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BGR! and paying it forward

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Recently I decided that I was going to start a Black Girls Run! group in Omaha. Actually RESTORED_ME encouraged me to do it some time ago and I put it to the back burner. BGR! was founded by two lovely ladies in 2009 as a way to inspire African-American women to take control of their health. At the time, 80% of black women were overweight or obese. 80%!!! That is crazy. In our culture, skinny is seen as a sign of poor health. Girls are encourage to be "thick". So many times along my journey I have had friends and family tell me not to lose "too much" weight. Well, this is a perverse mindset that originated in an age when being bigger was necessary due to the grueling labor we performed in the fields of the South. That was hundreds of years ago and yet, here we sit, holding the weight of our past.

Along my journey, running has become a solace for me. I feel like I am free. I feel my old habits sweating out of me. I feel like I am the strongest person on the Earth. Even when I could only run for a minute or two, I knew I couldn't give it up. Today, I am not the best of runner - still a Beginner in a sense- but I wanted other women to feel that. Last week I began a BGR! group in Omaha. Though we are not registered as an official group yet (working on that) we had our second run yesterday. Prior to going to our run, I decided to do 3.5 miles alone to get warmed up. I had difficulty getting it going because my knee has been bothering me and it was my first time trying to run with a brace. Nonetheless, I got it done even though I walked more than I would have liked.

For the next week my girls are on 7/3 splits. They walk at a steady pace for 7 minutes and then jog for 3. As they do this, I give them encouraging words, explain to them what to expect from their bodies as they run, I watch for form, I correct behaviors that spend energy (like clutched fists and pumping arms) and I run alongside them tracking time and effort. Yesterday I was so proud because by the third run interval, 2 of my 3 girls already were in perfect form and picking up their jog pace. We did 3.75 miles. The last interval, which should have been a jog, I challenged them to run full out until twe reached the parking lot. This was even a challenge for me as I ran just below a sprint for what would be a block and a half. After the girls finished, I took them through stretches. At the end they told me how much fun they had. That was amazing because running typically isn't fun when you are just starting. One girl joked that she already felt new muscles and that she thinks she dropped a pants size! It felt so good to be able to encourage them and inspire and I can wait to see my group expand.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KHORAH 5/9/2013 9:40PM

    Awesome!!! I am from Omaha also. I'll say Hi if I bump in to you guys! You all Rock!! Keep up the good work.

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BMCKEOW1 5/9/2013 1:28PM

    This is so awesome I love it. Way to go you and way to go them. Keep up the great work.

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LILSHINE 5/9/2013 8:57AM

    Great job...I want to be part of your virtual run team emoticon

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ENDERLI 5/8/2013 11:49AM

    you rock! I'm proud of you! Look at all the positive chi lady!!
You are sharing motivation and receiving it in return!

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KROLES55 5/8/2013 9:49AM

    Congratulations on starting a BGR group... I follow them on facebook. emoticon

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KPETSCHE 5/8/2013 6:21AM


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MERRY_XMAS 5/7/2013 6:11PM

    You are an inspiration! Well done for your time and effort!
Spread the Sparkle!

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PRETTYPITHY 5/7/2013 6:01PM

    Wow, you're a role model, I'm so impressed! emoticon

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NAPPIGURL 5/7/2013 5:53PM


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SUGAR0814 5/7/2013 1:29PM

    emoticon job! You go girl!! Keep it up!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/7/2013 12:54PM

    Way to go! Something you said really struck me: ". . . and yet, here we sit, holding the weight of our past." Wow--true, regardless of where we come from! Great job getting out there, inspiring others to take control and release the past.

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PURPLE180 5/7/2013 12:35PM

    WooHoo. Well done...I e-mailed BGR a month or so back wanting to start a chapter in my area (the nearest one is about 2 hours away). I never thought to just get out and do it. You are doing a FAB job and this will not only help you but others as well. Your group looks so happy. I am soooo proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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SIMONEKP 5/7/2013 11:55AM

    great job

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MY9STONEJOURNEY 5/7/2013 11:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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VERONICAVW_140 5/7/2013 11:45AM

    I love that, " I feel my old habits sweating out of me." How true. I LOVE getting a good sweat on when I run. I feel like I've accomplished something.
I hope that this running group is a good bonding and healthy experience for you ladies.

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STHAX10 5/7/2013 11:28AM

    You are emoticon !!! Such a wonderful thing you are starting! Keep it up!!! emoticon

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LIZ324_NYC 5/7/2013 10:20AM

    What you are doing is fantastic!! emoticon

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DOTTY7267 5/7/2013 10:18AM

    We have a group here in Detroit, and I have participated in an event with them recently. I'm glad to see it expanding. Keep up the great job you're doing.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 5/7/2013 10:09AM


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TIME2BLOOM4ME 5/7/2013 9:55AM


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