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Hera Sport: A Community for Sports-Loving Fashionistas

Written on September 15, 2014 at 11:14 am , by

Written by Jacklyn Kouefati, editorial intern

We’re all about crushing those double standards. But when it comes to athletics, specifically the NFL, women are losing the fight for dominance, which is why we’re so excited Hera Sport is now a thing.

Launched just a couple of weeks ago, founder Elizabeth Vagianos created the online community specifically for female sports fanatics looking for a place to get their fashion fixes. Because let’s be honest: The whole sports-crazed fashionista thing is pretty badass.

“I grew up watching sports with my mother and my three sisters,” she says. “My father would cook Sunday afternoon lunch for us while we watched football.”

Role reversal for the padres, much? We’re into it. “I saw that I wanted to have this community my mother had built for us in our home,” she says, “I wanted to have that with my peers, but I really couldn’t find anything out there that was a community of women who enjoyed sports but were still feminine and enjoyed fashion and stylish things.”

The website features an array of topics, including fashion and beauty—outfits to wear and fun nail art, aka “fanicures”; food and health; travel; playbook—lots of fantasy football and baseball coverage; and Words of Lizdom, where Vagianos gives her own bits of advice.

“I’m Greek American and I’ve always loved Greek mythology. Hera to me symbolized the ‘it’ girl,” the Patriots fan says. “She was Zeus’s wife and she was powerful. It wasn’t about her beauty, like maybe Aphrodite or other goddesses. It was her strength and her power as a female. I really wanted my brand to be driven by a strong female name.”

Mission accomplished? “A lot of women are telling me that they finally found their home—a place that they can be feminine but be fans in an unintimidating community. It’s been really nice to hear.”

Vagianos envisions Hera partnering with the NFL to bring about an even bigger community of women who can “enjoy sports with style.” We’ll be rooting for her—and Hera—but in the meantime, join us as we make our own fanicures.

“Hands down, the biggest misconception is if you’re feminine and stylish that means that your knowledge base is nil,” Vagianos says. “So basically being a woman means really not knowing about the game, and that’s something I really want to address with this site.”

Photo courtesy of Hera Sport

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5 Things Every Football Player Wishes You Knew About Football

Written on September 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm , by

NFL season is officially on, and we’re pretty sure the men in your life (husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandpas, distant cousins, etc.) are already glued to Sports Center and planning what type of beer they’re going to grab for game time. And while most of us are led to believe the male-football obsession is the only one that exists, it turns out things aren’t so one-sided. In fact, nearly half of the NFL’s fans are female, according to recent Scarborough research. So instead of rolling your eyes at every angry gesture your man and his friends make at the television, let yourself get caught up in the emotion too. Because not only are there things they want you to know (trust us, they’ll find it incredibly sexy when you rattle off player stats), but the players wish you did, too. New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason gave us some scoop:

1. Football requires brain power. Yes, the game is actually more than just a mean arm and fancy footwork. The guys have to think fast and memorize each play beforehand, so nix the “dumb jock” stereotypes, stat.

2. It is a job. We all know players in the NFL are making some nice chunks of change, but they don’t just show up, play the game and leave. There’s a ton of preparation that goes into each game, and when they travel, they have a curfew and bed check. No special guests allowed!

3. Not all players are the same. ”The majority of guys have a lot of stuff outside of football that makes them unique,” says Beason. “Football is a reflection of who you are, but it’s not all you are.”

4. They, too, have fitness mantras. “Talk is cheap; play the game” and “No toughness; no championship” are some of the quotes we found splashed across the Giants’ locker room when we took a tour with actor Taye Diggs and Duracell. Right on, boys.

5. Those headsets the coaches use are crucial. Angry coaches screaming into mics ring a bell? Communicating to the guys on the field is harder than it looks! Games get really, really loud, and they need to get messages to their players fast. Before technology, coaches had to use hand signals. Yowza!

Want to see how NFL games are powered? Check out Duracell’s infographic for some interesting facts on the technicalities of the games.

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Categories: The Fit Stop | Tags: , ,
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Mo’Ne Davis: Making Home Runs for Girl Power in Little League

Written on August 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm , by

Mo’Ne Davis can throw a baseball 70 miles per hour. Davis is also a 13-year-old female Little Leaguer.

