After an incredible morning at Reebok World Headquarters, I could only imagine what the afternoon had in store.
We finished up at Reebok CrossFit One and headed back to the main building to find that the brand room had been converted for lunch and our afternoon conversation and focus group with some of the ladies from Reebok’s women’s division. No detail was overlooked during our visit, right down to the CrossFit notebooks and colorful Reebok centerpieces.
Each of us had a bag of goodies waiting on our chairs, filled with clothing and a fresh pair of ZigTechs in the perfect size.
Kate Young and her colleagues lead a great discussion about how fitness brands reach out to women, and the importance of using real women as ambassadors. We all giggled over this video, but it helped to drive the point home.
When brands are marketing product to women, whose voices are they using? What stereotypes or perceived weaknesses are they playing into? When it comes to fitness apparel and footwear, why wouldn’t we want to see and hear from real women?
We learned all about Reebok’s shoe lines (and got a sneak peak at some top secret projects due out this fall… very cool stuff), and I couldn’t help but think back to my mom’s Reebok Princesses. Remember those? Times, they are a changing, that’s for sure. From shoes designed for lifting (like the one above, Reebok’s CrossFit Oly Lifter), to those designed for high mileage running, we got to experience them all.
After a delicious paleo-friendly lunch, we headed down to Reebok’s Human Performance Engineering Lab to meet with Bill McInnis and get a behind the scenes look at what goes into designing and producing each pair of Reebok shoes.
Bill showed us all kinds of prototypes, allowing us to see how our RealFlex and ZigTech shoes came to be. There’s so much more to the process that I could have imagined. As someone with a strong mistrust of fax machines, I shuddered to learn that shoe models used to be made by fax, as a shoe designer would fax a rendering to someone who would then carve their interpretation of the shoe from a block of wood. Inevitably, it was a long and involved process.
At our next two stops, we got to see the shoe magic happen. From CAD to 3-D printers, we got quite the tour.
I could have stayed down in the labs all afternoon, watching models being made. It was really fascinating. Soon, though, it was time for us to trade our safety goggles for dancing shoes. Ilyse Baker, an accomplished dancer, choreographer and Reebok Ambassador was flown in from California to lead a cardio dance class in one of Reebok’s studios. We were truly spoiled over the course of the day, and this was no exception.
Even before the music started, I could feel the smile on my face growing. I was reminded of something Johnice said to us earlier in the day: fitness is supposed to be fun.
And man, was this class fun. Ilyse‘s energy is infectious. She took us through a fluid warm-up before teaching us some really fun choreography. Every time I looked up at the mirrors, my goofy grin grew bigger and bigger. It was a fantastic workout.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! And Happy You’re Almost a Mother’s Day to my sister-in-law, Colleen!
- 10 tasty sangria recipes, perfect for this gorgeous weather
- Getting ready for the week ahead
How do you keep fitness fun?