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There is wisdom in asking for help.

I came across this quote yesterday and wanted to share it. It says, 

Asking for help has never been one of my strongest attributes. Frankly, in some instances, I'd rather risk failure than to ask someone to give me a hand. Obviously, my ego is in control here, but feelings and thoughts around inadequacy tend to rear its ugly head making it even more difficult to raise my hand for help. Also, who really wants to admit they don't know EVERYTHING.

This has been particularly true around my long distance training. When I wanted to get faster or lose those pesky 10 pounds, instead of seeking the help of experts, I'd try to figure it out on my own, using what I thought I knew, but never really making any progress. It left me even more frustrated with myself and ironically enough, the feelings of inadequacy were still very present.

Eventually, I became tired of failing and reached out to people who had more training and expertise than me to help me reach my goals and that would hold me accountable and motivate me to reach the finish line. The truth is, they were excited that I asked for help and didn't judge me for not having all the answers.

Sometimes resetting is asking for help.

I'll often hear women say they want to join Black Girls RUN!, but they need to lose weight before they join their local group or that they need to "get their lives together" before they commit to running.

Let's be honest. You're afraid. Afraid that you might have to confront feelings of inadequacy. Afraid that you might be judged. Afraid to ask for help. 

But, let me assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of. We're just waiting for you to ask for help.

Ashley and I started Black Girls RUN! because we sincerely wanted to help. We wanted to help women reclaim their lives by living a healthy and active lifestyle. We wanted to help women understand their value and self-worth. We wanted to help women, just like you be GREAT!

Yes, sometimes you have to stand alone, but with Black Girls RUN!, there's no need! Turns out there are thousands of other women, just like us, that want to see the state of our community's health improve!  

It's never a bad idea to ask for help when you need it!

So, what will it take for you to raise your hand for help? How can you reset and harness the courage and bravery that I know exists inside of you to take that first step to achieving your goals and intentions for 2017? And most importantly, how can the BGR! Nation and I help? Post below with your comments, questions and requests for help! 

Monday Inspiration: Are You Brave Enough to Ask For Help?

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@officialblackgirlsrun)

Most people automatically shut down running (specifically with Black Girls RUN!) because they are intimidated and have no idea how to start.

In fact, most ladies say, "Oh, let me lose a few pounds THEN I'll come join your group." 😑😒 Listen, you do not have to be a certain way to start running, you can totally do it now, as you are. AND the best part about that is that you don't have to do it alone. We have 70 running groups across the country and thousands of ladies ready to help you reach your goals. Now, are you brave enough to ask for help? #bgrreset #blackgirlsrun

So, if you're ready, what's next?

JOINING BLACK GIRLS RUN/FINDING A GROUP

First, please create a profile on our website by going to the link below:

http://blackgirlsrun.com/account/register

Once you are registered, it will suggest a group nearest you and you'll be able to see their calendar of run or connect with them via Facebook. It's as easy as that. 

You can also check out this article to learn more: 10 Things You Need to Know If You're New to BGR!

If you have additional questions, email us at info@blackgirlsrun.com

New:

PICK UP THE PACE WITH TONI & ASHLEY WITH GUEST KENYA JACKSON-SAULTERS, CO-FOUNDER OF THE OUTDOOR JOURNAL TOUR

 

 

Listen Now:

Who knows pushing boundaries better than Black Girls RUN! co-founders Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha? They transformed the running industry and the state of black women’s health, now they’re sharing what they’ve learned to help all women take back their health and their lives in a candid (and comical) bi-weekly podcast called Pick Up the Pace. This engaging, relatable (and sometimes unpredictable) podcast will help women from all walks transform their lives from the inside out featuring weekly guests that will have everyone picking up the pace….or maybe even slowing it down.

The two chat with Kenya Jackson-Saulters, co-founder of The Outdoor Journal Tour.  

