I Took a Boxing Class With Fifth Harmony & Here’s What Happened

In a digital-obsessed age that has sent us all spiraling into a perpetual rat race for the most Instagram-able moments, on a perfectly pre-fall Friday afternoon in New York’s West Village, I was on track to score several of them.

The locale was Gotham Gym, the host was Reebok, and the promise was a VIP boxing session with Gotham Gym creator and owner Rob Piela and pop sensation Fifth Harmony. (The like-worthy hashtags were #FitToFashion and #FifthHarmony.)

Ah, to be me.

Sheena Butler-Young Footwear News FN
Sheena Butler-Young, FN’s senior business editor.
CREDIT: Instagram

I arrived at the gym about 25 minutes ahead of the scheduled workout time of 12 p.m. to swap out my trendy New York Fashion Week attire for even trendier head-to-toe Reebok workout gear. (Side note: Reebok is on a major kick to rev up its influence in the women’s athletic market. With buzzy ambassadors such as Gigi Hadid and Teyana Taylor going to bat for the brand, Reebok is forecasting double-digit growth in its women’s business over the next several years.)

Once myself, and several fashion industry influencers who attended the event, were outfitted for the workout, there was a 30-minute wait for the arrival of the women of the hour. But, full disclosure, I stalked visited Fifth Harmony’s Twitter during the Uber ride to the venue and anticipated a delayed entrance since the quartet had made an early-morning appearance on “Live With Kelly & Ryan” that same day.

When Lauren, Ally, Dinah and Normani arrived — suited up in their Reebok workout gear, of course — they brought with them a healthy serving of energy and enthusiasm.

Fifth Harmony Dinah Jane
Fifth Harmony member Dinah Jane throws a punch at Gotham Gym for Reebok’s Fit to Fashion kickoff.
CREDIT: Reebok/Kathryn Page
Fifth Harmony Normani Kordei Lauren Jauregui
Fifth Harmony members Normani Kordei and Lauren Jauregui.
CREDIT: Reebok/Kathryn Page
Fifth Harmony Ally Brooke
Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke at Gotham Gym for Reebok’s Fit to Fashion kickoff.
CREDIT: Reebok/Kathryn Page

After a few hellos and some laughs, the group — along with their pal R&B singer, songwriter and Chris Brown protégé Sevyn Streeter, who made a surprise appearance — headed to the boxing ring. Rob Piela, along a few other Gotham Gym instructors, led us through a serious sweat session.

Sevyn Streeter
R&B singer and songwriter Sevyn Streeter sweats it out.
CREDIT: Reebok/ Cameron Rando

Now, although I make my way to the gym a few times a week to hop on the elliptical or bicycle, I had never taken a boxing class before. But I had opted for a full face of NYFW makeup that day and even kept my hair down because certainly with pop sensations Fifth Harmony in attendance, the powers that be were not going to let us get too sweaty.

So much for wishful thinking.

Either way, as I perspired and panted in between jabs, hooks and uppercuts, I must admit: It was refreshing to look up and see the girls of Fifth Harmony right in front of me doing just the same.

Of particular note was the moment when “Bodak Yellow,” the summer anthem by “Love & Hip Hop” breakout star Cardi B blared across the speakers mid-workout, and Lauren, Ally, Dinah and Normani morphed into high-energy rap stars — zealously chanting the lyrics.

When the workout was over, the girls hung around a bit for photos, and I took to my Instagram to post about my day … because #goals.

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