Urban Running in Cologne

Last week I was at the Urban Pack Event by Asics and I can’t even begin to tell you guys how amazing it was and how much I enjoyed every bit, every second of it, from bootcamp workout warm up with loud blasting music in a subway station to silent meditation after the most beautiful yoga flow…

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It was a weekend full of fun, adventures, laughs, movement, community, passion, happy tears – and most importantly incredibly inspiring people.

On Friday I took a train to Cologne and arrived pretty late at the Hotel so I just went straight to bed. At breakfast next morning I met some of the other blogger girls including Selin, who was in LA with me and I was so happy to see her again ♥︎

Then we were picked up to go to the Asics HQ in Neuss where we met all the other guests, the Asics Training Squad, Frontrunners and some media guests. We were welcomed by the lovely team and everyone received a little suitcase with beautiful Asics gear and the two new running shoes that Asics just launched: The FuseX Rush and Gel Quantum 360. Then we all came together and Jan Erik who is part of the Asics Frontrunner Team started his presentation. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the brand, especially how and why Asics was founded.

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I love that the main purpose always was to use innovative technology to provide good quality shoes and gear to athletes to help them improve their performance. But it is also great to see a new development of the brand, trying to reach a new younger group of people, the “Fitness Explorers“, understanding that running is more than just a sport and making it accessible to everyone – no matter how fast or slow you are, whether you run for years or just started out. It is kind of a new lifestyle: We wear our trainers all day, both at the gym and the club dancing through the night and we got our sports bra ready for the yoga session after work or uni – Asics is doing a perfect job at bridging the gap between good functional technique and modern design.

Jan Erik showed us all the different shoes Asics produced throughout the years and what is about to come during the next months. I loooove the new ideas and designs… you may be curious!!

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Before the second part of the presentation started we had a little showact by Sebastian Deeg (@ropeletics) who is German, European and World Champion in rope skipping! Wow – I had never seen anybody doing such incredible things with a skipping rope before. – well I can’t even do the tricks he did without a rope. You guys should definitely check him out, it is so fascinating. Selin and I immediately decided to get our hands on a skipping rope.

Then the presentation continued and we learned more about the lifestyle brands Onitsuka Tiger and Asics Tiger.

After lunch we all went back to the Hotel and got ready for our run through cologne. After taking some pictures in our beautiful new sports gear we started the adventure in a little yellow school bus – of course with loud party music – that drove us to our first destination which was a subway train station. Thess, Marleen and Svenja – all 3 part of the Asics Training Squad and suuuch power women – got us “warmed up” with a super fun workout consisting of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, planks, wall sits, jump squats and lunges.

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It is so much fun to work out in such big group – especially because you can support and cheer for each other. My legs and arms were definitely shaking afterwards! Thanks again girls for this epic workout!!! I cannot wait to train more with you.

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We also used that amazing location to take some pictures before we hopped on the party bus again and went to the start location of our 8 km run. Ah damn it was so beautiful! The sun was setting while we ran and I had amazing conversations along the way. At several places we were surprised by music acts, an acro yoga perfomance and a fire-breather and it all ended a super cool spot with fire places, drinks and more music. It was so well organised and definitely an adventure.

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Later, after a quick shower and fresh up at the hotel we went to Kunstbruder, a super fancy restaurants just a few minutes away from our hotel and had a lovely Indian dinner and drinks there. Well, delicious fresh juice it was for me.

I loved connecting with the girls more and we had such great talks about body positivity, health and self love ♥︎

Sunday morning started with another great breakfast and a little photo session on the roof top of the hotel before we checked out and drove to MAD Cologne, a huge hall with trampolines and a free running / “parcour” facility.

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But before the fast and crazy part we had a wonderful yoga session with Hie (@hiekimyoga).I have to say that after hearing so many people rave about his yoga flows I had super high expectations – that he still somehow managed to completely exceed. He started it with something along the lines of “Let’s not allow our diversities to lead to misunderstanding or separation, but let our empathy guide us so we can become more than the sum of our parts.”goosebumps already.

He taught us a beautiful flow to the acoustic version of firestone and got us connecting with our breath, building a union which is exactly what “yoga” means essentially. Everything is connected. And when we become aware of the inseparableness of ourselves and everything around us by becoming one with the moment, with the life force within, we not only feel the connection between mind, soul and body but also the union we built with the people around us…

nima ana n orpore ano

= sound mind in a sound body

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And that is definitely one thing I take with me from this amazing weekend with Asics: what wonderful things we can set into motion when we get together with all our differences and various strengths and weaknesses. Because every single one of us has unique gifts and talents and in uniting lies this incredible power to make change happen – like firestones striking. #communityempowers

… yes, Hie got me crying at the end of the yoga session and I swear I was not the only one.

Unfortunately I could not take part in the rest of the program because my Achilles tendon was aching and I did not want to strain it any more.

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For everyone else the day continued with a plyometrics workshop by Max (@maxlongree) who completed and WON several ironman races – even the one in Kona, Hawaii which is absolutely phenomenal. After listening to so many Rich Roll podcast episodes about ultra endurance sport I am so fascinated by what these guys are doing with their body…

Plyometrics aka “jump training” basically means to do short “explosive” movements with maximum strength and quick alternation between muscle contraction and stretching like for example jumping squats and this training is used by athletes to improve their performance.

Perfect introduction into the parcour / free running workshop afterwards including jumping up walls and over obstacles, rolling in and out of an old car and doing backward flips. If you ever get the chance to do a parcour workshop – please do. It was such a bummer I could not take part but I could tell how much fun it was – and how powerful it is to conquer your own mind and fears.

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Initially we had a run planned afterwards but the weather forced us to stay inside and go for trampoline instead – nobody complained haha. Then we had a lovely last lunch together and it was already time to say good bye.

I am repeating myself but I am just so grateful to be working with Asics. Both weekends in LA and Cologne were such amazing experiences and I connected with so many EPIC people. Special thanks again to Andrea (@andreadiethers) and Anita (@ahornzeit) for putting together this wonderful event for us – it was a perfect mix of input, fun and sweat.

I cannot wait for more adventures with this crew – and after working out with these power girls I am so determined to take my fitness on another level!

Thanks for reading guys ♥︎ And never forget that you are powerful beyond measure.

xx Jil

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[in cooperation with Asics]

Thanks to Christian Siedler for the amazing pictures!

 

 

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