This guest post is written by Rachel Chemerynski. She is a Certified Health Coach, freelance writer, and Community Associate for sweetgreen in Boston. She is the founder of Healthy Chicks, a wellness community dedicated to inspiring twenty-something women to live happier, healthier and more satisfying lives without dieting. Stay tuned for daily inspirations from Rachel on twitter, Facebook & her blog!
I remember when I first moved to Boston fresh out of college how excited I was to have my own ‘big girl’ apartment in the city. But with that excitement also came a great deal of nerves. Coming from a small town (where literally everyone knows your name), the thought of moving to a big city and starting over scared the crap out of me.
Will I land a job? How will I make new friends? Where do people hang out on the weekends?
And being the health nut that I was (and still am) I also had bigger concerns about finding exercise buddies, developing a fitness routine, and discovering healthy restaurants along the way.
One question kept running through my head: will I ever fit it? Sure, Boston seemed like an active, fit city — heck, everywhere you go someone is running, biking, or walking — but where do you even begin? And how can I be a part of that?
Five years later, I am now proud to call this big city my home sweet home, but I wouldn’t have been able to do so without finding my own little wellness community along the way.
Here are my top 4 tips on breaking into the Boston wellness scene (it’s not as scary as you may think):
1. Brush up on your networking skills
Networking is not just business-related, after all! Sure, Bostonians may have a reputation for having attitudes or being cold, but the longer I’ve lived here I found that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As the Community Associate for sweetgreen in Boston, a part of my job is making new friends and engaging with people in the community.
When you hang out in a healthy, farm-to-table restaurant 24/7 and spend your days talking to people, you’re bound to meet some pretty cool folks along the way. In fact, I’ve made some of the best friendships through sweetgreen including meeting yogi Cara Gilman.
But you don’t need to have my job in order to do the same. So don’t be shy my little grasshopper! Start talking … about anything you’re passionate about. When I first moved here I was afraid to speak up, but once I began striking up conversations with strangers I found like-minded people who enjoyed the same things I did like yoga, running, tea-time, and restaurant-hunting.
And guess what? Those people then introduced me to their group of friends who also enjoy being active. It’s all about networking, baby!
2. Get in on the running scene
Nothing screams community quite like Boston’s running scene. It completely blows my mind the energy that transpires when people come together over the common love for this sport. From early morning workouts with November Project to post-work runs clubs with Marathon Sports or City Sports, this city’s definitely not short on opportunities to get your stride on.
In fact, Boston’s very own New Balance recently started a Girls Night Out (GNO) initiative, redefining the meaning of girls night focusing on “less primping, more pavement pouding.” They’ll be hosting free “GNO Celebrations” at their New Balance Experience Store throughout the summer, which I’ll be playing a part in hosting. Want to host your own GNO? Use their online tool to plan your own buzz run with friends, or join a meet-up going on in your area.
3. Look to the web
When I started my blog, Healthy Chicks, about 6 years ago, it was mostly a space for me to share my ideas among friends and family. Now it’s turned into a community for women to connect, motivate and find inspiration.
I had no idea how powerful the blogging community really is, even in just Boston alone. There are so many wonderful blogs out there offering up great advice on fitness, nutrition, food and lifestyle. Not to mention the dozens of online magazines and websites like BostInno’s new health & fitness channel.
If you do a quick twitter search, you can find locals who inspire you. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with asking your new online pal to meet IRL (in real life) over a cup of tea or a sweat sesh to connect.
4. Become a Socialite
One of the greatest perks of living in a city is that you can always count on dozens of events going on pretty much every day. And not all of them entail boring conferences or fried finger foods either. Don’t believe me? Just follow Eventbrite Boston on Twitter and browse their events online to see for yourself. You can even search by category like “Food & Drink” Or “Sports & Fitness.” Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to join sweetgreen’s fitness passport program, a monthly program bringing you free fitness events around the city.
Go ahead, fill up your schedule with events that excite you, attend new restaurant openings and tastings, and put yourself out there. You just never know who you’ll meet!
Image via Shutterstock