During a game against Newark National Little League on Sunday, Davis struck out six and allowed just three hits during a shutout, earning the Taney Dragons of Pennsylvania the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship title after an 8-0 win. The team will play in the Little League World Series that begins tomorrow (they’ll play Friday against South Nashville, 3 p.m. EST on ESPN), making them the first Philadelphia team to do so, and making Davis the first American girl to play in the tournament since 2004.

“More girls should join boys’ teams so it could be a tradition and it wouldn’t be so special,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Well said, girlfriend. Davis is the only girl on her team, and she’s certainly setting the bar high for other females who aspire to play sports typically dominated by men. (Anyone else feeling some major Becky Hammon deja vu here? Maybe they should get together with the Harlem Globetrotters ladies and all pow-wow about how much they rock…)

Watch Davis strike out the guys below, and make sure to catch her during the tournament on ESPN.

Images and video courtesy of ESPN

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New York Liberty Basketball Star Essence Carson Opens Up About Her Sport and Passion for Music

Written on May 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm , by

Carson dominates on the WNBA court. (Photo courtesy of Jason McDonald)

WNBA player Essence Carson knows what it’s like to put in hard work. The young basketball star has been playing since she was six, honing her skill until she was eventually drafted in 2008. But don’t think that’s the only thing the 26-year-old is great at: Carson also indulges her second passion by producing and performing music. After a tough day of training, we chatted with the multitalented athlete to find out what a day in the life is like when a new season is kicking into gear.

First, how did you get involved in basketball? What made you want to pursue a career in it?

It was just something a lot of the kids in the neighborhood played when I was younger. My dad was into basketball and it was just a common interest for all of us. And then my dad really loved basketball. I played in the neighborhood maybe when I was like 6 or 7. But I didn’t start playing organized until I was 11. I just had a love for the game and wanted to be the best at it. When I got drafted I was like, “Wow, this is really happening.”

You have a lot of accolades attached to your name. Any standout moments or favorite memories for you?

When I was in college, making it to the national championship game was a standout moment. Getting drafted was major for me, obviously, as well as making the all-star team in 2011.

I read that you also have a big passion for music. What are some songs we can find on your playlist?

You’ll find some Jay Z and Miguel. I love Miguel. You’ll find of my own music, too. I listen to a lot of different stuff.

If you weren’t a basketball player, would you be doing music?

Yes. I’ve been playing music since I was nine years old, and my first performance is something I’ll never forget. I play the piano, the sax, the electric bass and a little bit of drums here and there. Right now, I produce and perform when I’m not playing basketball, so I’ve gotten good at managing my time. But yeah, if I wasn’t a basketball player, I would pursue music full-time.

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Life in the Fast Lane with Racecar Driver Ashley Freiberg

Written on February 26, 2013 at 11:24 am , by

Freiberg has the need for speed. (Photo courtesy of Effort Racing)

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

How fast have you driven a car?  As a law-abiding citizen, we’re going to assume not too much higher than the speed limit. Racecar driver Ashley Freiberg, on the other hand, regularly clocks in over 100 miles per hour like it’s no sweat, and wins races pretty consistently in the male-dominated sport. Ever since she began racing as a teen, Freiberg has nabbed first place in 29 Skip Barber races (racing’s equivalent of being signed to the minor leagues), and in 2010, she captured two Skip Barber Series championships and became the first woman to win both a Skip Barber Racing Series overall title and Skip Barber National Series event.

Freiberg will be the first to tell you there’s more to the sport than driving with a lead foot, though. We sat down with the 21-year-old to talk racing, training and her favorite ways to break a sweat when she’s not behind the wheel. Ready, set, go!

You first learned about the racing industry when you nabbed a job as a timing official when you were 11 years old. What did you think about it back then?

Well, my brothers got into racing when I was about 10 years old and honestly, I didn’t even think women raced. I just thought it was mostly guys, so it never really crossed my mind that a girl could be out there.  But I loved watching it, that’s for sure.  That’s why I wanted to be in the timing and scoring tower because I could watch racing all day long.  Then as I started to get older, I saw more girls on the track racing go karts and I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this is something I could do.’

Was your family supportive when you decided to give it a try?

