It was a day of smiles, laughter, sweat and tears as La Create Sp_ce held its first Women in Fitness event in Downtown Inglewood on Saturday, May 11.
As part of her She Is … speaker series, co-owner of La Create Sp_ce, Marisa Johnson put on a fitness event to empower women to live a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the day, women were able to network, hear from fitness professionals, work out with a Nike master-trainer and learn about vegan food options. There were also local and Black-owned business vendors including 1987 Juices, Posh Candle Co., and Girl Cave LA beauty supply.
The She Is speaker series is a safe place for women to have serious conversations and conversations that are uncomfortable. It’s a place to gain a mentor, make a friend, get a connection, and it’s really important for me to do it here in Inglewood,” said Johnson.
Women were greeted with fruit, avocado toast, peanut butter banana toast, and cold pressed juices at 9 a.m. After an hour of networking and learning about healthy food options, it was time to head upstairs where things got real. As a woman who has dealt with an eating disorder and experienced struggles in fitness, Johnson put together a panel of diverse women who shared their stories of their introduction into fitness and the difficult challenges involved.
The panelists ranged in age, profession, and background but each gave insight to their history with eating disorders, depression, and insecurities. This discussion led to tears but also uplifted many of the women, reminding them of their solidarity and the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I learned something from all of these women, the panelists, and the women in the room who asked questions. We relate on so many levels that we can’t imagine possible,” said Natasha Zarate, who attended the event. “When you think that you’re struggling with something and someone tells you that they’re going through it too, it’s amazing.”
The panel discussion was led by t.v. host and former college basketball player Rocqui Theus and the group of panelists included Nike master-trainer Betina Gozo, Nike marketing specialist and former college athlete Tiana King, physical trainer and Inglewood community health advocate Claudine Cooper, along with new mom and co-owner of La Create Sp_ce, Marisa Johnson.
After the panel discussion a Nike master-trainer, Betina Gozo got everybody up and moving as she led the group in a one-hour workout. The full body strength workout included a lot of group and partner exercises. A bunch of high-fives and encouragement were given throughout the hour. Women were working out in camaraderie and fellowship. Cooper then led the group in a cool down.
“It was amazing to see everyone working out in Inglewood at my space. Being someone who has dealt with an eating disorder, this is personal for me,” said Johnson. “It is uncomfortable, but as I continue to talk about it, I am continuing to grow as a woman. I aspire to do the same for other women. If they can see themselves in me or any of the panelists, maybe that will help them grow. Today was everything that I ever dreamed of and more.”
Small and large businesses sponsored the event, leaving the ladies with gift bags to take home. Sponsors included Nike, Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, Young Living Essential Oils, Little Northern Bakehouse, One Degree Organics, Posh Candle Co., 1987 Juice, and Girl Cave LA.
La Create Sp_ce is a creative workspace that Marisa and her husband, Terell Johnson opened last year. It offers conference rooms, an audio recording and editing studio, a photo studio with green screen and lighting, communal workspace, and event space. A big mission of La Create Sp_ce is to bring events to Downtown Inglewood that empower people to grow and network. For more information about the space and future events, visit lacreatespace.com.