Sometimes in life, you get opportunities that seem a little too good to be true. This was definitely how I felt when I was offered the chance to not only attend the CitySTRONG event in Austin, but get media/VIP access to meet and interview Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth from The Bachelorette Season 11, and celebrity fitness instructor Erin Oprea.
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I’m a fan of the Bachelor franchise, so meeting Kaitlyn and Shawn was basically a dream come true. Not to mention, it’s not every day you get to chat with the woman who helped Carrie Underwood achieve her famous legs.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with CitySTRONG, it is a one hour workout lead by Erin and Shawn, with hilarious commentary and music provided by Kaitlyn. While the workout was no joke, and I am still sore today, it was also a lot of fun.
CitySTRONG has events across the country, with all proceeds going to a great cause: CreatiVets. This cause is particularly important to Erin, who is a former U.S. Marine. CreatiVets provides disabled veterans with the opportunity to use art, music and creative writing to address the psychological and emotional needs that arise from service-related trauma.
Now that you have a bit of context, let’s dive into my interview with Kaitlyn, Shawn and Erin. They were all so friendly and willing to answer all of my questions. It felt more like a casual hang-out than an interview, and overall I’m really proud of how it turned out.
Shelly: To start off, can you tell me how you came up with the idea for CitySTRONG, and what the experience has been like so far?
Erin: My husband Sean, Shawn [Booth], and I were out on bicycles riding through the city of Nashville, and we just came up with the idea together. And three weeks later, we had our first workout! That was in September of last year, and from there it just grew.
Shawn: We really just wanted to share our passion with others on a larger scale…
Erin: But in a fun aspect too. I didn’t want it to just be a serious workout. It’s more like a party – with the exception of wine today.
Kaitlyn: I normally drink wine but I’m doing 30 days without it right now.
Shelly: I’m sure that’s tough!
Kaitlyn: It really is.
[Kaitlyn’s commentary during the workout included many references to the lack of wine, including my favorite line from her of the day: “Oh good, I’m still funny without wine! Good to know.”]
Shelly: What would you say is the main goal of CitySTRONG?
Erin: I want people to realize that sweating doesn’t have to be boring. A lot of people think working out is boring and I want to show people it can be fun, especially if you have a workout buddy that energizes you.
Shawn: And that you can do it anywhere. Like today, we’ll do a full body workout using just your body. There’s no weights involved. So if you’re at home struggling to get to the gym, or you’re traveling, it’s something you can do wherever.
Shelly: I think that’s really important, because a lot of people (myself included) make excuses about being too busy or not being able to make it to the gym. So reminding people you can do it anywhere is great.
Erin: Yeah I hear that all the time. There’s no good excuse, because you can always do ten minutes, go back to work, and then do ten more minutes later in the day. You can always fit it in, it just has to become a priority. When it becomes important enough to you, you’ll do it.
Shelly: That’s so true. So what advice would you have for someone who is struggling to stay motivated or to put fitness as a top priority in their life?
Shawn: Set short-term goals for yourself. I think a lot of people give up or get discouraged if they don’t see progress being made within a few days, so if you set goals for yourself such as ‘I’m going to work out three times this week’ it makes it easier. Take it day by day, meal by meal, workout by workout.
Erin: I think an important one for women is to monitor based on how your clothes fit, not what you see on the scale. The scale sometimes can be the death of all of us women.
Kaitlyn: My mom refuses to own a scale.
Erin: I just got my first scale of my life, I’ve never owned one. And I shouldn’t really even own one, it’s just stupid.
Shelly: Erin, you wrote a book, The 4×4 Diet. Can you tell me what readers can expect from it?
Erin: It includes tabata workouts, which are my favorite. They’re 8 round bursts of 20 seconds of high-intensity moves, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The book also goes into having a clean, healthy diet that you can have forever, not a quick crash diet.
Shawn: No fad diets here!
Shelly: What has been the best or most rewarding part of the CitySRONG experience so far?
Shawn: We get the pleasure of meeting hundreds of people after the events, and just hearing their stories and how inspired they are by us keeps us motivated to keep doing what we do.
I had so much fun at the workout and chatting with Erin, Shawn and Kaitlyn. Hope you all enjoyed reading the interview, and learned a thing or two about health and fitness. Be sure to check out CitySTRONG’s website to see if they’re coming to your city, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook. You can also find Kaitlyn, Shawn, and Erin on Instagram.