Integrated throughout San Antonio are dozens of parks and greenways — wonderful places to explore and get some exercise, but they can be scary for some women.
“Women have many stories where they walk alone and don’t feel safe around the area,“ explained Andrea Diaz, one of the founders of City Girls Who Walk San Antonio. “So being able to walk in a group, I think makes them feel more safe.”
The free, all-women walking group was formed thanks to TikTok. If you’ve scrolled through the app anytime throughout the last couple of years you’ve likely seen walking as exercise gain more attention. You’ll find videos on everything from “hot girl walks” to the “12-3-30″ trend. That popularity sparked what has now become a national movement among women.
Victoria Lopez came across the first “City Girls Who Walk” TikTok in New York City. When she and Diaz noticed other cities like Houston, Phoenix and Washington D.C. starting their own versions they decided to create the local chapter.
“At the beginning, we were just four girls then we made that TikTok right after that walk,” said Lopez. That first TikTok went viral with over 658K views. About 50 women showed up for their next walk and their third walk had more than 300 women.
“We did not think it was going to be this big, maybe just a couple girls, a small little walking group. So it’s kind of cool to see everybody really loving it,” Lopez said.
Lopez and Diaz say they have been trying to become more active themselves and they say it’s much easier when you have dozens, sometime hundreds of women to do it with.
“There are a lot of girls coming from out of state that don’t know anyone and just want to come and be able to make friends or some girls have social anxiety and they just want to be able to get out of that,” said Diaz.
In just 12 walks, the group has grown into more than a walking group. Diaz says they run it more like a social club with icebreakers to start each walk and occasionally swap walking meetups for picnics or dinners.