By Josh Whitener
Rachel Revier-Bauchwitz has always been passionate about exercise.
That’s why the Matthews resident recently launched a movement encouraging women in the community to join her on the road to personal fitness.
GreenFitGirl, Revier-Bauchwitz’s organization, began earlier this year when she and a group of women decided to train for a 5K race. Since then, the organization has grown to offer multiple classes in downtown Matthews, and will start another 5K training program in September and a new class in the fall.
“We’re trying to branch out and grow this ‘green’ exercise,” she said. “That’s what we call it, since we’re doing exercise outdoors.”
It all started about a year and a half ago, when Revier-Bauchwitz and her family moved to Matthews from Minnesota. She’d spent eight years in the physical fitness industry, and wanted to bring her passion and expertise to Matthews.
Revier-Bauchwitz became involved with several “mom groups” in the Charlotte area and met several women who were interested in training for a 5K for fun and fitness. She launched a nine-week training program in January, helping the women build up the stamina to run a 5K.
The group successfully completed the program and participated in the Run for Your Rear 5K in March.
“I got a really good response,” Revier-Bauchwitz said. “It kind of snowballed and created momentum.”
A lot of women expressed an interest in furthering their fitness journey through other programs, such as strength training and yoga. Revier-Bauchwitz was able to partner with the Matthews Parks and Recreation Department to host fitness classes for women at Stumptown Park in downtown Matthews.
“I think Stumptown (Park) is a great location to offer something like that because there’s the stage, and it’s viewable from the road so people driving by can see what’s going on there,” Revier-Bauchwitz said.
Revier-Bauchwitz began offering the classes toward the end of the 5K training program in March and gradually added more programs. Classes have included GreenFit Yoga, Mom and Me Yoga – a summer program for moms and their children – GreenFit Runs and GreenFit Walks. Several of the about half-dozen instructors also teach at the Siskey YMCA. There is a charge for some classes, while others are free. A portion of the proceeds support community outreach programs in Matthews.
GreenFitGirl will add a class called R.I.P.P.E.D. – Resistance, Interval, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, Diet – this fall. The class is completely different than anything GreenFitGirl has done before, Revier-Bauchwitz said.
“It (incorporates) cardio and strength,” she said. “It’s a great option for people who are already conditioned. We’re really pushing (the class). It’s pre-choreographed with music (and) kind of compares to a Zumba class, but it’s not dancing.”
But all programs aren’t for the advanced exerciser. Other classes, such as the GreenFit Walk and the 5K training program, are good for women who are just beginning to work out.
“(The 5K program) is great for those trying to get back into fitness,” Revier-Bauchwitz said. “It’s a really gradual approach, which makes it great for beginners.”
GreenFitGirl will host another 5K training program starting Sept. 14. Training sessions will be held in Matthews, Mint Hill and Waxhaw and Charlotte’s Ballantyne and South Park areas. Participants will spend nine weeks walking and jogging along the Four Mile Creek Greenway and through neighborhoods and others areas in the towns. At the end of the nine-week session, trainees will be ready to run in the annual Thunder Road 5K in
Revier-Bauchwitz’s goals for GreenFitGirl are to continue offering classes in Matthews and possibly expand her program to host sessions in other areas, such as Stallings Park in Stallings.
Find more information on GreenFitGirl classes and the 5K training program at the organization’s website, www.GreenFitGirl.com.