On May 17th 2012, it’s your sports bra’s time to shine…
the itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie bikini fear
Last May, as summer was approaching, I was overwhelmed by my annual beachwear anxiety. You know, that moment when you realize bikini season is right around the corner. Usually, I’m filled with dread but this particular year, there was a fire inside of me to change how I felt about myself. As a fitness instructor, I needed to own up to my role as a leader so I encouraged my riders to step out of their own comfort zones by facing a fear. I set a private, personal goal for myself to face my biggest fear of revealing my midriff. Why was this so scary? What was I trying to hide? I challenged myself to teach one of my SoulCycle classes wearing only a sports bra. When the class was over and I was still wearing my lame, gold jacket (yes, this class was Rihanna-themed), I was not only disappointed in myself but I felt like I had let down those riders who looked to me as someone who practices what she preaches.
the midriff movement
At that moment, I realized that I could not face this challenge alone, I needed the support of my peers. The only way I was going to be able to overcome my biggest fear was if an entire class would join me by riding in their sports bras too. A simple, personal goal quickly turned into a small movement when two of my personal heroes, NBC'S The Biggest Loser Season 11 finalists Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee got on board. On July 29, 2011 we bared it all in a class and stories from women across the country who participated in their own mini Sports Bra Challenges came pouring in.
turn your dreams into plans
That July, I became an ambassador for the lululemon Union Square store. Through a goal coaching session (which includes the terrifying task of writing down my goals and discussing them) it became clear to me that I was not through with The Sports Bra Challenge. I wanted to continue to challenge, support and help women and men all over the country feel comfortable in their bodies and to embrace who they are. I decided that I was going to recreate The Sports Bra Challenge on a much larger scale and make it more accessible to people all over the country. That’s when my dream started to become a reality.
putting a spin on it
What started out as an event quickly turned into a foundation. In January 2012, I created S.E.A.K. Foundation; a non-profit organization that empowers people to be confident in who they are through educational programs and events focused on physical and emotional health. The Sports Bra Challenge is now an event that provides the funding for SEAK to implement after-school programs for teenage girls in New York City to develop their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
the 2012 sports bra challenge
On Thursday, May 17, SEAK Foundation presents The Sports Bra Challenge 2012. This one-day outdoor fitness event will consist of two large-scale SoulCycle classes, a Vinyasa Yoga class and a (free, kids-only) signature Pound Class through Crunch Fitness. All proceeds from the event will benefit City of Hope's Positive Image Center and SEAK Foundation.
Come one, come all and get ready to grin and bare it. Registration for the event starts today!