Hey BGR! Nation & Family! Hoping you and your families are healthy and well considering all of what is around us and the current state of our country.
In recent weeks, BGR! Nation has asked our groups across the country to practice social distancing and to cancel runs at the discretion of our local group leads.
As of today to show a unified front and consistent message amongst all of our groups, we ask that ALL of our groups regardless of your current state mandates cancel ALL group runs - official and unofficial. ***This includes the 10 or less with social distancing rule.*** No BGR! group runs.
The more we learn about this virus and the more we do not know, we see it is airborne and we have no idea really how far away we need to be from each other. Six feet is suggested, but arbitrary. Our safest option is to stay home and run alone.
Again, all BGR! group runs (official and unofficial) are cancelled until further notice. We want everyone to live to race and run as a family again.
Even if you make your own personal choice to run in a group, we also ask that no group run pictures be posted to the Black Girls RUN! group pages as we think this sends a wrong message to the community as BGR! is a leader in the running community. We strongly support virtual challenges and solo runs until it is safe for all.
Let's all do our part - keeping all of us in prayer! We will make it through!
Thank you and continue to 'Preserve the Sexy' (solo)!
COVID-19 has created a rapidly evolving environment where changes are being made quickly in the interest of public health. In the last few weeks, the World Health Organization has declared an international pandemic; travel from parts of the world to the U.S. has been extremely restricted; states across the country are curtailing events with large numbers of people attending resulting in numerous races being postponed/canceled. We advise you to monitor the status of any upcoming races you have. Please be patient and understanding with all of the races - everyone has been impacted. Our BGR! National calendar has changed as Selma to Montgomery has been canceled (returning in 2021) and the New Jersey Marathon has been postponed to November.
For our weekly community runs, we ask that you take precaution as well. Many of our groups have suspended runs until further notice. We advise everyone to stay home and proceed with solo runs at this time. Also, please adhere to the advisement of social distance and wash your hands frequently (sing Happy Birthday twice). The health and safety of everyone is priority.
From WHO “Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”
We want everyone to be healthy, so please do your part! #blackgirlsrun
Twelve years ago, on a December night, I arrived at the emergency room suffering from severe abdominal pain. Prior to that night, I had suffered in silence for nearly 10 years with issues that affected my overall health and limited my ability to perform certain activities. From adolescence to adulthood, I experienced severe pain during my menstrual cycle. I felt like my body was working against me and that I had no control. The pain was unimaginable, and I felt like no one really understood what I was going through. Previous doctors dismissed the pain as bad menstrual cramps and told me to take pain relievers.
Arriving at the emergency room that night changed my life for the better. I was referred to a gynecologist that specialized in treating my illness, and he was truly a God send. I learned that I had an ovarian cyst and after weeks of waiting for the cyst to dissolve, the doctor scheduled me for a laparoscopy to remove the cyst. While I was in surgery, it was discovered that my condition was much more serious than expected. The simple laparoscopy turned into a more invasive procedure known as a laparotomy. My suffering finally had a name. Its name was endometriosis.
March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month, and during this time of year I reflect on my journey, and I educate individuals about this debilitating disease. According to the Endometriosis Association, endometriosis is a painful disease that affects approximately 6.3 million women and girls in the United States. It is a disease where the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus is found outside of the uterus. Some of the places these implants can be found are on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. These implants can cause severe pain during a woman’s menstrual cycle, and they can cause infertility. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 30% to 50% of infertile women have endometriosis. It is a very common medical problem that affects many women and girls, and many do not even know they have endometriosis until they try to conceive; therefore, awareness of the disease is crucial. Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include back pain, heavy bleeding during menstruation, urinary and bowel problems, painful sex, and fatigue. Many women go undiagnosed for approximately 7 years before ever knowing they have the disease.
The disease affected me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I soon discovered that running was beneficial to combating the symptoms of the disease, and it was also beneficial to my soul. This epiphany led me on a journey to running for my health. Running then became my medicine. Of course, I did not always have that mindset.
As a child, I didn’t see myself as a runner nor had a desire to run. I considered myself more of an academician than an athlete. I was that girl that knew the atomic number, symbol, and name of all the elements on the periodic table. Now if you would have asked me what the acronym PR stood for; I would have been clueless. The few times I did run were because I was required to in order to complete an assignment. That included running from base to base as a softball player and running during PE. Who remembers those physical fitness tests from middle school that included the one-mile run? Oh, the memories! I had family and friends who ran cross country and track but participating in that activity never crossed my mind. I think I let my fear of not being good enough keep me from trying.
