The sense of being connected is one of life’s great pleasures, but it’s also at times a necessity. When you’re starting a business, when you need a suggestion for mechanic, or babysitter, when you’re looking for a job, where do you go for help? When the idea of networking makes me cringe, I remind myself of the value in tapping into the resources of a big group. Plus, I’m always trying to surround myself with the kind of people who lift you up and support your dreams. So when I heard there was a networking group in Nashua, the NSH Lady Project, I couldn’t wait to see what the group was all about. Would we be standing around awkwardly selling ourselves? Would people be making it rain with business cards?
NSH (that stands for Nashua) Lady Project is part of a larger network, The Lady Project, that started in Providence, RI in 2011. The purpose of the group is to showcase accomplishments of women of all ages and connect them to other women through monthly events. Each event benefits a local charity, and the Nashua chapter, in just their first year, has raised over $2,000 for supplies for Marguerite’s Place. (Marguerite’s Place provides housing and transitional services for homeless women with children.) Past Nashua events have included a night of painting at Drinkable Arts, a barre workout at Strength In Balance, and a joint J. Crew event with the Boston chapter.
This month’s event was at the fitness studio, Orangetheory, on Amherst St in Nashua.
And it was awesome.
The details that went into organizing this event made it feel like such a rich experience – the number and variety of vendors, the workout class, the discussion after – it flowed really nicely and afforded a lot of opportunities to organically connect to these local businesses and the other ladies in attendance.
Vendors filled the lobby, including Lululemon, Beautycounter and Fleet Feet Sports, a store in the shopping plaza off exit 6. From the lobby we transitioned into the main event, a shortened version of an Orangetheory workout.
I’ve tried every workout there is; I’ve passed out in hot yoga, twerked in zumba, namastay-ed in bikram yoga, high kicked it in kickbox cardio, and own every “Crunch” workout video. But I have to say, Orangetheory feels like the most effective workout I’ve ever tried.
The idea behind Orangetheory is to keep your heart rate in a target zone by interval training, spiking your metabolism and forcing your body to keep burning fat for 36 hours after class. Everyone straps a heart monitor around their chest, and your heart rate will flash on a screen, color coded for target zones. You don’t need to watch the screen however, as your instructor keeps an eye on it and pushes you when you need to crank up the speed or incline to hit your target. From the treadmill we hopped over to the rowing machine to use our leg strength, also intermittently jumping off to do (hops? I forget the word) with a medicine ball. Lastly, we head over to the mats and did some sit ups and planks, or if you’re me, rolled around the floor like a beached whale. After class they email you your heart rate results!
If you want to give it a shot, Orangetheory offers everyone their first class FREE.
After the class we had a chance to ask a dietitian some questions, and a massage therapist was on hand for some back massages! Among the tips we learned from the dietitian:
- Drinking alcohol effectively shuts down your metabolism. So 100% of what you eat while drinking turns into fat.
- She suggests eating every 3-4 hours instead of frequent, small meals throughout the day
When I lived in LA I was a member of a very old, exclusive “tracking board” for women in entertainment. In a male dominated industry this group was historically very important in connecting other women and giving them a leg up. If your boss was asking you to get an impossible script, or you needed to find tickets for a show, you went to the boards to ask for help. It’s where I found the job posting for my last job, and how I met women in higher level jobs. Imagine a city as big as Nashua tapping into the potential of its women in this way! A motivated group of women determined to inspire and connect other women can help businesses grow, people reach their potential, and a city flourish.
Next month’s NSH Lady Project event will be their big birthday bash! They’re inviting you to “bring your mentor” for what I’m sure will be another great event. Lady Project also holds an annual summit in Providence. City manager Nika Legatova shared with the group the story of attending the summit, inspired by the idea of “big dreams, small steps”, before she went on to help start the Nashua chapter. Here’s hoping you take the first small step toward your big dreams with the women of NSH Lady Project!