This week's #wcw is Allison!
This week's #wcw is Laura! She’s a Colorado native living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and loves the outdoors. She’s the founder of AdventureHER NC - building a safe space and a community of women who get outdoors, immerse themselves in nature and get hiking! Laura is one WCW you do not want to miss!
This week's #wcw is Mandy! She's a Seattle based life coach who yearns to help folks experience life, raw and messy, while celebrating everyday gratitude. She is exhilarated by the stories of others and believes her calling is to hold space for the courage to be vulnerable, because she believes that vulnerability is a gift.
This week's #wcw is Maggie! Maggie is from Cary, North Carolina and is a parkour and hands-off bodyworker that is totally amazing. Oh, and she's participating in a cool 365 day movement challenge which you can see her posting on Instagram! Meet Maggie!
Strong is a word that denotes many things and can be interpreted many ways but for simplicity’s sake, let’s break the idea of strength into three separate categories. There is physical strength, the kind that allows you to lift heavy things and move large pieces of furniture from one place in a room to the next. There’s mental strength, which for many conjures up an image of perseverance, or the mental fortitude required to write a book or perform heart surgery. Finally, there’s emotional strength, a kind of resiliency that exists when you make it through something emotionally challenging. Caring for a sick parent, the death of a sister, or going through a divorce all require emotional strength.
Jo authors a blog where she writes honestly and courageously about living with chronic pain. She is a true badass. While a work injury ended the career she loved, fighting fires, and left her with chronic and unrelenting pain she refused to let that be the end of her story. She worked to understand her pain and find her way back to movement and living life fully. Her blog documents that journey. One she’s still on.
“You’re so brave”. “You’re fearless”. On Instagram people think I am scared of nothing.
From a distance, what I do seems dangerous and/or brave. I balance on rocks. Sometimes on one arm. I do flips on concrete. I do handstands on everything. I’m “fearless”.
But up close, what my InstaFriends don’t see is how long it takes me to get there.
We were introduced to Nicole Evangelista through the a friend in the Caio Terra community and we were instantly impressed. Nicole is one of the most promising jiu jistu athletes coming up the ranks. She's 18 years old, a self proclaimed perfectionist, is learning to speak Chinese and is seriously a badass.
Be a true beauty - the kind that shines from within.
Know and understand yourself, seek to understand others, be kind to yourself and others, listen deeply, hug like you mean it, express gratitude, celebrate daily, don't assume anything, learn about everything, ask better questions, be curious, life is a process - find a way to enjoy the hell out of it!
Venus is a another great mover who is full of life and passion. She is mesmerizing to watch flow and seems like a fun person to hang out with. She lives out on the beautiful West Coast and has years of experience under her belt. Venus is on a mission to energize and “awesome”-ize others and we think that this #wcw piece will do just that!
Get to know Venus!
Instagram and Twitter @venus2bfab
What do you do?
Fitness Trainer, Movement Coach, Fitness Model, Writer
What else do you do?
I love to get lost in movement & flow, experimenting & getting creative in ways my body can move... from traditional fitness, functional fitness, yoga, animal flow, and enjoy trying new practices I haven't been exposed to.
I also love playing sports of all kinds and regularly go to the beach. I played Division 1 golf for Baylor University and was a competitive swimmer for 7 years as a kid. But you can find me surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, and trying new classes like aerial & dance.
I've also written, produced, and acted in different projects... I love a creative outlet. But without writing a whole book about it I like to say I like to explore physical, mental, and spiritual outlets that help me connect to myself and others.
How do you define the word 'strength'?
Strength to me is an inner perseverance of being able to flow with the demands of life.
Being the best you in the most honest way you can be in the present moment. It's not about being the most special at anything in particular, although those things are great too and I have great respect for things that take continued effort... That which I call Mastery, an ongoing process.
Life is short, so I like to live life as curious as my soul wishes to be and discover more as I connect with people.
