Blame it on performance anxiety or just plain jitters, but some days, it takes all the motivation to work out—let alone in front of other people. Lucky for me, Blink Fitness wants to change that. Blink, a chain of 50 gyms in New York City and New Jersey, just launched a body-positive ad campaign for 2017 as a way to promote self confidence to all gym goers—no matter their shape, size, race, age, or abilities. The idea is that everybody and every body is welcome at Blink Fitness—and I must say, just that ethos takes some of the burn out of going to a gym. (Although obviously not all of the burn…like not in my quads or triceps.)

The result is a feel-good campaign featuring 16 gym members (yes, these are actual Blink gym-goers IRL), who were each selected in an Instagram casting call. The call, which prompted more than 2,000 entries, was narrowed down to group of 50 semi-finalists who then auditioned in person for one of the 16 coveted spots. It was during these auditions that the finalists were asked to reveal their fitness stories and journey to self confidence. And who better to decide their Blink Fitness fate than a casting panel filled with diehard Blink members? The panel included names you might better recognize, like Orange Is The New Black star Dascha Polanco and former NFL punter Steve Weatherford. (Yep, these stars are Blink gym regulars, too.)


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And it’s clear that Polanco and Weatherford chose wisely—just look at those smiling mugs in the Blink Fitness campaign reel. The Blink members also left their celebrity judges inspired. “I struggle daily to find the courage to go to the gym and push myself to continue a healthy lifestyle,” Polanco said in a statement. “[That’s] why it was motivating to see the pure joy and dedication Blink inspired in each member.” Now, if that’s not confidence, I don’t know what is. Catch the full video below to see what we’re talking about.

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