massachusetts

New Yoga Studio Review: YogaWorks Chestnut Hill

I'm a big fan of yoga but I especially love it in the winter. Stretching in a warm studio, feeling that burn, and the strong sense of zen left after a quality class is especially appreciated this time of year. With a new YogaWorks location opening at Chestnut Hill, I was invited to their opening weekend to try out a class. I picked a Vinyasa Flow class taught by Alissa Portet.
The new space is located downstairs in a large building and it feels cozy and welcoming when you walk in. The class was packed for a cold Superbowl Sunday but I grabbed a spot and they didn't run out of mats or props. Alissa led a nice, energizing flow and I found her cues particularly specific and helpful. Muscles I didn't even realize I had were burning in no time.
After the class I checked out some awesome vendors they had in the lobby in celebration of opening weekend including a Juice Press, Dosha Bar, and Health Ade - the best kombucha I've ever tried. 

With the classes and workshops being offered in addition to the friendly staff and knowledgable teachers, I think this studio will be a welcome addition to the Chestnut Hill area. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Have you tried any cool new studios lately? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear about them!

#BostonMarathon Runner Story: Lauren Delaney for Massachusetts Fallen Heroes

I only photographed one Boston Marathon runner this year so I thought it was fitting to post her story today, Marathon Monday! Meet Lauren, who I met up with at Forge Pond Park in Hanover, MA. Lauren is running with the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes team and has already raised over $25,000 this year. Amazing!
Name: Lauren Delaney
Location: Hanover, MA
Occupation: Campaign Management Manager 
Number of Marathons Run (including 2016): 5
Boston Marathons Run (including 2016): 4
Why I Run: In general I run to stay in shape and to run for a purpose. I run for charities because it combines my passion for giving back and philanthropy with health and fitness. This year I am running to raise money for Massachusetts Fallen Heroes in memory of my "cousin-in-law," LCpl William J. Donovan, Jr. U.S.M.C. Will was a two time Purple Heart recipient who served in Afghanistan in 2011. He died in a tragic motorcycle accident in September.  I wanted to carry on his legacy by running in his memory and raising money for an organization that meant so much to him and now our family. Through this, I am also hoping to raise more awareness about MFH and the amazing work they do!


Nice job Lauren and good luck today!!!
To read more Boston Marathon runners' stories, visit my website: www.luciewickerphotography.com/bostonmarathon

#FitMom Talks: Kerri Thomas of Orangetheory Fitness

It's the beginning of the month and I have another awesome FitMom to share with you (to see more from this series, click here)! And now - meet Kerri!
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: 
My name is Kerri Thomas and I am the Regional Fitness Director and Trainer for Orangetheory Fitness. My husband and I are working on starting a stroller run club in the greater Boston area starting this May! More information to follow. Nevin is our son and he will be 7 months on April 20.
photo courtesy of Kerri Thomas
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again? 
I took 12 weeks off for my leave, starting 1 week before I delivered. I stopped training classes 2 weeks before my due date and worked out up to the day before I delivered.

I had a quick and relatively easy delivery so I started going for 2+ mile walks the day after we came home from the hospital, and then started with shorter body weight circuits at home around 4 weeks postpartum. At 6 weeks I tried to do a box jump (not smart) and nearly face planted as my hips were still separated and the pain I felt was a big eye opener that slowly getting back into things was needed even for me.

Also, I was a pretty avid runner before, and that was the only thing that was too uncomfortable for me to do while I was pregnant. I had awful ligament pains in my lower abdominal area, so it's been TOUGH running again after almost a year!

How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?Well... My schedule was jam packed with working out before Nevin! Work and working out were basically my top two priorities as I was about to start training for a marathon the week I found out I was pregnant. 
Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Absolutely! Your whole life and priorities shift or change after you have a baby, or at least mine did. I'm a HUGE goals person, and the goals I had before Nevin were more personal when it came to my health and fitness. Now, my fitness and health goals take on a whole new meaning as I want to be a role model for my son, not just a "fit mom". A very important goal of mine working in fitness is to inspire every person I meet to be the strongest and healthiest version of themselves, my son will be one of those people!

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working and being a mom?When you love what you do, your "work/life balance" doesn't seem to be an issue, right? This was me! I was always working and didn't really think about it twice. Now, time management is something I am working on a lot. When I'm at work I'm working more efficiently and I'm minimizing the amount of work I do on my days off, other than when Nevin is sleeping. So, most of my emails go out after 9PM :) I still work full-time, with some days being at 2+ locations or some weeks working some part of every day, but I feel as though I am home much more and when I am home it's quality time.