Well on August 17, 2010, that all changed. I embarked on a journey that would eventually change how I looked at running. Days earlier, my dear friend and sorority sister, Anita, asked me to join her on a run. I was hesitant at first because waking up at the crack of dawn to go running in a park was not my idea of a good time. Well after much convincing, she finally got me out to the park on that August day. I don’t remember much of that day, but I am pretty sure I was out of breath and doing more walking than running. In spite of my distaste for the activity, I kept going back. After each running session, I began to like this newfound hobby. I then decided to train for my first 5K later that year. The race I chose to complete was the Turkey Burner which was a race held in Montgomery, Alabama. After I completed the Turkey Burner, I developed a taste for more. I joined Black Girls RUN! Montgomery, and I was training and racing all of the time.
Now 9 years, 30 races, and 17 medals later, running is a passion of mine. Running is my addiction, but it is also my medicine. When I run, my physical and mental health improves. With every drop of sweat, I imagine the toxins exiting my body. My body is being repaired and rejuvenated with each step. I also use this time to meditate and renew my mind, and I gain more clarity about my life. My mind, body, and soul are nourished, and it is a beautiful experience. Endometriosis may have intended to cause harm, but God used running to cause healing.
Join BGR! Nation for our March Virtual Run to bring awareness to Endometriosis! Registration is open now!
Black Girls RUN! Baltimore invites you to #OptOutside!
Whether it’s recycling, walking to the store vs. driving, taking the stairs vs. elevator or bringing our recyclable bags to the grocery store vs. using plastic bags, our daily choices have an impact on our environment. When you come out to a Black Girls RUN! weekly run, the choice you make to be healthier also has an impact on your community! Choosing to go for a run empowers the social and community wellness of your environment. There is so much power in running, and Black Girls RUN! Is proud to be taking part in #OptOutside on November 29th to continue to bring awareness about how we are changing our community one step, one mile and one healthier life at a time! Join us!
We are just a little over 1 week away from Thanksgiving - a special time in the year where we gather with family and spend quality time. This time of year has also become a special time for our signature event, #OptOutside! BGR! Nation has partnered with our friends at REI to bring awareness to making big changes in the world through our small changes. We invite you to join us on Friday, November 29th for #OptOutside. We have cleanups and runs happening all over the country!
BGR! Chicago #OptOutside Feature: Meet Mary Castle-Enyard aka “Dancin’ Mary”
Dancin’ Mary has been a member of Black Girls Run! for 5 yrs. She is an outstanding Run Coordinators from Chicago. She doesn’t just run, she also swims, bikes & dances hence the name “Dancin Mary”. During her group weekly runs she makes sure that all the ladies are safe, the area is well lit and free of debris. If not, she’s on the phone reporting the issues so the next time her group hits the pavement that it’s clean & safe. Dancin’ Mary is active in her community and encourages us all to be active in ours. Join Mary in Chicago on November 29th!
Every year I look forward to my two favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. A great time with family, friends, schedule slows down and good food. Did I mention, good food? But, each year Thanksgiving seems to be cut super short by the madness of Black Friday. And, I have to admit I have been caught in a line or two camping out with hundreds of others, trying to get one of those 7 televisions! LOL!
But, in recent years, Black Friday has become too crazy for me and I have been wanting that feeling of getting back to family, community and what matters most!
So, BGR! Nation is excited to be teaming up with REI again for #OptOutside. REI is again shaking things up with its #OptOutside, and is closing all of its 150+ stores and paying all 13,000+ employees to take the day off, because Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with the people you love, in the places you love! This year they are taking it a step further and encouraging us to Opt to Act by kicking off a year long campaign to change the way we view the world we live in, but taking a pledge to take simple actions to reduce our impact, get active and leave the world better than before.
This Black Friday (November 29), our wallets are taking a rest day and we will be outside enjoying nature and enjoying life. We will have planned events in several cities across the country, so be sure to stay tuned to attend an event near you!
For more information, to sign up for a clean up event or share how you want to help change the world, please visit: https://www.rei.com/opt-outside.