I have been “gone” for a few weeks from blogging so I never had the chance to update you on my experience with Black Girls Run! Preserve the Sexy Tour presented by Dark and Lovely. You may remember I attended their Philadelphia stop with Dark and Lovely. I invited several of my little cousins to attend. Most of the women in my family are overweight and along with the typical family history of hypertension and diabetes that affects most African Americans, we also have a genetic kidney disease and being overweight precludes and exacerbates all those issues. Most of my female relatives are extremely inactive so I thought this would be a way to introduce the little ones to running – a great form of exercise that doesn’t require any money and very little equipment. Especially as two of them are off to attend college this fall.
Black Girls Run! did an amazing job putting together this event. Presenters spoke on how to properly stretch as well as proper running mechanics. I learned quite a bit, since I am not already a runner, most of the mechanical info was new for me. Although my cousins were so NOT motivated to get active (hope you’re reading this!) they did serve as my little photographers, so I got plenty of pics….thanks girls!
Dark and Lovely provided samples for all the registered attendees and their educational director, Mezei Jefferson was on hand to provide information about the products and how they would assist ladies’ in maintaining healthy hair and a sexy style while living an active lifestyle. I was absolutely blown away with Mr. Jefferson’s knowledge base and his sincerity in wanting to help the ladies. He shared quite a bit with me personally about the products of their Au Naturale line (which of course can work for relaxed ladies as well), I’ll be sharing more at a later date. But quickly they offer three basic lines: the anti-reversion which helps preserve straight strands, the anti-shrinkage line which is enriched with mango oil (and smells divine) and the anti-breakage line which is targeted for transitioners to decrease breakage between the two textures (this would be perfect for relaxed girls who like to stretch their relaxers also). I’ve tried the Anti-Shrinkage line on my natural-haired little cousin and I cannot wait to share her results!
After the presentations, everyone joined in for a fitness party – which was like a fusion of zumba and African dance. Lots of fun plus plenty of calories burned!!! I was really motivated to try running as one of my primary forms of exercise. Tennis is great and of course nothing beats my metabolic conditioning classes as far as results go! But running doesn’t require a partner (like tennis), can be done in bad weather on a treadmill, doesn’t cost anything, and doesn’t make me depend on the hours a class begins or my gym is open. Plus, I spoke to several ladies – none of whom were runners when the started – who have lost a lot of weight and become extremely active since joining their local Black Girls Run! group. Very inspirational. I think I can do it!!!
I also met a few bloggers, one of which I “knew” beforehand – Lauren - thanks to KLP of Saving Our Strands. You can always spot the bloggers by their constantly clicking cameras! They were extremely nice and all had gorgeous hair of varying lengths. It was interesting to see that the majority of the women in attendance had natural hair. I will admit that maintaining my relaxed hair after I began my fitness journey last year was a major factor in my decision to transition. I’ve found it difficult to fit my touch ups in while playing tennis, swimming and working out aggressively. However, I never thought of natural hair as “easier” to maintain with an active lifestyle either. I guess I’ve always viewed it as just a preference. What do you think?
I also had a chance to meet Ashley Hicks, one of the founders of Black Girls Run! She is so pretty and nice, and its amazing to see how she and co-founder Toni Carey’s vision has grown to the amazing national fitness force that it is today. Black Girls Run! was created in effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. Their is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. It’s so great they have partnered with Dark and Lovely because multiple studies have shown (and we already know because we live it) that hair is the primary deterrent many black women don’t work out. Dark and Lovely has really stepped up their game to offer some amazing products at reasonable prices to keep our hair healthy as we exercise to preserve our sexy!
Don’t forget to link up your fitness related post with Britt of One & 20, KLP of Saving Our Strands and myself each week for Fitness Friday. I’ve been “away” for a while and let me tell you – not checking in with you every week has definitely affected my fitness. You are as much a part of my journey as exercise and diet are, so thank you for reading, commenting and linking up each week!