Master workshop facilitator, Kenya Jackson-Saulters, MS is a twice published self-help author, spiritual counselor, and certified Reiki energy healer who is known for her unique brand of nontraditional self-help. To date, she has traveled to countless colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech University, Xavier University, and the University of Dayton to name a few. A known quarter life crisis expert, Kenya has also graced the main stage of TEDx Greenville as a featured presenter, and is currently a speaker coach for Tedx Peachtree. Most recently, she has blended the health benefits of exercise, meditation and writing to form a custom personal development experience for women called The Outdoor Journal Tour. 

The Outdoor Journal Tour uses each of the aforementioned elements to provide clarity, healing, and connection to participants. Kenya has been an advocate for personal discovery through writing for roughly 10 yearsKenya holds dual undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology from Xavier University, and a master’s degree in Policy Analysis.

Interested in learning more about mindfulness, download this Mindfulness Monthly fact sheet

You can find Kenya Jackson-Saulters and The Outdoor Journal Tour online at:

website: www.theoutdoorjournaltour.com
instagram: www.instagram.com/outdoorjournaltour
facebook: www.facebook.com/outdoorjournaltour

It's a celebration ya'll and what better way to celebrate Black Girls RUN!'s 8th birthday than with putting some miles on the pavement! Join Toni, Ashley and the rest of the BGR! crew as we honor and celebrate the Black Girls RUN! Movement.

How Does It Work?

1) Register online for the I Heart BGR! Virtual 5K (Ask your friends and family to register too!) The registration deadline is February 3 at 11:59 pm EST.

2) Train! Do not forget to download our training plan! It will be included in your event confirmation e-mail.

3) Plan your run! Choose a location, and do not forget to map it before hand to complete the full 3.1 miles.

4) Connect with your local Black Girls RUN! group! Many of our groups will celebrate BGR!'s 8th birthday together. Feel free to connect with them to get some on the ground support! You can join Black Girls RUN! and/or find a group in your city by signing up at www.blackgirlsrun.com

5) Download and print your virtual bib! You will receive your confirmation and race bib after you have registered. Hit the pavement alone or with your BGR! crew.

It does not matter your pace, location, or time you run. Just get it in! Tweet @blackgirlsrun or Instagram @officialblackgirlsrun your virtual run photos.

6.) Once you’ve completed your run, upload your race time to our virtual race roster! You can access the forms by clicking “submit your race results”.

And, Congratulations! You did it! You will receive your race bling no later than 2 weeks after the event. 

For questions or more information about this event, email info@blackgirlsrun.com

REGISTER NOW

It's time to press reset.

It's 2017 and we're ready to tackle another year like a boss! We're more focused than ever and want to continue to grow the BGR! movement with purpose and intention. With that being said, this year we're doing things a little different to help you achieve your fitness goals, big and small.

Each quarter, we will introduce a new theme or idea that will serve as our intention or mantra for those three months. During each quarter, we will bring you content and events that complement that theme to help guide us and challenge us physically and mentally. 

We're kicking off the year with "Reset With Black Girls RUN!". Almost eight years ago we launched Black Girls RUN! as a way to encourage African-American women to live a healthy and active lifestyle. If you've been with us from the very beginning, you know that we have grown tremendously since 2009. From being recognized internationally to meeting Oprah (we must admit that was a highlight), we have grown into a MOVEMENT. It was something that took us by surprise and we've committed ourselves to growing BGR! so that even more women have an opportunity to experience the magic of Black Girls RUN!

Eight years later, we've both experienced tremendous life changes. From marriages, to babies to growing into mature women, we're definitely not the 26 year-olds that we were in the infant stages of the organization. 

We've both spent the past few years really reflecting on the mission and vision of Black Girls RUN! and what we ultimately want to achieve. Each time we ask ourselves this question, we come back to the same answer....

To encourage and empower African-American women to live a healthy and active lifestyle. 