The real challenge I found when going back to work is not so much my work/mom balance, but the work/working out or going out/mom balance. When I was on maternity leave, I didn't feel guilty and craved getting out to get a workout done or go out with friends. Now working, I have a hard time being away from Nevin for personal time as I'm already away for work. It's something I'm sure all working parents face, and have started to put a schedule together that has helped me figure this out and not miss his face too much!

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your son (either one-on-one or as a family)?In the fall, Mike and I used to go for longer walks with Nevin and then stop at the HS track or a big hill to do a workout with Nevin typically sleeping. The winter has been tough to incorporate Nevin into our workout routines but we've taught him some great pushup and sit-up to stand exercises! But what's been really great as the weather is getting warmer and Nevin has now developed strong enough head and body control, is we are starting to jog with him in the stroller (if you are a runner you need a BOB stroller). We are excited to get some hikes done as a family this spring!

To follow Kerri on her adventures in fitness and motherhood, check her out on instagram at @kjfitchick. Thanks for chatting with me, Kerri! 

#FitMomTalks: Gina Fay of DanceFIT Studio

I'm so excited to share a new feature on the blog with you! When I found out I was expecting my first baby this spring, I immediately turned to my mom friends for any and all wisdom they had to share. I realized I'm lucky to know so many moms in the fitness community who are kicking ass at their jobs, some even owning their own businesses, and figuring out how to be super moms as well.

I thought it would be fun (and hopefully inspiring!) to share their stories and any advice they have on the blog in a regular feature called "FitMoms." Our first FitMom is Gina Fay, business owner and mom of three, who I've known and admired for years. Here's what she had to share:
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: 
Hi! Lucie, thank you for asking me to be a part of this special blog series! I am Gina, the owner/founder of danceFIT Studio with locations in Brookline, Natick and a virtual fitness studio which I started 6 years ago.

A little bit about danceFIT, without turning this blog into a marketing piece, but my business is first and foremost a very special dance studio for children. We present classical ballet & technique in a friendly welcoming environment. Second, my Natick studio offers a variety of adult barre and fitness classes like pound, zumba, balletFIT, bootcamp, pilates with props, deep stretch and our very popular class hot barre (which you got to experience!) 6 years ago, I launched a virtual fitness studio from my living room. I taught from home and my clients stayed home. It seemed so strange at first, but the community grew and grew and grew, and now we offer 20+ group virtual fitness classes per week, and we have had clients from 5 countries and 23 states. I am also co-founder of bvirtualstudio in which I train other boutique barre, yoga and pilates studios how to “bvirtual.”

My hubby and I live in Wayland MA, a suburb west of Boston. We have three amazing children, Joey (6), Tommy (5) and Maggie (6 months). The boys love baseball, football, walkie talkies, ninjas, legos and playing outside. Maggie loves crinkly paper, peas, cuddling with daddy, stuffed animals and watching her crazy brothers.
photo courtesy of Gina Fay
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again?
I taught up until I went into labor, 3 days after my due date [with Maggie]. I kept a pretty full teaching schedule, but the last month teaching balletFIT cardio was just impossible. The amount of pas de chats, chasses and stamina needed for the class just wasn’t working with the big belly ;) I loved teaching pregnant, though....I even scheduled a virtual class on my due date called "labor inducing danceFIT," haha. I still couldn’t dance her out! I put myself back on the schedule 3 weeks after Maggie arrived. I think it was similar after the boys were born too. I started working out and dancing when my body felt ready; I couldn’t wait for the first workout, which was very humbling, ha. I started by teaching virtual classes and then finally was back in the studio at 6 weeks.
How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?
I am actually trying to think back more than 6 years ago to my workout routines before kids- that feels forever ago! I taught 5+ classes a day, 7 days a week. Chris (my hubby) and I would spend our “free” time being active...walking around the city, running, and riding our bikes. Now our “free” time is collapsed on the couch, drinking coffee, meal prepping, grocery shopping, fun trips with the kids, sporting events and family walks. Thank goodness for our virtual studio which allows me to make dinner, nurse Maggie, tuck everyone in, teach class from my living room and then relax on the couch after.

Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Before kids, I would workout and dance to lose weight, flatten my tummy, get ready for summer, etc. Now I workout to de-stress, sweat and stretch. Growing a baby, having a baby and caring for a baby definitely changed the shape of my body. I can try tirelessly to get it back, or I can embrace the new shape & stretch marks and get as fit and strong as I can with the minimal time I have left for me at the end of the day. I treat my workouts as a “break” and really enjoy them. I love the feeling of being drenched in sweat from ballet jumps and sequences, my legs shaking like jello from an intense balletFIT class and my abs sore from pilates!
What is the biggest challenge you've found in running a business and being a mom?
This is such a good question because owning a business has actually been one of the best things about being a mom. I am able to make my own schedule to work around my kids schedules. The biggest challenge though is not being able to “turn work off.” I am trying to disconnect more and be more present at home, but there are so many things to think about when you own a business. I love when I can bring my kids to work. At DanceFIT, I host infant/ mom playdates, baby wearing balletFIT and kids dance and yoga nights for the boys and their friends! We have more fun events like this coming up.

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your kids (either one-on-one or as a family)?
We love water sports! Water skiing (which I am bad at, but love!), paddle boarding, swimming. We also love going on walks.

Thank you Gina!

More info about Gina and her studios - 
locations: 25 monmouth street, brookline ma 02446 | 721 worcester street, natick ma 01760
twitter: @dFITstudio
instagram: @dancefitstudio

Studio News: Coming this Spring

Well, I'm finally ready to announce it on the blog - a tiny assistant (maybe more like a boss?) will be joining the Lucie Wicker Photography family this spring! Due at the end of May, we could not be more thrilled. Apollo has no idea what he's in for... (ok, neither do we!). 

I plan to take some time off but don't worry! I'm still booking shoots through the end of April and plan to pick back up again in the summer, stay tuned for updates on that. In the mean time, I will be working away and also adding some new concepts to my portfolio and blog including what I'm calling "FitMoms" - women I know in the fitness industry who are completely dominating their chosen professions and just so happen to be moms too. I find them so inspiring and would love to share their photos and stories with you! So keep an eye out for that. 
I am also still doing a lot of photo sessions with kids, either with a sports/athletics slant or just playing around in my studio. If you or anyone you know would be interested in one of those sessions, please get in touch
I'm so excited to share this next chapter and see what will happen in the next few months. Stay tuned!


#makeitheard with ivivva Derby Street

 This fall I had a chance to work with a local ivivva store in Hingham, MA on their #makeitheard campaign asking girls what they're thankful for. We gathered some local kiddos at the studio, talked to them about who and what they are grateful for and then took some awesome photos! Here are a few of my favs:
Check out more of my "fit kids" photography on my website

@NewBalance Head of the Charles Photo Shoot

Back in August (on a lovely 95 degree day) I did a quick shoot for New Balance featuring two Olympic rowers modeling attire for NB's Head of the Charles line. The race was a few weeks ago and here are a few of the images that popped up online:

The athletes, Gevvie Stone and Elliot Hovey, were sweltering in the fall-weather outfits but they were good sports about it and we tried to move quickly! It was fun following them up and down the Charles. 

Group Fitness Photography in Boston's South End

It's always fun to photograph group fitness, especially this gorgeous time of year. I recently did a photo shoot with trainer Chris Carreiro at a park where he regularly holds bootcamp-style classes. He brought a whole crew to help him out with the photos and their energy was infectious! Not only were they supporting Chris by being in the shoot but they cheered each other on the whole time I was photographing the exercises. It was a blast! Here are some of the finished results:


 I can't wait to see the final results on the website when it's all put together. Thanks for a great shoot, Chris! You're a lucky guy to have such awesome clients. :)

Trainer: Chris Carreiro
Produced by: patientMoon Wellness Marketing
Location: South End, Boston, MA








Photographing Runners and Athletes: My Interview on Point and Shoot

Over the summer I was a guest on a local cable access show, Point and Shoot, hosted by photographer Susan Hagstrom. Susan interviews other photographers in the area, discusses their process with them, reviews some of their work, and then gets video of them in action. We shot the video at the cable studio in Hingham and then on location at my studio and in my yard. It was really fun! I was nervous but I've been told I don't look like I am in the video. :)

Check it out and let me know what you think!

We Keep Bees



Last fall, Seth got it in his head that it would be cool to keep bees since we have a yard now. He mentioned it to our recently retired neighbor who loved the idea. He proceeded to do all the research and created a plan for beekeeping that we could do together. We agreed and within a few weeks, the bees arrived (by USPS - seriously):
The cage the bees were shipped in!
We're using what is called a Warre Hive. These hives closely resemble the kind of living space a bee would have in nature so they're considered "natural beekeeping" with the idea that bees are happier and more productive in these types of hives.
one of "our girls" carrying pollen back to the hive on her legs
Even though we have bee suits, these bees (Italian) are so docile we barely need them. I was able to get close for these photos without any issue.

