You know when it’s been a great night out, right?
That annoying happy spring on your step, the good vibes still buzzing. How it’s actually a good thing that you need to accommodate your butt on those worn out tube seats on the way back home: yes! A chance to rummage through the goodie bag like a greedy kid, uninterrupted by needy offspring going mummy, mummy, the Ipad has no battery left.
Seriously, how often do you need to demonstrate to an 8 year old how to plug in a cable until they are capable to perform it themselves?
Yes ladies, this Fitster went to the first Fit Night Out with Women’s Health and she’s feeling good, whoo-hoo!
Not that I go out that often anymore, mind you (which explains my use of acclamations). By the time the school runs, showers, tea and assorted homework are done I’m usually ready to collapse on the sofa and press play for my next episode of “The Crazy Ex Girlfriend”. Then there’s the matter of organising babysitting, making sure the school uniforms and snacks are ready for the next day and oh – I should really have had a shower by now.
It did not start well.
Late leaving the house (having showered and wearing my best pair of leggings thank you very much), I decided to splurge and get a taxi to whizz my way to the Central London venue. As I step into my Uber and readied myself for half an hour of mindless Instagram abandon, the driver announces that the traffic is “absolutely crazy” and I’m better off taking the Tube instead.
So. Change of plans and zero wifi.
Leaving the Tube station I proceed hurriedly to make my way to Victoria House, dodging pedestrians and franticly staring down at my smart phone map. Victoria House is in sight. Look, I see a door.
Wait. Out steps Big Friendly Giant (except he doesn’t look that friendly), blocking my way in.
“This is not an entrance”. Claims man standing in front of an open door.
“For the women’s fitness look for the shop front entrance on the other side of the building”. Disdain all over his face.
Clearly this is a guy who believes (1) fitness to be degrading, (2) that the sacred grounds of Victoria House are not meant for a pagan revenue generating event (roof maintenance anyone?) and (3) that women in leggings have pea sized brains and should learn to read maps. I’m guessing the chap isn’t getting much lady love.
And I can tell all that from a 2 sentence interaction.
Then I was IN!
Having finally found my way into the venue (note to self: pay attention to directions written on the ticket) I rushed to find a seat watching the first panel discussion. Success! Fit Night Out, here I come.
Panel Talk: Body Confidence!
What a treat. A line up of amazing wellbeing role models chatting away how to deal with body confidence issues. There they were: Jada Sezer, Melissa Hemsley (her dress!) and Natalie Campbell, hosted by Women’s Health editor Claire Sanderson, a mum of 2 and a real #fitspo herself.
I was impressed with their candour and straight talking, very much like like listening to a group of friends over a glass of wine (sadly no actual vino in sight). Despite their well-deserved celebrity status, they were so friendly and fun I just wanted to take them home (I got a picture instead). Body positivity is at the heart of Women’s Health DNA and they absolutely delivered. I was one happy bunny, large bum et all.
It’s workout time: unleash the Boys of Yoga!
There’s something to be said about having an all-women attendance list and inviting a just-boys team of yogis The Boys Of Yoga #hairgoals to lead the session, haha.
To be honest, I didn’t really expect a proper, full on yoga sesh. Which was good, since it was giggles all the way, so focus on the breathing was a biiiiit of a challenge.
I had fun, squeezed in a few lovely downward dogs and got to hangout with a bunch of ladies who had no idea what they were doing, but did it anyway – that always brings joy to my heart.
As I left the studio, the queue for the next workout was already a mile long: it was Barry’s Bootcamp time. I smile inside with the thought of skipping the gruelling cardio and make a beeline for the food. The Fit Night Out is still on!
The FUN is not over yet!
With a braid bar, Detox Kitchen food and Pip & Nut smoothies you were never too far from the next thing. There was even a Technique Room to find out how to perform your favourite horrible exercises safely (still horrible).
My personal favourite would have to be the cover girl corner. That’s right ladies, live your wildest dreams (!) and feature on the Women’s Health magazine cover. No abs judging, no blow dry required, only a smart phone and a buddy to nail the shot (a total stranger will do as well).
Plenty of reasons to hang out till late and soak up the fitness. Every speaker line up was worth it. “How to Train Responsibly” with Dr Hazel Wallace (aka The Food Medic) and first hand testimonies of “How I Built My Body” by the likes of Alice Livening were on the hot list. Not to mention some of the best workouts in London, including FRAME, Sweat by BXR and Barrecore.
Guess what? Sadly it was time for cinders here to swap her trainers for sleeping socks and head back home to the brood. But with Bad Ugly Giant memories behind me and a generous goodie back on my lap, that was a very happy train journey indeed.
Thank you Women’s Health ladies for a fabulous Fit Night Out! Let’s celebrate women in fitness and body positivity with peanut butter smoothies again soon?