The Pursuit of Salubrity is a lot more fun when you can share it with friends. Having a group of friends with common health goals promotes community and a sense of accountability. Ashley and I met freshman year of college and have been good friends ever since. We share a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles. I decided to interview Ashley because she is not only a great person, but she just ran her first 5k! Read her interview below about her reasons for running and becoming a healthier person.
When and where did you decide to start running?
1. I started running competitively when I was about 9 years old at the Boys & Girls Club. I also ran on my middle school track team in 7th and 8th grade and for all four years in High School (making All-State in the 4*4 and 4*8 relays). Running has been a part of my life for some time, but after graduating college, I began to wonder how I could keep it in my life along with busy schedules and bills. I hadn’t even truly realized that I enjoyed running until after it was absent from my life.
Why did you choose Black Girls Run for your first 5k?
2. I chose Black Girls Run as my first 5K for multiple reasons with the primary reason being that it is founded by Black women with the purpose of tackling the obesity epidemic in the African American community and inspiring Black women to get healthy and fit.
How did you do? Would you do it again?
3. I ran for ALMOST the entire time! Which is great for me. I think fell somewhere between 30-35 minutes, which shocked me like no other because I hadn’t worked out more than twice in the 2 weeks leading up to the race (I know, I know, not good).
I will definitely do it again simply because it was SO inspirational! Some women walked, some ran with friends, some were young, some were seasoned, some were thin, some were voluptuous. Black women were running and smiling and looking fly all at the same time! Short story: I was fortunate enough to run near a lady who I am assuming was a personal trainer, but she could have very well been an angel. Throughout the race, she would randomly shout, “Come on ladies! Keep it movin’!” “Lookin’ good ladies; keep it up!” When women slowed to walk she would start up again and link arms to pull someone along. It was SO encouraging!
Any advice for those who would like to run a 5k, or just want to live a healthier lifestyle?
4. Advice: 1. Research 5Ks coming to your area and register EARLY! Race registration fees usually increase closer to the date of the race. 2. Create a workout plan that starts in intervals of walk/running. Then progress to running over longer distances, and if you are really getting into good shape, begin timing yourself. 3. Start running! Even if you have never run a day in your life; just start! You will be amazed at how your stamina improves over time. 4. Hydrate! Self explanatory. 5. Substitute healthier alternatives into your diet. Instead of chips, try almonds or nuts, which will give you the crunch effect with healthy fats and protein.
What do you like to do besides running? I wanna know more about your upcoming Etsy shop.
5. Outside of running, I love art and being creative! I have been working on starting my own creative business for quite some time now with the hope of opening my etsy shop – EMBOLDN – in December 2013 (fingers crossed).
I aim to promote a message of self-love, particularly amongst the African American community, so many of my pieces will reflect this, mostly through images of music and health.
Check out my shop in December and message me the code: SALUBRIOUS to get 10% off your first purchase!