Explaining why I love health and fitness so much is often a challenge. To the average person, it is completely incomprehensible why I would want to go to the gym four, five times per week, why I actually quite like eating sweet potato and rice, and why, no, I don’t want to go out for a drink thank you very much. I’m fine.
That’s why, when Bethany, Birmingham’s Girl Gains ambassador, posted on Instagram that she’d be setting up a group for us and starting meet ups, I knew I had to join.
But let’s rewind, what is Girl Gains?
Girl Gains started life, as many a health and fitness trend does nowadays, on Instagram. An idea born from Zanna Van Dijk, Tally Rye and Victoria Spence; who wanted to create a movement which brought girls together to celebrate strength and empowerment, and to inspire women everywhere.
The hashtag grew, and #GirlGains is pretty much now a fully fledged company, as well as a movement, with ambassadors up and down the country, and events across the UK bringing girls of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities together to meet each other and celebrate in their like-mindedness.
And that’s exactly what happened last weekend at the first ever Birmingham Girl Gains meet up, at Yorks Bakery in the city centre.
I have written previously about how I have always struggled to fit in or find a place. But also acknowledging that I’m okay with that. But on Saturday, I found a place where, for the first time in a very long time, I really felt like I belonged, and I absolutely loved it.
We all had different backgrounds and lifestyles which had brought us together. We all had different styles of training – from powerlifting, to running, to yoga – and we were all at different stages of our fitness journey. Yet, the one thing we all had in common – aside from our love of yummy breakfast foods – was that we had a shared passion and love for health, fitness, wellness and being the best possible version of ourselves.
Everyone shared stories, everyone was honest, everyone was themselves. And I personally sought a lot of comfort in being surrounded by strangers who, by ten minutes in, I felt had been friends with for a long time.
The like-mindedness of everyone at the table was incredible, and it was something I had been longing for. It was amazing to hear the incredible stories from girls who had been through a lot and to offer advice to those just beginning their fitness journey. It was so lovely to be surrounded by people who got it, who got me, and who understood and accepted.
It really felt like I was a part of something and I can’t wait until the next meet up and my next chance to spend time with some really lovely girls. I also can’t thank Zanna, Vic and Tally enough for starting this community and for enabling me to meet and spend time with incredible, like-minded people who I wouldn’t have otherwise met.
There may be negative sides to health and fitness, granted, but when it’s good, it’s really good.