We're so pleased with our bees and we've been encouraging everyone who will listen to consider getting a hive of their own (even city dwellers - yes, it's totally possible). They are essential components to maintaining a healthy environment and as we know, the environment could use all the help it can get! Plus, you get some tasty honey. That's a bonus too :)

Interested in reading more? We had an article all about our bee project published in the Cohasset Mariner! I also posted more photos here with captions too.

Have you ever thought about keeping bees?

Recap: My First #Triathlon Experience!

Last Sunday I competed in my first sprint triathlon, the Marshfield-Duxbury Tri, - 1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride, 3 mile run. I had done a lot of training leading up to the day and felt as prepared as I could be which helped my confidence but I didn't sleep that well the night before (damn subconscious anxiety!). I had packed everything I was going to bring the night before which was super helpful. Luckily I still got up on time and made it to the beach by 6:30am. The transition area was already packed with bikes and gear:


The swim was a triangle route where we swam straight out, keeping the buoys on our left and then swam back. Even with the practice, the swim was tough for me but it turns out it was my strongest leg. I even came in the top half for my age group.
You can't tell how slow I'm going! Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
The bike was 11 miles and while I felt totally prepared and confident, it was my weakest event. I came in almost dead last. This made the ride pretty disheartening, watching so many people wiz by. If I heard one more "passing on your left" I thought I'd explode. I'm definitely going to work on biking more and also investigating a better racing bike since mine is just a hybrid/hand-me-down. Better than nothing for my first tri of course!
Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
The run was... well, it went fine but it was 3 miles entirely on the beach. I've never run that far on the beach and even with the packed sand, it was a totally different experience than I'm used to. I always try to pick it up at the end and it was just not possible - the sand was so loose at the finish line, I was tripping all over my feet and just trying not to fall! It was gorgeous and sunny and, I would say, visually entertaining to run on the beach but my time definitely suffered. I refused to walk however, no matter how tempting it was at times.
Throwing myself across that finish line. Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
My overall time was 1:37:42.8, 336 out of 374 overall, and 24 out of 34 in my age division. Like always, somewhere in the first third of the race, I swore to myself "never again" and now I'm already thinking ahead to the next tri I could do. I've heard these things are addictive! Overall, it was a really fun, exhilarating, well-run event (thanks to Streamline Events for this) and I would highly recommend signing up for one if you get a chance.

Next post: prepping, what I wore, and race day advice, coming soon.

Have you ever done a triathlon? What did you think? 

Let's try this again... #MarshfieldDuxburyTri this Sunday

biking in the rain can be fun, it turns out
After the wash-out that was the Cohasset Triathlon I was preparing for in June, I immediately signed up for the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon on August 2 which is now just a few short days away! Training has been trickier since the weather got pretty steamy in July but I have fit in a bunch of good runs, some even long (for me!). When it was too hot to run I did some bike rides along the shore with those ocean breezes keeping me going.


As for gear, I got a sweet new bike helmet-

 and finally purchased my first tri suit which is currently en route from OneTri.com!

Never thought I'd be so psyched for such a thing but I am. It's the same brand I used for the Cohasset Tri which I'd rented (except this one has sleeves - no jellyfish stings this time). Still deciding on an outfit but I'll post it when I have it all squared away.
definitely wearing my New Balance kicks!
What are you training for this summer??

#SurferGirl, Photos from Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA

Back in May on a particularly warm and sunny morning, I went to Nantasket Beach with my friend Jackie who invited me to hang out with her while she surfed. At first it looked like there were no waves but we were assured by a guy walking by that they had been there yesterday and would probably be out today.

Luckily he was right and I got some shots of Jackie getting ready to surf, heading into the waves, and even riding quite a few. It was almost as fun to watch as I'm sure it was for her to be out there.



Surfer: Jackie Fornaro
Location: Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA
Wetsuit: Billabong
Surfboard: Robert August



Update: Tri Training! #CohassetTri 2015

Most of us in the Northeast are saying this but it's really true - I'm loving this season so far. Between hanging out in my yard gardening (and beekeeping!) and exercising (running, biking, kayaking), I'm making up for a lot of time stuck inside this winter. One of my major motivations is coming up this weekend! I am participating in the Cohasset Triathlon, my very first one. I've acquired a bike, rented a tri wetsuit, and have been swimming/biking/running like mad so I think I'm ready! I can't wait and will definitely report back here when it's over.
Watch out, sharks
Today was my first day in the ocean with a wetsuit! I rented one from Tri Wetsuit Rentals which sent it in plenty of time to get a few practice sessions in. I've been taking swim lessons with Kate from Portside Athletics but it was very different doing the quarter mile swim in the ocean versus the pool!
The bike portion of the race is 12 somewhat hilly miles so I've been practicing that too. It helps that it is a particularly gorgeous route. 

