Founder and CEO, LeveledUP Experiences
Founder and CEO, Team Lipstick
Laura is the Founder and CEO of Team Lipstick, New York City's most successful, all female triathlon team. Her background includes 20 years of dancing, 20 years as a group fitness instructor, 10 years as a nationally ranked ballroom dance champion, and since 2006, she has also been an active triathlete. Laura was published in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York” as one of the city’s top fitness instructors, as well as in Competitor and Triathlete Magazines for her accomplishments with Team Lipstick. Her celebrity client list includes Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Dr. Sanjay Gupta (who she trained for his first triathlon), and Soledad O'Brien.
In 2008 I became a triathlon coach and business owner when I started the incredible company, Team Lipstick. It has been a stellar, life changing experience, and the one endeavor I am most proud of.
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' we jokingly referred to ourselves as Team Lipstick, since we were as entirely concerned about having a great workout as we were about what our hair looked like when we removed our helmets at the most popular local hotspots for NYC cyclists enjoying a coffee break from their ride.
I signed up for my first triathlon with just 12 weeks to prepare, and I had absolutely no idea how to swim. Growing up in Brooklyn we weren’t actually taught to swim. Swimming was in direct conflict with all of the hairspray and makeup we wore 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 open water 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. It was an eye opening, amazing, and funny experience.
At the exact moment I crossed the finish line I thought 2 things...
One, that it was easy, and two, that I wanted 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 strong minded women. Women who support other women. Women who are positive, who don't mind getting uncomfortable, who embrace physical challenges. What I got was so much more. The women of Team Lipstick ultimately defined our brand. We are a family, we are fearless, we look out for each other, and we are forever in search of the next big race, goal, achievement, or crazy bunch of fun.
Team Lipstick launched a beginner program in May of 2008 with 25 first time triathletes. Every one of our athletes had a strong finish. To date we’ve had women kicking butt in all races from Sprint through Iron distances.
In 2010 we hosted our first Fit Travel Retreat in Jamaica. We swam, ran the Reggae Marathon, did yoga every day and sipped cocktails every night. Since then we've hosted events in Girona Spain, Mallorca Spain (our most popular as we've been there 15x), the Italian Dolomites, Iceland, Paris, South Africa, Miami Beach, St Lucia, Tulum Mexico, and New Paltz, and Mallorca, Spain ... where I now live.
LeveledUP Experiences is our travel company. It is about high powered and ambitious women who want to get out of their comfort zones in order to discover the tools needed for exceptional breakthroughs. Yeah ... it's awesome.
I work with strong, dedicated, fit women, who are as passionate about seeking new challenges as they are about supporting one another. We train hard, we race hard, and we always and forever have FUN doing it.