VLNCA | The Proposal... by Karleen Valencia

5 years ago today I starred in a surprise flashmob beautifully conspired by Winifrey and about 100 of our friends and family. #spoileralert, I said YES.

One of the best days of my life so far, second only to our actual wedding (and when Common pulled me on stage to rap to me). If you have 10 minutes, grab a tissue and relive that day with us. 

A love letter to Studio Revolution. by Karleen Valencia

With the announcement that Studio Revolution was sold and would be evolving, I, like everyone else was shocked. Receiving the news only hours before the rest of the world, I didn't actually know what to think in the moment... and really for the days to follow. I think my boy Travis described it best, "like getting dumped" with the old "it's not you, it's me". However, I fully understand the why, and can completely empathize with our bossbabe Mal's difficult decision.

I've been pretty silent as I process what this place means to me and has done for me these past 3 years. So I wrote a love letter, 'cuz that's what you do when your heart broken, right?


Dear SRF,

Where do we even begin? You stepped into my life 3 years ago at a time that I needed you the most and didn’t even realize it. You welcomed me with open arms, and even though the AC is hella cold the welcome was always warm. 

I will never forget my first. There was two of us, and the most beautiful unicorn, Mallory… absolutely kicking my ass. By the end of this Surf Salutations class (a yoga inspired class on the instability of the surfboard) I was rocked. Like… I totally sucked. So bad. I thought I had been a solid yogi prior to this moment, but man, this thing called SURFSET changed the game. It became a new multi-faceted challenge I instantly wanted to conquer, but even more so, a place I wanted to be fully immersed in. So I did. 

SRF, you have given me more than you know. A physical challenge that totally transformed my concept of working out and showed me how strong I am. A place of endless opportunities, to escape, to dream… usually about living on a beach someday. A space for personal growth, inside and out, mentally and creatively. Helping me find my confidence in my inner Beyonce, making me feel significant with a sense of purpose. A platform to teach with the hopes of inspiring the same transformations I felt. Most importantly a community, no - a family. Who knew that these four walls would be the venue where I cross paths with some of the most courageous, fun, and electrifying beings anyone could ever meet. You know that feeling when souls hug? It happened here in a big way. 

So, this is it. I am extremely saddened that this month marks the last time I might ever teach a SURFSET class. I take comfort in knowing that the magic was not necessarily in what we did on that surfboard, but it was in what we created as a whole. Thank you, all of you, for helping make huge waves in our community. It has truly been an honour and so exciting to be part of something bigger. 

Riding that last wave with the fullest heart.



Messin' with some RadMen. by Karleen Valencia

Got to shoot with some really talented gentlemen this past weekend. Keep watch for Radical Gentlemen Creative, you'll definitely want them shooting your next big thing...

Who cares... by Karleen Valencia

So I'm in the health and wellness industry right? That means not only am I active like erryday, but I keep up on regular visits to the doctor, dentist, masseuse, chiro, physio, and my mom. WRONG. I was the last person to take care of myself first. In fact, I would be the first person to 'treat yo self' after a long week instead of 'take care of yo self'.

Until I crossed paths with a pretty rad guy that happened to be a pretty rad chiropractor. Enter Dr. Alim Kara from Complete Chiro & Sports Therapy. He convinced me to come in for an assessment and then just see what happens. Perfect timing - I tweaked my back poorly putting down a kettlebell (woof. worst. like c'mon). After some voodoo, otherwise known as cupping, a little acupuncture, and some active release on surrounding areas (ahem* glutes always), I literally felt like nothing happened the following day. 

Ok, so then what. Great, it worked. The key? Consistency. After going regularly, we would discuss how my body was working/feeling after the week of teaching and living in general. Then, Dr. Alim would hone in on areas that get utilized frequently. Even if I wasn't necessarily "feeling" anything "wrong", I couldn't believe how a few simple adjustments could impact my movement. Seriously.

This practice taught me that even just the slightest bit of TLC can make a world of difference. Keep watch... I have so much I've learned from the treatments I've had so far.  

Photos by WINJUAN Photography

Is "athleisure" lazy? by Karleen Valencia

 Taken in Amsterdam by  WINJUAN Photography

Taken in Amsterdam by WINJUAN Photography

Yes. I mean so is wearing all black. But I do that too.

So really... am I lazy? Maybe. I thank God daily that I don't have to wear real pants, can rock sneaks on the regular, AND still come across as knowing what's up. But I believe the athleisure movement is all about intention. The intention is comfort, the goal is style, the execution is up to you.

Large brands are trying to capitalize something that is a lifestyle for some of us - running to and from sweat classes, still having to look somewhat put together because lesbehonest, you're not grabbing that $5 london fog at the coolest coffee stops because you're in dire need of it. Admittedly, sometimes my post sweat outfits are actually fairly expensive. Throw on a Mackage leather jacket, over my Kit and Ace layer, coupled with my Adidas 3-stripe tights, and all black Ultraboosts = MSRP +$1200, holy shit. Not a humblebrag, but a reality check. Investing in quality pieces still rings true when you're still aiming for function, comfort, and style.