At times we were overcomplicating it, overthinking it, even deviating from what we originally set out to do. But, when you're on a journey....a true honest journey, that happens sometimes.

After a planning session late last year, we both had an 'Ah Ha' moment. We needed to get back to root of why we started Black Girls RUN! and why we've dedicated our lives to the organization. Both personally and for the organization.

It was time to reset. 

So, this quarter, we want you to reset with us. We're bringing it all back to why we started this journey, and most importantly, why YOU started this journey. Was it to join a community of like-minded women? Was it because you needed to make a big shift in your life? Was it because you knew that it was finally time to put your health first?

Whatever the reason, we're taking the time to rediscover our "whys" and uncover the true essence of what this journey and Black Girls RUN! is about. We're taking the time to dig deep, reflect and be intentional about all of the goals and plans that we have for the year ahead. We're resetting.

As we explore this idea, be sure to check our blog regularly and open those e-mails to come along on this journey with us. We've also got some new things in store that we can wait to share with you. You DON'T want to miss out! Trust us!

Until then, thank you so much for an amazing 2016 and thank you for continuing on this journey with us in 2017! It's going to be awesome. We promise. 
 

BGR! HAS A NEW PODCAST

PICK UP THE PACE WITH TONI & ASHLEY

Who knows pushing boundaries better than Black Girls RUN! co-founders Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha? They transformed the running industry and the state of black women’s health, now they’re sharing what they’ve learned to help all women take back their health and their lives in a candid (and comical) bi-weekly podcast called Pick Up the Pace. This engaging, relatable (and sometimes unpredictable) podcast will help women from all walks transform their lives from the inside out featuring weekly guests that will have everyone picking up the pace….or maybe even slowing it down.

Check out our latest podcast with Toni & Ashley discussing goals vs. intentions and why you need both. 

The New At Home Food Intolerance Kit You Have to Try

By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

 

****SPONSORED POST****

Let me start by saying that my journey in unearthing my food intolerances has been a very long and painful journey. For years (I’m talking since high school) I battled with chronic fatigue, embarrassing digestive issues, and brain fog. I mean, I could literally sleep for 10-plus hours, wake up and still feel like I needed more sleep.

From depression to chronic fatigue syndrome, doctor after doctor would prescribe me a different medication to mask the symptoms, but nothing seemed to really make it better, and moreover, I still never felt 100 percent. I started to think that either I would never get better, it was all simply in my head and that I’d just have to live the rest of my life feeling tired ALL OF THE TIME.

It wasn’t until two years ago when Black Girls RUN! offered Nourish a 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge with Danielle Omar that I started to realize that perhaps it wasn’t all in my head, and maybe there was something more to feeling exhausted 100 percent of the time.

As we entered into week three of the challenge having cut out gluten and dairy, I was feeling amazing. I was sleeping better, feeling better, and had more energy than I could ever remember. As part of the program, we began to reintroduce “triggers” such as gluten and dairy, to see if our bodies would have an adverse response or exhibit a noticeable difference after adding it back into our diets.

I decided to try dairy-free pizza with regular pizza crust, and I immediately began having stomach pains. (Actually, I had to poop as soon as we stepped into the pizza joint. I’m assuming from all of the flour in the air). Not only that, during the next few days, I slept more than I had in previous weeks. I immediately knew that something was up.

But, it wasn’t until I started seeing an integrative medicine physician (Dr. Kristin Corbin Oja at CentreSpringMD in Atlanta), that it ALL came together for me. After running a few tests, she confirmed that indeed, I had a food intolerance to gluten and dairy in addition to:

  • Casein
  • Egg whites
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Wheat

 

I was floored. I immediately became a food label junkie, and ultimately established a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables ensuring that I stayed away from any of these foods/ingredients that could cause further inflammation. Bye, bye pizza. (sad face)

But, let me pause here. What are food intolerances, and what’s the deal with inflammation?

Food intolerances are different from food allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic,

A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.”

