks in the front of the pack, Monique and I kept toward the middle, and Dani volunteered to be our caboose.

NBGNO March 2015

After snapping a few group pics and getting everyone pumped up, we were off!

NBGNO March 2015

NBGNO 2015

It was so nice to run outside again, and I enjoyed catching up with Monique and Kaylin for the beginning of the run and Rachel and Jen during the middle part of the run. I also made a new friend Jordan as we made our way back to the store, and I was so happy to see fitness friends Jess and Dana there too!

NBGNO March 2015

When the workouts were over, everyone grabbed some Essentia water for post-workout hydration, and I hopped back up on the mic to encourage everyone to kick back, chat, and enjoy some healthy snacks and drinks. Along with the amazing juices/smoothies from Thirst Juice Co., New Balance also provided fun cocktails and mocktails. I didn’t get to eat much since I was bopping around, but everyone has been raving about how good the food was.

NBGNO: Food

Soon it was time for me to share my own body breakthrough story with the group. There was no way I could get up there without talking about how I overcame my fear of being in the weight room and how mental breakthroughs really are the precursor to physical ones. I shared that a couple of years ago, I was plateauing in my normal workouts and no longer finding the activities that once challenged me challenging. I mentioned that a close friend of mine from the gym encouraged me to try lifting some heavier weights and that it definitely took me a while to get over my fear of trying something new, but I finally pushed myself out of my comfort zone and got a little uncomfortable. I totally called out Ashley during this part and made her wave at everyone. I knew she wouldn’t mind, and she has really inspired me, so I wanted everyone to know how awesome she is.

NBGNO March 2015

Even though I’m more confident with strength training now, I wanted to emphasize that even fitness professionals have that voice in our heads that gets in the way sometimes! So I shared all of my chin-up frustrations, including how hard they’ve been for me and how I’ve let myself fall into the comparison trap.

Then I got to my body breakthrough moment. 

It happened about a month ago in the weight room. I was doing chin-up and deadlift supersets, and as I was at the chin-up bar, a guy pointed to my barbell and asked another guy in there if the barbell and weights on it were his. This guy continued to ask a few more guys until one of them finally gestured toward me hanging from the chin-up bar and said, “no, it’s hers.” I looked around and realized that I was the only woman in there, and it was at that very moment I had my mental breakthrough. I stopped to truly appreciate where I was on my strength training journey, and I realized that it didn’t matter whether I could do a full unassisted chest to bar chin-up because look how far I’d come. I was definitely further along than I’d be if I hadn’t tried at all, and look at all the other things I was capable of that I never thought I’d be doing: slamming body ropes, deadlifting over my bodyweight, and impressing dudes in the weight room.

I will be honest, ever since this moment, I’ve seen forward momentum with my chin-ups and can tell I’m improving. 🙂

NBGNO March 2015

Before I handed the mic over to Shay, I encouraged everyone to think about a goal they were aspiring for, whether it be something fitness related, professional, or personal. Then I asked everyone to think about where they were on their journey and to celebrate it, regardless of how far along they were. I urged the group to rid themselves of the “I’m not good enoughs” and the “I cants” because that kind of thinking does nothing useful for us. It doesn’t matter if we fall a couple of times, as long as we’re trying. The point is to laugh and get back up, because these small shifts every day are what help us break through to something bigger. I concluded by saying we should make room for good vibes only, because it’s only when we wake up every day with confidence and show ourselves some self compassion that we are able to break through to our best bodies, our strongest selves, and absolutely crush what every day has in store for us.

NBGNO March 2015

Then it was Shay’s turn! She encouraged us to find our why and set goals that are relevant to that why. She also said that our fitness routines should stem from something that we truly enjoy doing, but they should always challenge us. Finally, she talked up the importance of leaning on friends and family for help and motivation and taking rest to honor our bodies as we need it. My favorite part of her talk was that she often looks at situations and asks herself, do I shake this up or do I shake it off? Shay’s personal hashtag and motto is #shaykitup, so this was perfect!

NBGNO March 2015

Once our talks were over, Shay and I tried to get the crowd dancing to the live music by DJ Brek One, and we encouraged the gals to take photos in the photo machine. So much fun!

NBGNO March 2015

NBGNO March 2015

NBGNO March 2015

I spent the rest of the night catching up with Katrina and Slesh, blog friends, gym friends, and co-workers. I just wish the night lasted longer so that I could have spent more time with everyone!

NBGNO March 2015

I want to give New Balance a huge thank you for the opportunity to lead an event like this. It was an incredible rewarding experience, and I’m so appreciative of it. New Balance also outfitted me for the night, so if you’re admiring any of the items I’m wearing, here they are:

NBGNO March 2015

Since last week was just the beginning of all the NBGNO fun this year, I hope to see many of you at future events! To stay in the know, make sure to sign up at http://www.nbgirlsnightout.com. In the meantime, I encourage you to all keep the spirit of NBGNO going by planning fitness dates with friends or using the GNO meetup app to map out routes and find friends in your area to stay fit with. Until next time, friends!

Readers, let’s chat! Have you been to a New Balance Girls Night Out before? If you came to this one, what did you think? How would you define body breakthroughs, and have you had any of your own? 

For other NBGNO recap posts from last week, follow along on social media at #NBGNO or check out:

Disclaimer: Most of the pictures from the post were taken by the hired event photographer and posted to the NBGNO website. The others were sent to me by friends attending the event. I was compensated by New Balance for the time spent emceeing the event, for the announcement post, and for this recap post, however all opinions are my own. 

  1. What a fun event! I wish Pittsburgh had some of these. I love your breakthrough moment. How fun to be the only girl and have all the guys thinking the bar is another guys 😉 Shows how strong you are! Great job!

  2. I was there for your talk before the workout!

    Sadly, they ran out of resistance bands for the workout, so I ended up leaving without getting a workout in.

    (Any other night I’d have just joined the run, but I had to leave by 7:15 PM to get to another event that night, and I was worried I wouldn’t be back from running in time.)

  3. Athena – you did an amazing job being the emcee for the event! Polished, professional, inspirational and motivating! The event was awesome. I am so happy that I am able to work with you! Lucky me 🙂

  4. Okay, I had to comment because you mentioned a girl by the name of Kaylin. Which is my name AND its spelled exactly the same! That rarely happens, haha. And this looks like an amazing event, I hope they have more of these particular events throughout the US.

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