I woke up one day last summer and just went for a walk.
It was around 6 in the morning and I had not slept at all. I spent a restless night feeling the tension of white supremacy in my body. I was angry and feeling helpless after the back to back murders of Alton Sterling & Philando Castille. My heart ached for their families. My heart ached for my people living with the reality that at any moment the state can snuff out our lives.
So I got up and out of my house. I put one foot in front of another and went walking for an hour. When I came home, I was able to sleep. I called my workout #DamnTheManWorkouts.
And over the last year I went from walking to running 2 miles every other day. I #RunAsResistance to remind myself that I am still here. It is an acknowledgment that despite all of the ways white supremacy terrorizes me and my people, I can engage in acts to honor and celebrate my body, my health, my humanity.
I didn’t always make every workout. Some days the endorphins weren’t as wonderful. Some days my playlist wasn’t poppin’ and I wanted to sit down and stop. Some days I did sit down and need motivation to get up and keep going.
And all of the ups and downs came in handy when I ran my first 5K. I arrived late to the #PercySutton5K and just had to hop on the trail and go. Then I hit a steep incline that continued for the first mile of the race.
Y’all, that hill was a bitch. I looked up at it and was ready to turn around and go back to the subway and GO HOME! But I put one foot in front of the other and marched up the hill. At a certain point I felt comfortable running again, and then I started running and soon I was at the 1mile marker!
And I was good until the end. Around 2.5 miles there is a steep decline, and I flew down it. My playlist was jamming and I was feeling good. Then I looked down the street and the finish line was SO far away.
Just as I was ready to start walking I saw my running mentor, and I kept going. Then I wanted to just sit down on the side of the road and catch my breath and saw someone else I knew. Then there were more runners who had finished who were cheering me on and I kept going.
As I approached the finish line I saw my family and I just booked it. And then it was done.
I wanted to stop running so many times. I wanted to lay down in the street and rest for most of the race and somehow I just kept going.
Persistence. Running taught me persistence. It’s not about perfection, it’s about persistence.
And now I’m ready for my next race!