Disclaimer: I attended the event for free
I’m so excited to announce that a new kind of networking event landed in Toronto last week. I sat down with the event creator, Celine Tarrant to get all the juicy deets on why she created Smart Girls Sweat: Sweatworking! Which was an absolute blast!
Robyn: Why did you create the event?
Celine: After graduating from university last year, I realized I needed to make some major lifestyle changes. I started running, adopted a healthy diet, and over a year I lost 60 pounds. I have trained for and completed 3 half marathons! During this time, I was also transitioning into a busy, new, full time career. I’ve always been active in terms of networking and professional development, and I love attending events, meeting new people, taking courses, and learning new skills. Between work, training, and an active social life, I found myself with less and less time to devote to my own development and networking. Typical corporate networking events seemed at odds with the person I had become – often revolving around junk food and alcohol. I wanted to create something unique, where women could get excellent networking and development opportunities, while doing something good for their health at the same time.
Robyn: What are your goals with the events?
Celine: I have two major goals for Smart Girls Sweat:
- To create more authentic networking events for professional women.
Networking sucks – plain and simple. Typical networking events are awkward, they’re not always effective, and they often only favour outgoing, extroverted types. It’s very difficult to walk up to someone and “connect” when you don’t have a common interest to bond over. I thought that bringing together women with an interest in fitness and health for some “sweatworking” would be a great way to foster real relationships. Everyone at the event automatically has an activity to serve as an icebreaker, and is guaranteed to share something in common.
Additionally, I believe that sweating together creates a bond that helps transcend corporate hierarchies. Once you have downward-dogged beside someone, it doesn’t matter if they are a junior analyst or a CEO. We all have something to learn from others, regardless of our titles. Working out together gives you a guaranteed conversation starter afterwards!
- To inspire professional women to lead a healthy active lifestyle.
We live in a world where most social and business interactions happen over food and alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging once in a while, for those of us who aren’t necessarily interested in wining and dining, this is a great alternative. I truly believe that professional success should never come at the expense of physical and mental well-being. Women put so much pressure on themselves to succeed at work, and I want to create an environment where they can still feel like they are doing something important for their careers and development, while doing something good for themselves!
The event was super fun. I met up with my friend Chivon (pictured above) and Jess (in the picture below). The event started out with a great workout. Eneli Holmes taught us a condensed version of the Bikini Bootcamp class at Elle Fitness and Social. It was a HIIT cardio class that incorporated plyometrics and weights. I’m not going to lie… It burned sooo good.
We then sat down to listen to our keynote speaker after grabbing some green juice, vegan treats and kind bars!
After the workout was our keynote speaker who was Laurel Walzak!
She spoke about her career, and how health and fitness has influenced her career and life. Laurel has more than 15 years of operations, brand marketing, digital media and sales experience with a consistent record of achievement in revenue development in the sport, fitness and the consumer packaged goods industries. Laurel’s experience includes being the Director of Integrated Sales at the National Hockey League. Laurel is a graduate of Western University with a Post-Graduate diploma in Sport and Event Marketing at George Brown College and an MBA from Queen’s School of Business. Laurel has over 25 years in sports & fitness coaching, including tennis, skiing & indoor cycling. She spent 10+ years as a part-time group exercise instructor at GoodLife Fitness.
After listening to Laurel speak we had a chance to network with each other. I’m thankful for the quick connections with a few women but I had to race home to get a good night sleep. I don’t like being out after my bedtime.
The next event is January 27th event and starts at 6:30pm at Hard Candy Fitness in Toronto. I will be the keynote speaker talking about Goal Setting and fitting in fitness. I’m going to talk about how I set fitness & race goals and how I schedule in my workouts including how I make the time to meal plan & prep.