When I first heard about the Nike Women’s NTC event that would be taking over the Brooklyn Net’s home court at the new Barclay’s Center, I knew I had to be there. Since last year’s insanely awesome NTC event at Metlife Stadium, I’ve been on the lookout for another one of their crazy cool events. However it was the fact that Lacey Stone, former Division 1 Basketball player, current Nike Master Trainer and just all around fitness rockstar, would be leading the workout that sealed the deal. I needed to be at this event and stalked the internet for when the sign-up opened. I’ve walked by the new stadium that had been built in my neighborhood a million times but hadn’t been inside – really, could there be a better first time than from the court?
Since the Barclay’s Center is so close to my house, my friend Julia from FitJourney (who was also my partner in fitness crime for the NTC MetLife event last year) met me at my apartment for a little green juice before we headed over. Although we were a little early, we weren’t the first people there and after getting through security we went to hang out with the other earlybirds as people slowly started to arrive. It was fun to watch the awesome crew of sporty women gather and included some of my favorite people to workout with. I knew this workout was just going to be ridiculously fun. When we were finally given the go ahead, we headed down to the arena and to the VIP lounge rooms to get changed. We were handed NTC tanks and then directed to the small VIP rooms right off the court that were being used as communal dressing rooms for the event, which was sort of hysterical. When I entered my assigned room, a random girl looked at me and said “Well this is odd.” My answer: “Well yes, don’t mind me stripping in the kitchen.” I threw on my new NTC tank and headed out towards the court. As always, I want to be IN the event as long as possible; no hanging out in the lounge for me! On the court, I met up with the large, fierce crew that had gathered. We all hung out and marveled at just having the arena to ourselves.
Supporting Lacey for this event were Kym Perfetto (whose Soul Cycle classes, I’ve been told I need to take) and Deanna Jefferson an NTC trainer from DC. As soon as they were announced and started running to the stage, the crowd went nuts – we were so ready. By the time Lacey came out, the crowd had pushed close together up by the stage, hooting and clapping for her. She warned us to spread out but people didn’t really want to move. Luckily, I was surrounded by friends in almost every direction and we would just grin and work to get in sync so we didn’t land on each other. The 45-minute workout was geared towards a lot of hopping moves, lunges, fast feet and cardio bursts to mimic getting ready to play basketball. The awesome women on stage killed it with energy and Lacey kept everything moving and just FUN. Even when the music died in the middle of the workout, Lacey managed to keep things playful and going until it came back on. Seriously, my favorite part of working out with Lacey is always how solidly she kicks your ass while making it so much fun that you don’t even care that moving the next day might be challenging! By the end of the workout I was sweaty, sore and happy. The final moment though, when the stadium went green (the sign you reached your “fuel” goal on the Nike FuelBand) the stadium erupted in fireworks and the crowd went nuts! It was such an awesome celebration of leaving it all out on the court.
That wasn’t the end though, because after the workout was done and the fireworks were over, they wheeled out racks of basketballs so that everyone on court could take a few shots from the Free Throw line. I didn’t make a single basket but it was awesome to take the shots. I hit the rim every single time – except one, when the ball was going in and someone from the other direction knocked it out. Now that is funny. I might not have an ounce of basketball prowess but I LOVED the chance to take those shots. Seriously, how often is that ever going to happen? My favorite moment though, at the very end when most people had left the court, was seeing Lacey take the ball on an NBA court and play. It is always a treat to see that kind of talent and drive up close. Watching an athlete of her caliber getting back to something they love was just awesome… the joy of the game is real and it is inspiring.