My first time Los Angeles. I still can’t believe this actually happened. Asics invited me to the cities of angels for an amazing event with inspiring souls from all around the world and it turned out to be one of the most amazing weekends of my life…
Thursday I started my trip with an early flight to Düsseldorf to hop on the plane there for another 12 hours. When I finally landed in L.A. it took me about 2.5h hours to get through the immigration but then I finally stepped outside the airport and into the sun. A driver took Selin (@fit_selin) to our hotel in Downtown. We stayed at the Ace Hotel and I immediately fell in love with the industrial like interior design and the super friendly staff.
I checked into my room, took a quick shower and got myself ready for a first stroll through our neighbourhood. Selin and I ended up walking 6km that night and going a bit crazy in Whole Foods. To all my non American readers: Whole Foods is a huge supermarket chain that is basically heaven for everyone who is into healthy nutrition.
The fresh produce area is so stunning that even the biggest junk food addict would want to get some veggies on his plate, the range of bars is incredible from Clif Bars over protein cookies to just clean nut and fruit bars and they have a very wide choice for vegans (even cheddar popcorn!!). Selin and I bonded immediately and I’m super happy we got to know each other through Asics.
It felt so surreal to walk these streets for the first time, see all the things in real life that I know from youtube videos or TV shows. I walked around with the biggest eyes and an open mouth – and so much excitement for the following days.
I got up super early on Friday (hello jetlag!) and went to the rooftop of the hotel to watch the sunset and take some pictures. The rooftop of the Ace Hotel is amazing, they have a pool there, a bar and a wonderful view over the city. Seeing L.A. slowly awakening in the beautiful skinny sun light totally enchanted me.
Then I went back to my room, did a little bodyweight workout and got myself ready for the first big get together with the Asics crew and all the other influencers and athletes. I met up with Andrea from Asics (@andreadiethers) and Selin and we had some breakfast from a beautiful buffet (avocado toast, granola, lots of fruit and more) before the official introduction began.
It was nice to connect with some of the other influencers from all around the globe: Italy, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea,… We were welcomed by Paul Miles, the head of Global Marketing, who told us a bit about the new running shoes and then introduced us to Charlie Dark. Charlie… ok where should I begin? He is the founder of the Run Dem Crew, an urban running movement that was started in London, and the leader of SMSB (= Sound Mind Sound Body) which is a global community of athletic minded people. I had heard about the Run Dem Crew before through one of my inspirations Robin Arzon (@robinnyc) so I was super stoked to get to know him. He is an incredibly inspiring, real, fun and kind individual, who actually lives by what he preaches and genuinely cares about community, about helping people to get in touch with their most authentic self and about creating positive the change that we so desperately need.
(@davidkoch8, @daddydarkrdc, @jiliciousjourney & @fit_selin)
After just a few seconds into Charlie’s speech I felt the first goosebumps and knew immediately that this weekend was going to be extraordinary. He explained the Asics philosophy of a sound mind in a sound body, the concept of running for adventure not for pb’s and the idea to use the city as your training partner. Reducing your running experience to numbers and the “earplugs in, on the treadmill” thing (that I myself am guilty of) holds you back in so many ways and is just contributing to us all being so disconnected. From the world around us, from each other and most importantly from ourselves. Running – and every other sport – should not be excluding but become this open space where everyone can experience themselves and discover the transforming power of movement and sweat together, without any judgement… Charlie introduced us to the rest of his crew – all of them unique and highly inspiring people – and we were divided into groups for our first run later that day.
At the end of the brunch we got a big box with the new urban inspired footwear by Asics: the fuseX Rush and the GEL-QUANTUM 360 and some beautiful workout gear from Asics. Selin and I got changed and drove with David, who was the third member of team Germany for this event, and Andrea to the Art District to take some pictures there and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
Later we joined everyone to get ready for the BIG CHASE. If you follow me on Snapchat or Insta Stories you might have seen some snippets of this crazy running event – but I bet you have no idea what we actually did. I still fail to actually put it into words, it was just incredible! Basically we were put into the role of L.A. detectives going for a run around the city to chase the mysterious ‘lady in red’. It was a bit like being in a show on broadway, curated by amazing actors who gave us hints along the way and dragged us into the story. It was sweaty, fun, scary, magical – just amazing. I never experienced something like this before. It ended with a beautiful musical scene on a stage when we finally found the red lady. I ran in the Quantum 360’s by the way and they are amazing, so comfortable!
The after party took place at Clifton’s with some snacks and drinks but Andrea, Selin and I were totally grannies that night and went to back to the hotel at 10pm because we were so tired.
(@fit_selin, @jiliciousjourney & @laurabrijde)
Saturday started with a super delicious breakfast (fruit salad, fresh orange juice and turmeric ginger tea for me) to fuel us for the next run. After warming up we ran through the city together. It was super warm and sunny that day and it was so much fun to run with such a big group. The broadway was closed that day for an event so we had the road to ourselves. The SMSB crew took us to a huge mural that was made by Christopher Konecki (@konecki_art), an amazing artist who did such a great job into transforming Charlie’s message into this amazing colorful work of art.
After the run Andrea, Selin, David and I took an uber to Santa Monica. Unfortunately our time there was super limited but it was still so beautiful and I can’t wait to be back there hopefully soon and explore that area.
After having some difficulties with finding an uber to take us back to Downtown we were a bit late to the closing event but I still had a wonderful evening. ‘Night On Broadway’ was taking place and I ended up joining Charlie, his girlfriend Sanchia (@misssanchialege) and their friends. Sanchia told me her story of how she got into running, of going from hating it to running ultra marathons – damn I am so inspired by her!! I absolutely loved connecting with them and I can’t wait to spend more time with them in the future. I definitely have to head to London really soon… 🙂
One week after this amazing trip I still can’t fully comprehend everything that happened and I’m still overflowing with joy from these unique experiences. A huge thank you to Asics for taking me on this adventure. I am absolutely honoured to be working with them because it’s not just about producing high quality footwear and workout gear but actually making a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m all about mindfulness, about creating community and leaving your comfort zones to unlock your full potential and I truly felt how these values align with their mission.
Another big thanks goes to Charlie, Chevy (@chasing19) and the whole crew for making this event so special – these guys will do some epic things in the future, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see what they will give to this world.
I’m thrilled to take the idea of running for adventure home, to lift the pressure of speed and distances and get just exploring in my area and when I travel to other cities. Let’s combine the power of movement and community ♥︎
[in cooperation with Asics]