How did you discover your passion/work/niche?
I've always been a physically intuitive person and was an athlete growing up.
Typical story of being that girl that was asked to be on most sports teams but golf and swimming were my primary focuses. After college I had corporate jobs and wanted more so I did some soul searching as well as comedy writing and acting. Then I wanted a job that gave back more. So I became a personal trainer at Equinox, not realizing at the time that it would grow into a much bigger passion than initially intended.
Each year I gained more knowledge in the continued education courses I took and each year I fell more in love with my job as a trainer. Then I became a certified animal flow instructor and yoga instructor and my love for flow just exploded! I seek flow in pretty much everything I do too, not just body weight training, it's really changed the way I view "working out" and fitness.
I like to say that I play all day, cause sometimes I just don't want to workout.
How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?
Well I'm a trainer so I move all day.
When I'm not training, I try to be aware of my breath and body at rest. Breath is so vital and key to any movement.
I also go on walks & hikes often, play/move with friends weekly, and enjoy working on my handstands at home while jamming out to music.
But movement is kinda my life so not really sure how else to answer this question :)
Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?
I always tell people to first start with something they can consistently do everyday for 15-20 minutes, LITERALLY ANYTHING to get their body moving.
If that means dancing in your apartment then that! Or take a class that looks interesting to them, not necessarily do what they think will get them in the best shape. Most people will look at what I do and be like ummm that looks too complex, even though it's really not, it's just taken years to find the layers from foundations to the icing. It starts with consistent habits to be built first, then once that's established go do the things that they want to learn.
If it's something like what I do they can start with yoga or a ground based movement class, or (shameless plug) they can get my online program when it comes out. But it's all about foundations, understanding how to hold the body in different positions with strength, mobility, coordination, balance, and breath.
How do you define 'fitness'?
Fitness is what people do to move, recycle, and express their bodies.
My personal definition for myself is to maintain being a good mover while getting stronger and more mobile with different skills. That's not everyone's definition and that's ok.
I think it's important to be the best version of you in the present moment while also seeking growth with fitness goals whatever that may be for the individual, not everyone has the same goals.
Where do you see the future of the fitness?
I see what I do becoming vital for the fitness industry. Fluid, solid movement.
It pairs with all styles of working out and only gets you stronger and more mobile to not only prevent injury, but I really think it's the missing link when it comes to optimum performance with you're an athlete or an average gym goer.
I've gotten in the best shape of my life with daily flow, even better than when I was in my 20s crushing super intense workouts like a crazy "how hard can I go" person. I still like to crush workouts but the intention behind it has got more "flow" behind it, and my intensity is more about mindful movement.
Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?
Absolutely, movement increases self-confidence. You are connecting to yourself from the outer most layer, the physical, and everything is connected... Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Not everyone taps into those but they are all being affected.
Movement gets the blood flowing through the tissues, heart, lungs, brain... That revving cycle increases metabolism, stimulates the mind, flushes toxins out of the body, creates an inner focus, challenges breath, and reminds us we are alive!
What advice do you wish you could have given your younger self?
Just stay the course. Don't dim your light, the brighter you shine, the more you'll attract the great things meant for you. Keep trusting & loving yourself and the universe... I still have to give myself that pep talk on a daily basis.
What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)
Connection motivates me, to self and others.
What motivates me is after each workout I feel more connected to myself, and I love sharing that which motivates me as a trainer. You gotta be able to do that for yourself in order to share it with others. I love connecting to others and deep level, my clients and I are pretty close and there's nothing surface level between us.
My favorite quote is by Howard Thurman, "Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it... Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." I love all music, especially anything flow-like, tropical island-ish, or 80s sounding, but my playlists are pretty much all over the place. I really like the orchestra sounding covers of Vitamin String Quartet.
People who motivate me range from my mentors to Instagramers who do amazing feats of movement to the everyday person who I see has that inner fire of wanting to be better. Like clients who are struggling in the middle of a workout but their attitude is "I got this!"
