Did you watch yesterday’s Academy Awards? I was driving to Wyoming to meet my sister when it aired, but I normally skip watching it on TV anyhow and instead just check out the winners and fashion online afterward. Much more efficient, and I don’t have to suffer through the hours and hours of awkward host jokes and movie star navel gazing.
But whatever Hollywood, I have some much more important awards in mind … the Academy Awards of Fitness, of course. In honor of this weekend’s Oscars, I pulled together and judged a list of my own superlatives from the past year.
Best Actress (or, Best Female Fitness Star)
This category can be tricky. One might be tempted to choose the latest Instagram star, like Kayla Itsines, with her 4.5 million followers and pricey Bikini Body Guides. But my criteria for this category is that it needs to be someone who offers much more substance to how we think about the role of fitness in our lives.
In that vein, my pick is Misty Copeland, celebrated American Ballet Theater ballerina and Under Armour athlete. Her participation in Under Armour’s #IWILLWHATIWANT campaign resonated with women athletes everywhere, and told an inspiring story of determination to do what she loves and has a talent for, despite early rejection and being told she has the wrong body for ballet. She stands for not only loving (and using!) the body you have, but also for grit, tenacity, empowerment and confidence. What a kick-ass message.
Best Original Score (or, Best Workout Playlist)
Music is such a personal thing, and some people create incredibly cool and up to date playlists for their workouts. I wish I were one of those people. For those without an enviably-curated iTunes library, Apple Music’s workout radio channels are the best. Choose a genre (Pop, Dance, Rock, Hip-Hop or many others) and you’re set up with the latest tunes to motivate you through whatever sweat sesh you’re tackling.
Best Costume Design (or, Best New-ish Fitness Fashion Brand)
Perhaps in response to all of the crazy prints, bright colors, cutouts and mesh that we’ve seen lately, Outdoor Voices take a contrarian approach to athletic gear that feels understated and fresh. Think the Everlane of the fitness world. As soon as I’m gainfully employed again, I’m going on a shopping spree for their killer color block leggings, sleek crop tops and simple, fitted hoodies.
Best Picture (or, Best Fitness Film)
Furthermore , the gorgeous blog from Equinox (formerly Q.Equinox), creates exceptionally stylish and mesmerizing videos that celebrate fitness in a one-of-kind way. This year, they did it again with the particularly captivating Desert Yogi, which features Dylan Werner, one of my favorite yogis.
Come to think of it, I should also give Dylan the award for Best Visual Effects (or, Yogi With the Most Mind-Bending Poses).
I’ll be the first to admit that an Academy of one isn’t exactly unbiased or all-knowing, so I’d love to know what fitness awards you would give. Who or what did I miss??