I would bet that many people know that they have some type of food intolerance. I distinctly remember during our 21 Day Cleaning Eating Challenge, a participant noted, “My stomach always hurts when I eat gluten, but I refuse to give it up.” I’ve heard that time, and time again, particularly with milk and/or dairy. (p.s. Most black people have an intolerance to dairy. More on that later).

Well, in my opinion, this is the definition of insanity. While  you might not think having a food intolerance is a big deal, after all, you could take TUMS or whatever other remedies that are on the pharmacy shelf, but in fact, it’s a MAJOR deal.

Gut inflammation can cause digestive problems and cause symptoms such as bloating, leaky gut syndrome, indigestion, and gas, food hypersensitivity can cause inflammation-related symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and even depression, hyperactivity, adrenal fatigue and has even been linked to infertility.

Unlike allergies, a food intolerance usually involves a delayed biological reaction, which although uncomfortable and unpleasant, is not life threatening. A Food intolerance is much more common than a food allergy and affects more than half of the world population.

Trust me, this is not a game. As I learn more about food intolerances, inflammation, and the gut/mind connection, I’m a little obsessed with helping people understand how important it is to know whether or not they have food intolerances.

Unfortunately, most doctors won’t even entertain food intolerances as part of diagnosing ailments and treating diseases. (I’m also convinced that most chronic diseases can be cured with food. Not to sound all conspiracy theory, but there IS a conspiracy here.)

I was very fortunate to find Dr. Oja and she has been spectacular in helping me navigate my new lifestyle and providing guidance in helping me truly heal my body with food and supplements.

If you’re still thinking, “I don’t know Toni. This sounds pretty crazy to me,” let me introduce you to another product that I’m a huge fan of. It’s called PinnerTest.

If you are interested in exploring your food intolerances at ALL, this is a great first step.

PinnerTest is a new generation, at-home food lab test, performed with your blood sample. It is the most accurate Food Intolerance test in the world that can detect your exact food intolerances.”

The company tests for 200 food types and after they receive your blood sample (within 10 days) you will receive your PinnerTest results via email. Super easy and simple.

 

Although, I had already been tested for food intolerances, I wanted to give it another go to see if anything else popped up. The test arrived super quick and the directions were very easy to follow.

Now, I’ll admit, I get a little squeamish around needles, so my husband literally had to hype me up to prick my finger. But, it truly is a prick and is the same type of needle that diabetics use to test their blood sugar levels. I’m just a wimp around blood.

Once I pricked my finger, the rest was easy breezy. I squeezed a few droplets onto a piece of paper, stuck it in inside an envelope with pre-paid postage and dropped it in the mail. Seriously, it’s surprising how simple it was. In a little over a week, I received my results.

But before I share them with you, there’s a few things to note.

  • PinnerTest only tests 200 foods. There are other tests that test for 1,000+ foods, but 200 gives you a good baseline. And really, you probably eat the same things over and over again.
  • PinnerTest can only recognize foods that you might be intolerant too if you eaten them in the past 6 months or 180 days. So, although I know without a doubt that I’m intolerant to wheat and gluten, neither showed up on my test results because I have cut them out of my diet since the beginning of the year. I eat pretty clean, so my test results were kind of boring. Sorry guys!
  • Food intolerance tests are NOT covered by insurance (another conspiracy theory here). So, PinnerTest is a great, inexpensive alternative to paying out of pocket with your doctor.

The results that you will receive are very easy to understand. The foods in the red column represent the foods that you can’t digest, that are your PinnerTest food intolerances.

Again, my results were pretty boring, but still kind of shocking. Turns out I’m also intolerant to:

  • Tomatoes (my brother is allergic to tomatoes so this made sense)
  • Grapes (Super sad face)
  • Oranges (No more orange juice)
  • Strawberries (No love lost here)
  • Yeast (Oh come on!!!!)

