Chics for Change

Studio 5 Contributor, Courtney Orton tells us about a group of women who are stepping outside the gym and their comfort zone to get in better physical shape.

“There’s a lot more to life than just going to the gym,” says founder of Chics for Change, Jenna Hansen. That’s not what you’d expect to hear from a personal trainer and fitness instructor, but Jenna Hansen means what she says, and it’s the reason she started Chics for Change two years ago. The group is made up of women ages 19 to 67, who together promise to push and improve themselves.

Melissa Phillips joined the group when it first started and says, “I hadn’t done anything new for a long time, and anything that had really challenged me. I’d been going to the gym but I saw this as way of trying new things and transferring the things that I was learning in the gym to outside.”

Chics for Change is all about morale support and doing things you maybe wouldn’t do on your own. “For me it’s just trying new things,” says Jodi Egan who also joined the group when it first started. “You know, you’re never too old to try new things, and it just makes you get out there and do things.

The Chics do lots of things. Last year they hiked Zion’s Narrows in Southern Utah, and this year they’re going river rafting in Jackson Hole. “We do events every year,” says Hansen, “so we’ll do like a running event where there’s a 5k, half marathon, marathon, and they choose. We do some triathlons, bike events.”

Each chic is always working towards a goal. “I can’t always keep up,” says one of the group’s oldest members Char Oyler, “but nobody cares. We just kind of go at our own pace. The things we want to do we do.” For Char, that’s learning how to swim. It’s her goal for the year, but she and the other chics will certainly find themselves doing things they don’t want to do. “We try to really expand their comfort zones,” says Hansen.

After the night’s potluck dinner, Char and the other chics will be going out for a moonlight snow shoe.

“It’s not my favorite,” says Oyler “Yea, I’m doing it.”

And that’s what Chics for Change is all about.

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