I’ve always been a tomboy.  I grew up with two brothers and no sisters, so I was always on a skateboard and playing basketball.  The only person who was against it was my mom.  She didn’t think I was aggressive enough, I guess.  I remember a friend of ours was like, ‘I think she’s got it in her,’ so he kind of convinced my mom to get me into it.

Speaking of basketball and skateboarding, do you think your athletic background helped make the transition from team sports to racing easier?

For sure! I’ve always been super competitive; I think growing up with two brothers is what helped grow that competitive spirit inside of me because we’d always be seeing who could be the best at this or beat each other in any kind of game. I definitely think that sports really helped develop all kind of skills that transitioned into racing, like determination, handling pressure and competitiveness.

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Tennis Star Sam Stosur’s Training Tips

Written on March 8, 2012 at 9:32 am , by

Tennis pro Samantha Stosur is hitting the courts for the BNP Paribas Open this week, but the busy 2011 U.S. Open champion still found time to fill us in about how she prepares for intense competitions. Did you know this 27-year-old has been playing tennis professionally since she was 13? Read on for her training and motivation tips.

Sam getting ready to serve. (Photo by Kelly Branan, USANA Health Sciences)

Right now you’re competing in the BNP Paribas Open. How do you prepare for a tournament like this?

I’m trying to spend as much time as possible on the courts practicing with my coach, so I know what to expect in a match. I spend about two hours a day practicing—any more than that would be too much. Some days I try to get a massage, too.

How do you get psyched up for a match?

I’m always ramped up to go on the court. I warm up by running around the court, doing short drills and going over the game plan with my coach. This helps me focus on what’s ahead so I know exactly what to do.

Describe your training in the months leading to a big event like this one.

I have tournaments scheduled pretty close together, so there aren’t long periods in between to just train. You learn what you need to do and how to get better after every practice or game. I’ve learned that just because you’re good on the court one day, doesn’t mean you’ll be better the next day. Your performance is an accumulation of your day-to-day routine.

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Fashion Diaries: Be a Super Bowl Stunner

Written on February 3, 2012 at 11:14 am , by

Whether you are a football fanatic or an “I watch it because my hubby hogs the TV on Sundays” kinda girl, there’s no doubt that we will all be tuning in on Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl; if not for the game, then at least for Madonna’s halftime show and the funny commercials!

If you are a die-hard Patriots or Giants fan though, you have to make sure you rep your team in style for the big game. Luckily for us girls, the NFL revamped their women’s collection this year, branching from the standard over-sized team jerseys and sweatshirts, to stylish boots, jewelry, handbags and super cute clothes all bearing our favorite team’s logos. The NFL has even teamed up with Victoria’s Secret PINK, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano, Junk Food Clothing and Cuce Shoes to tie in some of our favorite brands to their new collection. I wore these almost every Sunday during the season to root my team on—yes, I’m an Eagles fan and proud of it!

So before the game, make sure to grab your gear (check out our picks below), some healthy snacks (like this and this), and cozy up on the couch for a night full of football!

Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants, Littleearth earmuffs, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano necklace, KE Specialties nail polish, Victoria’s Secret PINK jersey, Reebok hat, Littleearth tote, Reebok set of 3 thongs, Cuce boots, Junk Food tee 

How TV Anchor Jenna Lee Stays Healthy and Happy With Her Hubby

Written on December 8, 2011 at 10:03 am , by

Jenna Lee and her Navy SEAL husband make for one fit pair! (Photo courtesy of FOX News Channel)

At 5 a.m., the alarm rings and starts an “intense morning” for Jenna Lee, a co-anchor of FOX News Channel’s Happening Now (which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET). She reads up on the news that happened overnight to prepare for the live broadcast and live interviews to come. Then after the show, Lee squeezes in a workout, answers emails and researches for the next day and future projects. News is 24/7!

So how does the youngest anchor in cable news, who’s also a newlywed, fit everything in with her busy schedule while staying healthy and happy? We discussed just that with Lee earlier this week.

Was fitness always a passion of yours?

My dad retired from the NFL in 1981, right after I was born. I was always on teams—including playing on my older brother’s baseball team—taking dance, acrobatics or swimming. It’s a habit I’ve kept up with.

What is your favorite way to stay in shape today?

