For Girlnetics, inspiration comes in all forms and from all sources, but mostly from women who are BRINGIN’ IT in their respective area of expertise. Whether you are searching for the freshest fitness gear, or are looking to improve your SUPing, these are the FEMALE FITNESS FORCES who will truly inspire you to BRING IT–our August picks:
Bianca Jade, Fitness Fashion Expert & Creator of Mizzfit
They say you perform as good as you feel, which makes a helluva difference when it comes to fitness. And when you look good, you feel good, causing fitness fashion brands to explode with the healthy lifestyle trend that has grown (and continues to grow) these past couple of years.
A part of that is because of Bianca Jade, a former advertising professional turned Fitness Fashion Expert and Creator of Mizzfit, who makes it her job to show you the latest, freshest fitness gear, applying her “Style Up 2 Shape Up” philosophy to inspire you to look good in order to feel good on your journey to healthy living.
You probably recognize her face because she appears in numerous TV shows and magazines, headlines many fitness events, speaks at panels, and works with various fitness and wellness brands to develop products that cater to women. She is also all over social media! Her message and ultimate mission? “To inspire women to work out, feel sexy and celebrate their inner jock and fashionista as one”.
Ashley Hicks-Rocha & Toni Carey, Co-Founders of Black Girls RUN!
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. Black Girls RUN! was created to be a solution to this problem, and over the years has evolved from a small running blog into a 125,000+-member strong national movement dedicated to encouraging African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.
The powerhouses behind BGR! are Ashley Hicks-Rocha and Toni Carey who founded the organization in 2009 after realizing that there was not a lot of African-Americans representation at race events. Both fell in love with running early on in life–Ashley played soccer in college and has always been into running, and Toni started running after college to lose weight and has been an avid runner since–have reaped the healthy benefits associated with running, and simply wanted to encourage their peers to do the same in order to break the cycle towards obesity.
What keeps these ladies inspired to continue to grow the BGR! movement? Toni said, “Black Girls RUN! inspires women to be active and healthy and find the importance of self-love. This is what inspires me to continue to hit the pavement and make sure that BGR! continues its mission of supporting women.”
Ashley continued, “Black Girls RUN! is also not just about running; it’s a lifestyle. We want women to be healthy and active, but most-importantly live a holistic life. BGR! motivates women on and off the pavement, and this inspires me everyday knowing that BGR! is that special something to keep women moving.”
Kristen Horler, Founder & CEO of Baby Boot Camp (and Karna Fitness)
As a fitness fanatic and fitness expert– she is an author and a continuing education provider for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a certified Spinning instructor, an ACE-certified personal trainer, a Balanced Body Pilates instructor, and a certified prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor–there is no doubt that Kristen Horler lives and breathes fitness.
When she had her first child in 2001, she realized there was a disconnect between fitness and motherhood, so she used her knowledge, skills and love for all things fitness to develop a program that integrated the two. Now a nationally-recognized franchise, Baby Boot Camp is a “stroller fitness” program designed for mom-to-be’s and new moms looking to stay in shape during pregnancy, or get back in shape post-pregnancy.
What inspires Kristen to keep going? She said, “I am inspired by so many people: my children inspire me because they see how much I love my work and the flexibility I have to design the life that our family wants; my clients inspire me to continue to challenge them in fitness as well as so many other areas of their lives; our [franchise] owners, instructors, and clients inspire me because of the lives they are changing. Our mantra: with great passion, integrity, and love we embrace our responsibility to inspire change in our communities while celebrating women, girls, moms, children, families, and inspiring wellness through fitness, nutrition, community, and personal growth.”
Kristen is also the Founder and CEO of Karna Fitness, a specialized program “for women who do not have children, or who would like connect with other women through fitness—at any level”.
April Zilg, Professional SUP Athlete & Hobie Team Rider
Believe it or not, April Zilg didn’t grow up an athlete; in fact, she was quite the opposite. While in graduate school working on her Master’s, she realized she was spending too much time behind a desk and decided it wasn’t where she wanted to end up for the rest of her life.
Thankfully, she discovered a sport that allowed her to be outdoors and on the water that she fell in love with at first try: stand-up paddleboarding. With time, her love for SUPing grew which led her to make better healthy lifestyle choices and evolve into a competitive athlete.
Today, April is a nationally-recognized SUP athlete and Hobie Team Rider, competing in both SUP Racing and SUP Surfing. Her most recent victories include taking first place in the WPA championships, being amongst the top ten finishers in The Carolina Cup and The Battle of the Paddle, and taking the title of East Coast Champ in SUP Surfing.
When asked what keeps her inspired to compete, she said, “The stoke and positive attitude of everyone I meet [at races].” In between competitions, April is a WPA-certified SUP instructor, an ACA-certified “L2 Essentials of SUP” instructor, and a SUP yoga instructor, and passes along her knowledge and love for SUPing through her teachings.