In 2018, we are excited to announce MOXIE MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS. These spotlights highlight the heart of soul of what Moxie is all about - amazing women doing big things in the community. Our first spotlight is FitFest Co-Creator Jillian Keaveny. We caught up with Jillian to hear about the origins of FitFest, and asked - what advice would you give to a woman looking to go BIG?
Fit + Fold was the catalyst for the birth of Fit Fest, really. I have been teaching a fitness class through the Civic Center MOVES program since 2013. It's in Civic Center Park during the Summer and inside the McNichols Building in the Winter. Over the four years, I established a really sweet connection with the team at McNichols. After inviting SoundOff Colorado owner Phillip Galaviz in to introduce the MOVES students to a headphone workout experience a few times, in Jan of 2017, Shanna Shelby one of the events directors at McNichols approached me and asked, "Hey Jillian, would you want to put on an event here, teach a class and maybe use the SoundOff headphones? We don't currently have any health/wellness offerings here in the building outside of the MOVES program and we'd really like to change that." I said yes, of course, and Phil and I got to work on producing our first Fit + Fold event.
The first one took place in March 2017, and after three consecutive successful events (175+ people in attendance each time), Shanna/McNichols team approached Phil and I and said, "So, do you two want to produce a three day festival!?" For me, those first couple Fit + Fold events really demonstrated to me that my passion, the combination of fitness, yoga and music, all together could result in my dream come true teaching experience. And add to that the elements of the beautiful space that is McNichols and a reasonable ticket price for the community, and what my head and heart couldn't come up with on their own, was created.
Phil and I got to work to produce the first Fit Fest (Aug 4-6th) in early June. Our "hell yes" to create this event mirrored the why we decided to create Fit + Fold: Music, movement, community, and connection. We wanted to highlight the AMAZING LOCAL studios/instructors that make up the fitness/yoga/movement community in Denver. There are so many fitness and yoga offerings in Denver. Handfuls of local studios ranging in size and offerings. Instead of competing with one another, what would happen if we all were under one roof highlighting those gifts and talents? Holding each other up in the unique styles of movement that we are so lucky to have as offerings in Denver. AND... what if we could all come together and offer this experience for a price that was accessible.
We had the passion and inspiration to create Fit Fest. That was so obvious and present. The next step for me in becoming aware of my confidence to produce this event came from truly realizing the many connections I've made in the yoga/fitness community in the last four y
ears (I moved to Denver in March 2013). Seriously, some WICKED talented people and connectors, that inspire me daily. These studio owners and instructors were who I would rely on to help make this event a reality.
The first Fit Fest was amazing. In the short two months Phil and I had to put this three day event together, we were so happy with how it turned out. The studios/instructors were thrilled to be a part. The absolute BEST part of it all, the part that filled my heart to the extreme was watching studios owners in other studio owners classes and then the sentiments I heard post event, from them. Countless expressions of feeling inspired by one another's uniqueness, in each movement offering. THAT for me was the absolute best.
We have doubled our studio/class offerings this year and plan to double our attendance as well. All three levels of McNichols will be utilized, as well as a heated tent outside (spin). There will be a three-tloor vendor village, as well as a lunchtime panel highlighting a conversation between community members who are "Active In.." other areas besides movement.
Let the big idea be just that. An idea that fuels you. A totally heart-driven, REAL type of fueling. And let go of the "how" that idea will develop. Fit + Fold and Fit Fest weren't outlined in my vision. What WAS outlined in my vision of what would bring me joy and contentment in my career/passions was: music, movement and connection. Those three things were at the forefront of what I wanted, the rest of it or the "how" was unwritten. I attracted the people and connections and situations that would bring me to the idea and what was next because I was so clear in what I wanted to feel and experience. I trusted that the people and situations would help me define not only my gifts, but how I present those gifts to the world. The last couple of years I've received SO many lessons around this area. I no longer grasp to the specifics of how I'm going to get "there" or what "there" or the goal will look like, but I spend time and energy in the joy in the process OF the development. And the results have been bigger and more profound than my brain could have ever come up with.
Jillian Keaveny is moved and inspired by connection, physical movement and sound. She is a full-time yoga/fitness instructor and DJ in Denver, CO