Squad Goals

SKATING

GRIND CULTURE

This brand of “Grind Culture” is actually the anti-grind culture, as co-founder Macy Lethco explains. “We’re not hustling,” she says. “We’re playing and having fun.” Focused on skateboards, longboards, and roller skates, the “grind” in the club’s name refers to a skateboard trick.

Lethco and her friend, Carly Moore, got things rolling in 2021, posting a meetup on Instagram for women as well as nonbinary and trans people interested in skating in a “low-stakes environment.” Five people showed up. These days, they often get 20 or more participants. It’s a very informal, skate-as-long-as-you-like weekly parking lot session. And if you’re new to wheels, Lethco says, “We’ll lend you a board and hold your hand as you go down the smallest hill.” Sometimes they skate for two hours. Other times they just sit and talk “because that’s what we need that week,” Lethco says. “It’s a safe and communal place where people have become great friends.”

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MEETS

Wednesdays, 7 to 9 p.m., at the north end of the Circle City Industrial Complex parking lot, 1125 E. Brookside Ave.

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BOAT RACING

INDY SURVIVEOARS

Members of the Indy SurviveOars dragon boat racing team call it “the club you don’t want any friends to join.” Why? Because membership is restricted to breast cancer survivors. Dragon boat racing, which began in China 2,000 years ago, is one of the world’s fastest-growing water sports. It involves a long, narrow boat with 20 paddlers, a colorful dragon head, a drummer at the front, and a steer person at the back. The sport is not about strength or athleticism but rather the delicate skill of working together.

The Indianapolis club hit the water in 2007, buoyed by studies that found consistent, repetitive upper-body exercise promotes healing for survivors and reduces the risk of reoccurrence. The 70 members, who range in age from 30 to 72, train three times a week and compete in races across the country. Last spring, they traveled to New Zealand.

Lori Goldsby, who’s undergone 18 surgeries, refers to the club as a floating support group. “You don’t talk about cancer,” she says. “You get on the water and paddle it out. But when someone needs something, you’re there to support them.”

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MEETS

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays through the summer at Geist Reservoir

ANNUAL FEE

$75 (first year waived for new members)

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RUGBY

INDIANAPOLIS HOYDENS WOMEN’S RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

A “hoyden” is a high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy female and, in this case, one who loves to play rugby, even if it means winding up bruised and battered. The only required gear? A mouthguard and cleats. Club president Jodi Leonard jokes, “We pay to get beat up.”

Hoydens was founded in 1995 by a couple of athletes from Ball State University who wanted to keep playing rugby after they graduated. The current roster includes 15 to 20 members who compete against teams across the Midwest. During a recent practice, they worked on tackling and falling safely—knowing well that they will get hit. And sometimes, they will get hurt.

Despite the physical intensity, Katherine Gering-Williams, sidelined due to an unrelated injury, can’t wait to get back in the game. “You know you’re strong and powerful,” she says. “You appreciate your body for what it can do, not what it looks like.”

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MEETS

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6–8 p.m., at the American Legion Post 64, 601 S. Holt Rd.

ANNUAL FEE

$50

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BOULDERING

WOMEN CRUSH MONDAYS

Indoor bouldering involves scaling 10- to 17-foot climbing walls one step at time without ropes or a harness … just a pair of climbing shoes, some chalk, and a thick crash pad below to cushion falls. It’s physically and mentally challenging, a full-body workout that can leave your heart pounding. As terrifying as this might sound to some people, it is the biggest draw of North Mass Boulder’s Women Crush Mondays.

The weekly event can attract as many as 30 people to the eastside rock climbing gym. Veteran climber and Crush facilitator Jacq Perry describes it as a bit of a group effort. “It’s women with different skill levels helping each other out and cheering each other on,” she says.

The boulders and routes to the top vary in difficulty. Getting there requires balance, strength, technical skills, and a puzzle-solving mindset. “It’s not a ladder,” Perry says. “You have to think through different body movements to get to the top.”

When you do, you feel like you’re on top of the world.

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MEETS

Alternating Mondays, 6–8 p.m., at North Mass Boulder, 1411 Roosevelt Ave.

ANNUAL FEE

Free with membership, or $20 for a day pass

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CYCLING

IU HEALTH MOMENTUM INDY DIVAS

Bicycling is a great way to get outside, burn some calories, and meet new people, but learning the rules of the road can be intimidating. If you’re not sure where to ride, how to use hand signals, or what to do if you pop a tire, it’s Divas to the rescue.

Jennifer Cvar with Momentum Indy kicked off the new bike-riding and mentoring program in April “to provide an inclusive space for women of all abilities,” whether they’re out for a leisurely trail ride or pushing 20 mph on the open road.

The membership fee includes a T-shirt, jersey, and clinics that cover everything from bike etiquette and repairs to cycling uphill and nutritional advice. Patti Hammerle is among the 60-plus members. New to cycling, she wasn’t sure how her new clip-in shoes worked or how to navigate a roundabout. “I ask the dumbest questions,” she says. “And I get a million wonderful answers. It’s such a great group.”

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MEETS

Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., in the Indiana Members Credit Union parking lot, 3975 W. 106th St., Carmel.

ANNUAL FEE

$150 membership

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