Jun 4, 2021
Meet BGR! Digital Content Creator, Joy Harrell!
Q: What’s your favorite part about the writing process?
A: Writing is a transcendent experience for me. I love learning, challenging myself, adventure and a good story, and writing gifts me with all of these.
Q: Where do you get your ideas for content that you write for Black Girls Run?
A: My personal experiences and curiosities, questions and suggestions from my family and friends, and current social issues.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing for Black Girls Run?
A: Having the opportunity to be a part of something that is bigger than me. Writing for Black Girls RUN! allows me to help advance its mission of encouraging and motivating black women to live healthy lifestyles, gives me a space to further connect with fellow runners and provides me a platform to take on a myriad of relevant topics—from mental health and racism to belly fat and preventing injuries while running.
Q: What was your best running experience?
Completing my first marathon, the 2020 Little Rock Marathon, with a few of my favorite Black Girls RUN! Houston sole sisters. This feat was almost 2 years in the making. And although I verbally committed to running a full marathon with my squad, I was mentally thinking “what am I doing and why”. But once I crossed that finished line, I felt gratitude, pride and such a sense of purpose. And to share it with a group of ladies who support each other—on and off the pavement—made it even more meaningful. Not to mention that runcation was the last trip I’ve taken since the world shutdown due to COVID-19, so I reflect on the significance of that moment in more ways than one. Plus, the finisher’s medal is amazing!
Q: What was your favorite race that you participated in?
A: My first Girls on the Run 5K. It was the culmination of 10 weeks of coaching, mentoring, and just showing up for a group of 4th-grade girls. My singular focus was to pour into these girls and give them what I thought they needed. But, I received so much more from them than I gave. Running alongside them, cheering them on, and sharing in their awe as they accomplished what seemed almost impossible to them 10 weeks earlier was so rewarding.
Q: Why did you start running?
A: I tried but failed to find an affinity for running over the years. I joined a competitive, citywide running club when I was a pre-teen, but it wasn’t for me. I attempted taking up running again in my twenties, but again I didn’t quite connect with it. It wasn’t until I was in my forties and discovered Black Girls RUN! Houston that I gave running another go and fell in love—with running and with the camaraderie and community of Black Girls RUN! And, I’ve been running and telling others about running ever since.
Q: What do you like to do for self-care?
A: My self-care is simple and consists of solo runs, hot yoga, steam baths, sleep, great meals, and wine.
Q: What is your favorite healthy snack?
A: Hummus with sweet potato chips, 100-calorie microwave popcorn, and smoothies
Q: What is one fun fact about you?
A: In addition to being a Realtor, I co-own a Houston-based bakery—The Sift Sisters—with my sister. Our love of all things sweet and baking was inherited from our Mom. As with a lot of families, food is at the center of many events and occurrences in our lives, including celebrations, not-so-happy occasions, and most conversations. Food, especially cake, truly unifies and brings people together.
Read Joy’s latest article here.