 

Again, pretty boring, but for once that’s a good thing! I’ve since also cut out these items from my diet and I’m feeling better than ever.

I did have a few questions about my test, especially as how it compared to my previous test, and PinnerTest has food intolerance specialists that will answer all your questions regarding your results after you receive them.

If you’ve ever wondered about whether or not you have a food intolerance, order a PinnerTest and see what comes up for you! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

This is a sponsored post by PinnerTest, but all opinions are my own. PinnerTest partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its product. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. I also received a free PinnerTest to try and review.

NATIONAL RACE MEET-UP

RACE 13.1 * GREENSBORO, NC * MAY 14, 2017

Registration is now open for the Black Girls RUN! Spring National Meet-Up at Race 13.1 in Greensboro, NC on May 14, 2017.

All BGR! runners will receive the BGR! medal regardless of the distance ran. BGR! members registered for the half marathon will also receive the Greensboro finisher medal in addition to their BGR! medal. 

BGR! members must register using the BGR! registration form by April 10, 2017 to earn the BGR! bonus swag items. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. 

 

Category thru 11/21/2016 thru 03/06/2017 thru 04/10/2017
BGR! Race 13.1 (Bonus Medal & Pullover Included) $75 $85 $95
BGR! 10k (Bonus Medal & Pullover Included) $60 $65 $70
BGR! 5k (Bonus Medal & Pullover Included) $50 $55 $60

 

REGISTER NOW 

 

We are excited to announce the winners of the Road to Sweat With Your Sole Endomondo Challenge! They are: 

Shekita Robinson
Clea Hogan
Letitia Love
Mekela Mongerie
Evelyn McKinnon

Ladies will receive $25 off their next purchase in the BGR! store! Congratulations! 

Black Girls RUN! was launched in 2009 to encourage and empower African-American women to get healthy and fit. Fast-forward to 2016, and we have 70 groups across the country and more than 200,000 members! We're looking to do even more and are expanding our team! If you're passionate about running, health, fitness and black women's health, this just might be the project for you! 

Position/Role: Program Coordinator

Responsibilities

  • Works with marketing director and field operations manager to establish and execute training programs to be facilitated to BGR! Members across the country (digital and offline)
  • Assist in the development of short and long term plans for programs, monitor progress, assure adherence by running groups and evaluate performance
  • Assists in managing the scheduling and execution of all programs, including communications with field operations coordinators/ambassadors, interfacing with registration software, setting and implementing guidelines for program delivery and providing content for program outreach materials.
  • Assist in design of performance objectives and implement and monitor programming to meet desired outcomes
  • Identify opportunities for collaborations/partnerships with local businesses/organizations and influencers for member education and increased engagement
  • Work cross-functionally with business development and marketing teams to create and execute programs
  • Manage national non-profit partnerships
  • Ensures a high-quality experience for program users by overseeing the logistics of day to day program delivery
  • Responds to questions, complaints and general inquiries regarding programming

 

Basic Qualifications :

  • Proven success in developing and coordinating health/fitness programs
  • Preferred experience and/or certifications in health, fitness, wellness coaching
  • Innovative, entrepreneurial spirit  to engage in the development and implementation of programming, setting goals, objectives, practices, procedures and standards
  • Skilled at uniting diverse people around a common vision within a complex environment
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communicator
  • Highly organized and detail oriented multi-tasker
  • Enjoy a fast-paced environment, creative challenges,  innovative thinker
  • Use data and community feedback to ensure relevance of balanced programming to broad range of community members
  • Technologically proficient and knowledgeable of social media tools and business application. Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, and project management software.
  • Able to contribute to a professional work environment by demonstrating integrity, promoting teamwork, and fostering positive communication;
  • Superb time management skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize complex assignments with little supervision
  • Demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for living a healthy and active lifestyle, including running, cycling, yoga and sports.

