I’m A Runner Now And I’m Lovin’ It.

5 Dec

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I’ve learned that exercise and fitness does not have to involve any sort of special equipment, fancy coordination, or the stress and terror that having a team depending on your performance brings. To be completely honest with you, I don’t like any of that stuff.

I’m still flirting with the idea of incorporating yoga into my schedule on a regular basis and I’ve been toying with the idea of running for a while. I even started trying last summer before I went back to work and let it fizzle out. You see, I just kept having visions of my lungs struggling for air, my hair sweating out, and the embarrassment of finishing last.

I’ve always known just how great running can be for you mentally and physically. So, one of my girlfriends and I decided that we would start running. The dilemma was this:  when you’ve never run before you often need a certain level of motivation and encouragement to get through your runs, especially your first run. It’s hard to get that from someone whose not a runner. We really wanted to take things to the next level, so my friend suggested a national group with a local presence in Charlotte called, Black Girl Run.

So, what exactly is Black Girl Run? BGR is a running group that began in 2009 as an effort to tackle the obesity epidemic in the African American community and encourage new and veteran runners. Its mission is to encourage African American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. Black Girls Run! has several meetups in North, East and South Charlotte. There are currently over 500 members of the group who run throughout the week to promote healthy lifestyles.

The runs typically are about 3 miles. Even non-runners are encouraged to participate to build endurance.

My experience lastnight was that all were welcome no matter your level. The women were very encouraging and used several strategies for keep participants motivated. Most, importantly, I was able to run at a pace that I felt comfortable with. 

I’ll tell you what I learned lastnight. Running is mental. What do I mean by that? I’m saying that running is just as much physical as it is mental. It’s about willing yourself forward, keeping your legs moving to get over the next hill, survive the heat (the cold is easy because you’ll warm up very fast), and being diligent enough to stick to your pacing, hydration, and nutrition plan. Feeling winded wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I got over it and I finished last, but I finished. As, far as your hair is concerned, girl wrap that stuff and keep it moving. I did. So, yes folks, I’m officially a runner and it feels great!

I encourage you to do this. Let me know if you’re interested. If not, I guess I just wanted to say, hooray for meeting a goal!

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