My favorite motivation speakers are Tony Robbins, Oprah, and Brene Brown.
Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?
Don't dim your light, keep making your light shine brighter & trust yourself & the universe. Oh, and keep an eye out for my upcoming online program where I'll guide you through flow and we'll be connected on a weekly basis.
A big fat dinner party. Raising money for a good cause. Training with others to run a 13.1. Sitting back to listen to some great jazz musicians create amazing music. All of these have something in common... people working together...collaborating.
Collaboration is so where it's at! And yes, there’s goodness to be had in solitude, but working with other people to create an event, an experience, is truly a bad*ss, mojo, wonder-us, bit of magic. Because after all, wherever two or more are gathered together focused towards a common goal, well, the energy grows exponentially and amazingly beautiful things happen. That's the kind of groove I love to be a part of.
So it's no wonder that I’m totally geeked about the Women’s Movement Collaborative weekend. The WMC team is such a stunning collection of strong (physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually) women. Each has carved out a niche for themselves.
They’ve “struggled strong”, as WMCer Jamie Snow talks about (and Jamie truly knows the strength and vulnerability it takes to “struggle strong”) to claim their unique and oh so personal space in the world. Each woman on the WMC team has been inspired and believes in giving back by inspiring others to find their strength and their passion.
But it's not been all rainbows and unicorns for these women. Each of these women have had to make their way in the face of stereo-types and preconceived notions of what a woman is capable of and what a woman should be and should do. And they’ve all fallen on their asses but have refused to accept failure as an option. They get back up and find a way. Each of these women are ridiculously persistent with a“f*ck you if you think I’m gonna accept defeat” kind of attitude.
But they are also a fiercely playful band of women. They love to laugh. They love to joyfully express themselves through movement. They explore their limits intelligently, and yes, sometimes stupidly. I mean what sane person runs anything past a 13.1. Sarah Scozzaro (Drty Runner), 100km!? 100miles!? WTF!? But seriously Sarah, those friggin’ crazy distances are amazing. Can't wait to hear about the demons you had to wrestle and how you kicked their *sses to the curb to make it happen.
And then there’s the dynamic duo of “Strong Body & Strong Mind”, Julie Angel and MaryBeth Gangemi. Talk about two women who live movement and are passionate about making movement accessible to everyone. And by movement I’m not talking about simply taking a walk around the block or a few downward dogs. I'm talking about crazy *ss Parkour and MovNat moves. Teaching all kinds of people how to start small and explore movement to the fullness of their potential. To grow their potential (physical/mental/emotional/spiritual) through exploring movement. They are freakin’ Wonder Woman bad*sses who are curious and playful souls.
And can we talk Kristy Gosart? Sweet Jesus she can defy gravity. But what she loves better than being able to do all those fancy handstands and body weight moves is serving others in finding their own groove of defying gravity.
Then there’s Dani Almeyda. I gotta say my life has been blessed by knowing Dani and being able to witness her unfoldment as a positive force of nature in serving others by helping them reclaim their Original Strength. She is a damn strong woman, wildly creative, a lover of elevated rolls, with the heart of a warrior-goddess.
And last but not least, there's going to be a tribe of awesome women attending the WMC workshop. And each of these women is going to add their unique and special mojo magic to the party. The WMC weekend is going to be a big, fat, delicious weekend of collaboration and discovery. Hell, there may even be fireworks and a hallelujah chorus at some points. Because there's gonna be some mighty positive vibrational shifts of empowerment flowing as women come together creating spaciousness, for themselves and each other, in order to embrace more of their wondrous, bad*ss and beautiful potential.
So queue up Helen Reddy 'cuz we are women hear us roar!!
This blog was written by Sarah Young, who was recently featured as a #wcw and felt inspired to share her thoughts and words. Thanks to Sarah for sharing!!!