 

Position/Role: Digital Content Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Reports to director of marketing to develop overall digital content strategy to support organization’s mission and vision, increase online engagement and web traffic
  • Establish and monitor digital content goals, analyze web analytics data to gauge content performance.
  • Develop and execute content collaborations between organizations, partners and/or sponsors; works with business development team to identify digital content opportunities
  • Develop and manage content schedule to produce ongoing content via various channels
  • Identifies and manages team of content contributors and writers
  • Understands content optimization and monetization
  • Curate and send our e-mail communication to drive website traffic
  • Recommend and implement enhancements to digital presence to optimize the experience and engagement of readers

 

Basic Qualifications :

  • Bachelor’s Degree in journalism, communications or marketing
  • Proven experience and success in digital content creation, online advertising, journalism/editorial
  • Knowledge of Shopify, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, video editing, podcast production, SEO
  • Organized, self-starter that can execute strategy with limited oversight and direction
  • Positive, can-do attitude with a strong attention to detail;
  • Ability to thrive in a multi-cultural, dynamic environment;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including ability to compose narratives write and edit compelling stories
  • Able to build and maintain professional relationships with peers;
  • Able to contribute to a professional work environment by demonstrating integrity, promoting teamwork, and fostering positive communication;
  • Superb time management skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize complex assignments with little supervision
  • Demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for living a healthy and active lifestyle, including running, cycling, yoga and sports.

 

Position/Role: Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Responsibilities:

  • Works with marketing director to establish overall annual strategy, goals and KPI’s
  • Ensures brand consistency across all channels, programs, and events
  • Works with business development team to identify marketing opportunities via partnerships/sponsorships
  • Manages and oversees social media channels to increase online engagement, promote programs, in-person events and activities to bring the BGR! vision to life
  • Works with field operations coordinators and ambassadors to establish and guide marketing and promotional efforts in market
  • Works with retail and events team to develop strategic marketing plan for merchandise sales and event promotion
  • Work closely with program leadership and partners to document stories and successes in project activities in a compelling manner across multiple digital outlets

 

Basic Qualifications :

  • Bachelor’s Degree in marketing and/or advertising
  • Experience in grassroots marketing, lead generation, e-mail marketing, social media and digital marketing
  • Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, video editing, SEO, digital and social advertising
  • Organized, self-starter that can execute strategy with limited oversight and direction
  • Positive, can-do attitude with a strong attention to detail;
  • Ability to thrive in a multi-cultural, dynamic environment;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including ability to compose narratives write and edit compelling stories
  • Able to build and maintain professional relationships with peers;
  • Able to contribute to a professional work environment by demonstrating integrity, promoting teamwork, and fostering positive communication;
  • Superb time management skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize complex assignments with little supervision
  • Demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for living a healthy and active lifestyle, including running, cycling, yoga and sports.

Position/Role: Media Relations Specialist

Responsibilities:

  • Develop ideas and implement comprehensive communication programs that build buzz and awareness for Black Girls RUN!, it’s running groups, apparel and events
  • develop and execute PR strategies and programs that are aligned with the departmental goals
  • Build awareness of our products and facilitate the best possible editorial coverage in print, broadcast and online media
  • Keep current on trends, issues and news about the running, health, fitness and wellness/beauty industries
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with relevant media and social media influencers
  • Develop and maintain media lists
  • Conduct proactive and reactive media relations
  • Works closely with entire team (marketing, social media, programming) to share compelling brand story, promote events and programs, and support merchandise sales

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations, Marketing, Communications, Journalism, English, or related field and a passion and enthusiasm for living an active and healthy lifestyle, including running, cycling, yoga and sports.
  • Demonstrates excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
  • Most possess a minimum of 3 years of public/media relations experience
  • Displays compelling writing skills and knowledge of Associated Press style guidelines

Please email your cover letter and resume with the position you're applying for in the subject line to toni.carey@blackgirlsrun.com. All positions close on December 2, 2016.

We're also looking for field operations coordinators! You can view that position here.