Not so. Just ask Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey, founders of the popular website, Black Girls Run , founded in 2009 “to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.” Black women gather in groups across the country under the Black Girls Run banner.
According to Black Girls Run representative Jayell Vaughn, “We are seeing an increase of women being interested in running and being proactive about their health. The numbers are real, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., and those numbers are even more real for the African American women community. So, yes Black women do not want to continue this epidemic and health crisis we are experiencing, and want to begin to change those numbers. Black Girls RUN! was started because the low representation of Black women at running events, to support Black women runners.”
Vaughn, who notes that Black Girls run welcomes all women (“Our main goal is dedicated to the health of our nation as a whole.”), recommends that women eager to become runners just try it.
“Don’t put limitations on yourself. I always say that if you try something you might not like it, but if you don’t try something you will never know if you could like it. You’re not going to run a 9-minute mile right away, but be patient and again, don’t put limitations on yourself. I just really want to encourage black women to visit us at our website or on Facebook and also to get out there and run! There is no formula to fitness, but it starts with setting a goal and going for it!”
Vaughn hopes more black women will give running a try and will love it like she does. Like I do, too.
If you’re looking for a way to get your body moving this summer, don’t overlook running. Black girls do run. And when you’re out on the jogging path, if you pass a woman with an afro slogging along in the sunshine, it just might be me. Doing the impossible.
– Tami Winfrey- Harris