At Aspire, we are on a mission to build a community of like-minded people who can share expertise, inspirational stories and find ways to make the world a better place. 

Our Moving Meets connect people, professionals and brands who are passionate about sports, outdoors and wellbeing to discuss topics while on the move. Our Moving Communities initiative brings together communities for deeper discussions around issues facing us today and in the future, from mental health and sustainability to diversity and equality. 

On 8th July 2022, the Aspire team held its first-ever combined event – our renowned Moving Meets together with a Moving Communities discussion. The event was centred around body image and positivity. 

Our guests included a mix of old and new Aspire friends, including journalists, industry contacts, content creators and community leads. 

The evening started with a swim at the stunning West Reservoir Centre, challenging some of our guests to face their fears with an open water dip.  

Post swim, @taniabrown held a fantastic meditation session to help everyone get in touch with their mind, body and emotions. This was followed by an inspirational Moving Community discussion hosted by @ella and expert panel Justyn, Nicole and Tania. The discussion took a deeper look at body positivity and how we challenge body image perceptions within the fitness industry. 

Ella kicked off the discussion with a really moving reading of ‘She Chose’ from the book Stripped by Cara Alwill Leyba and ended with her ‘What If’ poem which you can read below.  

We’re always trying to change who we are. 

We strive to be prettier, thinner, blonder, or better. 

We’re always trying to fix, and nip, and suck and tuck. 

We’re always living under the assumption that there is an ideal woman we should emulate; a gold standard of beauty to attain. 

But what if our goal was to simply look in the mirror and say, 

There is no one else I’d rather be. I’ve never met a woman better than me. 

The panel discussion was moving, inspirational and enlightening, but it was the poems that left everyone emotional. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room! 

Our guests and the panel felt that the sports and fitness industry is making progress, with some brands focusing on representation and ranges to suit all bodies. But there is still work to do, especially in the way social media and TV amplify body idealism. 

The discussion highlighted the biggest challenge around our bodies is ourselves. Maybe a little more respect and alliance with our bodies could make us all happier and inspired to do more? 

You can watch the full discussion, and highlights from the day, below:

To learn more about our panellists, you can view their socials below:

Ella (@ellachloeswims)
Justyn (@beingbravescar)
Tania (@taniabrownyoga)
Nicole (@nicolerosewellness)