Founder and CEO, Team Lipstick LLC
Laura Cozik is the founder and CEO of Team Lipstick, LLC, the largest and most successful all female triathlon team in New York City, with a chapter in Washington DC. She is also Athletic Director for the CNN Triathlon Challenge, responsible for training Dr. Sanjay Gupta, his staff, and a group of first time triathletes each year for the NYC Triathlon.
I’ve been a dancer since the age of 4, a fitness instructor since the age of 16, and in 2008 I became a triathlon coach and business owner when I launched “Team Lipstick”. I have the best job in the entire world and it just keeps getting better!
After spending 10 years on the competitive ballroom dance circuit, I was looking for a change. I had a lot of triathlete friends at the time so I purchased a bike and began riding with them. When it was ‘just us girls’ out for a long ride, we jokingly referred to ourselves as Team Lipstick since we were entirely as concerned about having a great workout as we were about our outfits and what our hair looked like when we removed our helmets for a coffee break. And yes, we wore Lipstick on every ride ;)
I signed up for my first triathlon with just 12 weeks to prepare and had absolutely no idea how to swim. Growing up in Brooklyn we weren’t actually taught to swim, instead we brought hairspray and lipstick to the beach. So I hired a swim coach, swam 6 days a week (out of pure fear), and was prepared for my ½ mile swim by race day. Having coached myself for everything but the swim, a lot of mistakes were made, but a lot was learned as well. Wetsuit zippers go in the back not the front, your feet don’t need a special bath after the swim, transitions should not take 7 minutes, and no one brushes their hair before the run. I can now look back and say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
At the exact moment I crossed that finish line I thought…I want to start an all-women’s team! My goal was to provide a safe, supportive environment for women to excel and thrive as athletes. I wanted to attract “feminine jocks”, women who embrace femininity but who also like to kick butt on the race course. They weren’t so hard to find.
Team Lipstick launched a beginner program in May of 2008, with 25 first time triathletes. Every one of our athletes had a strong finish line effort, with one placement on the podium. Since then we’ve launched numerous beginner thru advanced level programs, placed many athletes on the podium, and had a ridiculous amount of fun along the way. The women of Team Lipstick are now a very tight family.
At the end of 2009, I became Athletic Director for the CNN Triathlon Challenge, responsible for training Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a handful of his staff, and 6 viewers from across the country for the NYC Triathlon. I was their coach, their program director, and their friend for 6 amazing months. In July of 2010 they all crossed their first triathlon finish line. The program is on-going each year with a new team of athletes.
Team Lipstick has had many write-ups and appearances since it's inception in 2008, including Triathlete Magazine, Competitor Magazine, CNN's American Morning show, the Sanjay Gupta, MD show, Vital Juice, bizMe, etc.. We've hosted destination training camps in Jamaica, as well as in Girona and Mallorca, Spain. We've even had the pleasure of riding in Austin, Texas with the incomparable Lance Armstrong!
I couldn’t imagine a more outstanding business model than Team Lipstick. We work with strong, dedicated, fit women, who are passionate about supporting one another, who train hard and race hard, and who have an absolute blast doing it. We attend birthdays, holidays, weddings, and other special events together as our family grows closer and closer. I am truly blessed as I get to facilitate these bonds, and create their experiences, while inspiring fitness as a lifestyle.
I used to say that as a dancer I got to bed around 5am and now I get up at 5am, but most recently I've gone back to dancing and will try to juggle both sports in 2012. I'm thinking there will be a lot of naps along the way!