On October 22, women from across Colorado and beyond gathered at the iconic Red Rocks amphitheater for the Gildan Esprit de She Event. Esprit de She featured two yoga sessions, a timed 5k and 10k, and an evening concert by Jana Kramer. This was the first ever female-focused event in the history of Red Rocks amphitheater, and I was excited for an afternoon of fitness, fun and empowerment. My sister and I loaded up the car with our yoga mats, running shoes, and extra layers on Saturday afternoon, ready to see what Esprit de She was all about.

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After we had gotten to Red Rocks, picked up our packets, and eaten the first of many free samples, my sister and I went to pick out the best spot for the first yoga session. Yogi Gina Caputo ran both sessions that day. The first session was geared towards dynamic stretching for everyone who was running later on. I am very much a beginner at yoga, and I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to fully participate (I can’t even touch my toes!). To my relief, the session was flexible enough that both newbies and avid practicers alike could enjoy it. Even better, it was filled with positive mantras, inspirational music, and strong power poses. By the end I was feeling connected not only to my inner tigress but also to every other women doing Warrior pose right alongside me.

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When the yoga portion of the event was over, my sister and I checked our bags at gear check and wandered over to the 5k/10k start line. After reading an empowering mantra, the 10k race started across the rolling hills around Red Rocks. It was a glorious October day, and the sunlight cast soft golden shadows across the park. My sister and I were both feeling a little under the weathershe was recovering from an illness and I had a torn ligament in my hipand so we definitely weren’t our fastest. Normally I would have been embarrassed to be running as slow as we were, but at Esprit de She I only felt encouraged and inspired. The race didn’t feel like a competition against each other. Instead, we both just felt inspired to be out there. Everyone, from the volunteers handing out water to our fellow runners, had kind words to say to us as we passed by. Even though it was by far the slowest 10k I’ve ever run, I still felt proud and encouraged when I crossed the finish line.

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We had some time to kill after the race, and so my sister and I wandered around the LifeStyle Market. We ate our weight in granola bars, protein drinks, and other goodies. LifeSpa had a booth where we got our hair braided and our nails painted. When our bags were bursting with free samples, coupons, t-shirts, we figured it was time to go pick out seats for the concert. I redeemed both mine and my sister’s vouchers for a free drink (a huge perk of having a sister who is under 21), and we descended into the arena.

 

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The Tyler Walker Band opened for headliner Jana Kramer as the sun started to dip behind the mountains. I don’t listen to country music often, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was so into the whole concert. The Tyler Walker Band had some catchy, feel-good tunes that really got me in the mood for Jana Kramer. She had an amazing stage presence, and I definitely added several of her songs to my Spotify playlists when I got home.

 

The coolest thing about the concert was how intimate it was. Most Red Rocks shows that I’ve been to have been sold out and packed rock-to-rock with fans. Not this one. Only the first couple dozen rows were filled, which made for a personal and relaxed atmosphere. My sister and I danced all night, and when the house lights came on and it was time to leave we were both sad to go.

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As we walked towards the parking lot, we both talked about how we felt rejuvenated to go back to Boulder. We’d both been beaten down a bit that week, from a combination of school and work. After Esprit de She, though, we both felt strong and inspired. We arrived back in Boulder confident in our studies, our friends, and (cheesy, but important), ourselves.

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