Sep 7, 2021
BGR! IS MORE THAN RUNNING… ISSA SISTERHOOD!!
Yep! Issa. Or if you’re prone to being grammatically correct… It is a….
Let’s define what a sisterhood is and should be. Sisterhood means loving and accepting someone where they are and in conjunction with that, inspiring them to move towards their highest potential.
Black Girls Run! is a sisterhood. If you are a member, do you inspire others? Do you offer your fellow running or walking mates encouragement when sharing the pavement?
Black Girls Run! is a safe place for many. It is a party place for some. It is a sisterhood for all.
Members Janessa Norwood and Kimela Johnson, both members of Black Girls Run! Atlanta South share some of their experiences and thoughts of why they love Black Girls Run!
Janessa: My first impression was when I came that first day, I didn’t know what to expect.
Am I going to be able to keep up? Where do I start? Are there cliques in the group?
The answer was … I was able to keep up by starting at my own pace and receiving great tips and encouragement from all of the ladies.
Our journeys may be different but we are all shooting for a common goal, a healthier lifestyle. After the end of each walk/run, I see a look of pride in every ladies’ eyes. We are all one step closer to our goal. We all became one step closer…together.
Janessa continues to share that since joining BGR! in February of 2021, she’s had so many positive experiences. “It’s a sisterhood unlike no other. No one is trying to compete with the other. Whenever I ask a question, I receive such helpful tips. I’ve learned so much from several ladies in various groups and I use what I’ve learned every time I hit the pavement.”
“I love it here!!” exclaims Janessa.
Kimela Johnson, former Run Lead of Union City, Georgia and current Co-Lead of Fairburn, Georiga, shares three reasons she has come to love the Sole Sista bonds that have evolved through BGR!:
Kimela: The first and most important is the support and accountability that you have when you meet for weekly runs. You begin anticipating the people without realizing it. You also get the feeling of responsibility for your group members. You realize your group members need your attendance just as much as you need theirs.
Secondly, Kimela shares:
“You meet people in various areas and the social events extend beyond the pavement. This group has increased my knowledge of proper shoes to wear while on the pavement, and even the places to get fitted properly for shoes. I have learned about other fitness activities that support a healthy lifestyle as well.”
Kimela adds: “BGR! stands for building GRAND relationships!”
I’m sure many of you could list multiple reasons why being a member of Black Girls Run! is beneficial, and enjoyable, and hopefully all of us agree the most important reason is … it’s a sisterhood. It is up to us, as members to keep it a sisterhood.
Yes, Black Girls Run! is an organization that encourages a healthy lifestyle and you do have to put in work when you make the commitment, but the work, the commitment become a lighter load to carry when you are in the company of sisters. Women who have the same goals, women who encourage you, and most importantly, women who do not criticize or judge your ability.
By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.