For running I've just been doing my usual 2-3 miles once or twice a week. I did a speed workout last weekend (one mile warm up, one mile on the track sprinting the straight 100s and jogging the turns, one mile cool down) and it felt great (while also kicking my ass).

It's supposed to rain on Sunday but I'm feeling ready. What are you training for this summer??

#Instagram Round-up: May 2015

While April was the month that kicked my $%&, May was a breath of fresh air. I caught up on so many things I had on the back burner for ages and had several great shoots as well. Boat time, road races, gardening, BEE KEEPING (more on this later...), and spending as much time outside as possible. So happy that summer is finally here!!!

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with OmGal, Rebecca Pacheco

I'm so psyched to post a special interview with a special person on my blog today. Meet Rebecca Pacheco - aka OmGal - yoga enthusiast and now a published author. I met Rebecca last year when she participated in my "Why I Run" Boston Marathon project and we stayed in touch. When she told me she was writing a book and asked me to shoot the headshot for the inside of the book jacket, I was beyond thrilled.
Here's my interview with Rebecca (who has been kind enough to do a book giveaway! Deets at the end of the interview):

Hi Rebecca! Tell us a little about yourself: If my life in yoga years were a person, she’d be able to vote! I began doing yoga at the age of 16. In addition to teaching yoga, I’ve also worked with at-risk youth at a nonprofit in Dorchester, in marketing at a magazine, and as a consultant. I’m now a solopreneuer (like you, Lucie). Which means we are the bosses… and the assistants… and the janitors. My first book comes out on March 3. It’s pretty surreal. Writing a book has been a lifelong dream (I majored in English Literature). Yoga became the medium through which I write and tell stories.

Tell us about your new book: It’s less of the fitness and flexibility we all know so well about yoga and more of the tradition’s meaning and philosophy, yet made modern and relatable to life for the modern yogi.
What did you hope to bring to the community (or world?) with this book: The world doesn’t need another idealized image of yoga. My goal was to be real and give people a better understanding of how yoga applies to real life. I wanted to give the world a yoga book that they would actually read. I also really hope it makes people laugh. Humor is high art to me.

What was the writing experience like? Would you ever consider doing it again? I have always thought of myself as a writer. The experience was hard, stressful, and painstaking at times. Even friends who are both mothers and published authors will say that it’s like childbirth (I’ll have to keep you posted for when I do have a child!). But writing is what I was meant to do. I was the kid who got busted for staying up past my bedtime reading with a flashlight under the covers. The level of difficulty in writing a book and making a living as a professional writer have never dissuaded me, so, yes, I plan to do it again. I have conceptualized three future books in my mind. One of them I’ve started writing loosely. I hope to bring that one to fruition soon. It will incorporate an athletic inspiration to my approach to yoga.

Are you planning any events around your big launch? I am! Right now, we have book tour events confirmed in Boston, Western MA, Rhode Island, Washington DC, and the Cape & Islands. There are other cities in the works, so please stay tuned!

Where can we find "Do Your Om Thing?" You can order it on Amazon now or buy it in bookstores after 3/3/15. If you’re in Boston, definitely come to two of the best indie bookstores on earth in the Brookline Booksmith on March 4th and Trident Booksellers on March 9th. They are seriously two of my favorite places in the city. I can’t wait to see everyone there and write some love notes to readers, students, and friends on the title pages of some books.
Thanks Rebecca and congratulations!!! 

Keep in touch with Rebecca:
RebeccaPacheco.com | OmGal.com
twitter: @omgal
instagram: @omgal
Facebook: @omgalblog

If you'd like a chance at winning Do Your Om Thing, leave a comment below. One winner* will be chosen at random on March 6th and will be announced here on the blog so check back in a week. Good luck!

*book can be shipped to a US address only

note: this post does contain affiliate links; however, all opinions are my own

Why I Run: A Boston Marathon 2015 Project Has Begun

I'm so thrilled to share the first three participants in the latest installment of my Boston Marathon 2015 "Why I Run" project. These fine ladies braved the elements this weekend to run and pose for me and I'm so grateful! Once again I find myself blown away by these runners' dedication and reasons for doing what they do. I'm still working on collecting their stories but when I do, the will be posted here. Check back soon to see them go up!

Also, I'm still accepting participants for this years' project- if you or anyone you know is living and training on the South Shore, let me know!