I used to be a big runner, but a varied schedule and varied workouts go well together. I like to do something new and different every day, whether that means hitting the gym, taking a spin or yoga class or doing interval running on the treadmill. And I found I feel better when I add in strength training.

Do you have any specific classes that you love?

I really enjoy Spin classes with weights, like FlyBarre, because you can get a great workout in 45 minutes. Music Yoga Flow at Exhale is also great because it’s set to pop music and is light on chanting and heavy on the flow of poses.

For more from Lee about cooking and staying in shape with her significant other, click below.

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What’s It Like to Be the NBA’s Only Female Scout?

Written on October 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm , by

Laflin used her broadcast reporting skills last May at an event for Farm Sanctuary, one of her favorite charities. (Photo by Lesley Marino)

Looking at the crowd of scouts on the sidelines at the NBA pre-draft camp about five years ago, you might not have even realized that there was a woman in the mix. “I suited up in baggy sweats and put my hair up in a baseball cap,” says Bonnie-Jill Laflin, the first and only scout for the men’s basketball league. “I didn’t want to be judged by the way I looked or be treated any differently than the men. But I was inspired to be my true self when one of the men in the crowd came up and said, ‘As long as you know what you’re doing, who cares what you look like?’”

Today, the former Miss Dallas-Fort Worth is enjoying her career—without disguises—and is spreading the word about achieving her dreams and supporting causes close to her heart.

What was your career path like to become an NBA scout?

I actually started as a cheerleader, first for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA and later for the San Francisco 49ers NFL team, because I heard that was the easiest way to get into the industry. Then I went back to school at the University of Texas for my broadcast journalism degree to pursue sport broadcasting. I covered the Los Angeles Lakers, and the general manager and owner of the team asked if I was interested in becoming a scout for their organization. They knew I had knowledge of the game and what to look for in a player.

Click below to learn about breaking sports barriers and Laflin’s love of animals.

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What’s Your Summer Adventure?

Written on July 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm , by

Wait, what do I do?

Wait, what do I do?

In the current issue of FITNESS (July/August, with Jillian Michaels on the cover!), our Editor in Chief writes about the rewards of having an adventure and going out of your comfort zone. When she was writing her note, Betty asked some of the other staffers about their summer adventures. And at the time, I had no idea exactly how far out of my safe space I was going to go…

For me, the thought of learning to surf was on the same level as me becoming an astronaut. I just assumed it would never happen because I’m like a cat when it comes to water; I get very frazzled when submerged in the stuff. But as I was getting ready to go on vacation, I felt more and more inspired to try something totally new. The truth is that I had often fantasized about riding the waves and pretending to be a chilled-out beach babe, instead of a high-strung New Yorker. So I scheduled a lesson with Baja Outback in San Jose del Cabo, and before I knew it, I was wearing a rash guard and looking out at the ocean.

Paddle, paddle, paddle...

Paddle, paddle, paddle...

My instructors had taught me the basics (in the sand, of course!) and one pro, Jorge, was going to stick by my side the whole time. I told him I was nervous, but I left out just how nervous…and decided to go with the flow, literally. “You have to challenge yourself, see what you can do! It’s the only way to live,” one of the Baja Outback people had said. So that’s what I did.

And would you believe it? I actually managed to get up on my surf board!

Sure it took a little bit of courage, but it also helped that the folks at Baja Outback were so supportive and talented…oh, and that the water was nice and warm! If you’ve never been surfing before and are thinking about it, take it from me: You can totally do it! A few tips I learned:

1. If you think you’re bending your knees enough, go lower. As a beginner, you’re never as low as you think you are, and my (unpublished) pictures prove it!

2. Keep your cool. You’re going to fall and you might swallow a gallon of water in the process. It’s okay.

And I'm up! YEAH!

And I'm up! YEAH!

3. Don’t think twice about who’s watching you from the shore. “It’s not about your ego,” Instructor Denise had said. “It’s just about you doing your best.”

4. Consider wearing board shorts or boy-short bikini bottoms. You are not starring in “Blue Crush” and a string bikini will not hold up when you crash into the water.

5. Don’t try to stay on your board until you get to shore; that’s where there are usually the most rocks. Go ahead and fall off about 15-20 feet out!

Any other surfing tips out there? What’s your summer adventure?

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