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Sep 20, 2022

Recap of #SWYS22

The Sweat with Your Sole Weekend with Black Girls Run was everything I didn’t know I needed. I apply for many things on Instagram and was soooo thrilled when I found out that I won the #SWYS22 conference giveaway sponsored by REI.

I was in a low place throughout the pandemic, I gained over 40lbs with little motivation for listening to what my body, mind, and soul needed. I love being outside and the more weight I gained, I retreated to the indoors. These past few months I have been on a journey and I am happy to report that I am finally back in therapy, being mindful about what I put in my mouth, and starting to run again.

If I could sum up the weekend in a few words it would be MOTIVATIONAL and FUN.

As for the sessions, I chose a mix of active fitness sessions and informational ones.  I got to dance (MaCw3rk), use resistance bands(rebound endurance bootcamp) , and learn healthy eating tips(Diets: Living outside of the box). There were so many different women there: old young, short tall, skinny fat, different shades and all the athleticism in between. That is what motivated me, seeing that no matter your season or stage of life… if you put on sneakers and run, you are a runner. (I have to keep telling myself that)

You could feel the positive energy coming through the walls of the Hilton. The bright pink colors and #SWYS22 décor was everywhere, and attendees were really enjoying themselves. By the end of night one, I was waving to strangers and chatting it up like we were old friends.  All the staff and volunteers were really personable and helpful and the VIP on my badge(thanks to REI) got me a great seat at the soiree and discount at the store. There were opportunities to connect with different run groups, shop at the Black Girls Run store and visit the vendors. The mix of vendors was super eclectic, there were some larger brands, some health and fitness based, and some local contributors. I stopped by the REI booth and not only snapped a picture but was able to get an electrolyte shot and roll out my legs to prepare for the run-on Sunday.

The Sneaker Soiree on Saturday night was a complete blast. The food was terrific, guest speaker was honest and uplifting, and we danced until the DJ stopped playing. Imagine a bunch of fabulous black women all dressed up in sneakers. It was incredible!

All weekend we tried not to discuss the crazy rain that came over Charlotte on Saturday and potentially Sunday for race day. And as mother nature had it, aside from a little sprinkle, race day was a success.

All in all, I would like to give a shoutout to Jay Ell Alexander for understanding the need for an organization like Black Girls Run and by being authentically her, she inspires us to do the same. And a huge THANK YOU to REI for sponsoring this giveaway. I would not have attended this conference if it wasn’t for this giveaway. And it was just the turning point I needed to hit the pavement. I am running into a new season where I am giving out grace and accepting all the blessings.