There’s a huge misconception that black women don’t run. I became aware of this phenomenon last summer. I had just made the decision to start running regularly and bought a new pair of running shoes. I called my mom to tell her about my new hobby and she confidently replied, “Black girls don’t run.” I was expecting to hear something about spending $100 plus dollars on running shoes, yet I was being told that it was culturally unacceptable for black girls to run for sport. I replied with “You’ve got to be kidding. Why?” She rattled off a few reasons which included that it wasn’t good for my body and that my uterus was going to fall out. My uterus was going to fall out? REALLY? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I told her I didn’t believe her. Of course she had a co-signer on standby. My cousin grabbed the phone and repeated the same thing. If I ran for sport, my uterus would fall out, I wouldn’t be able to have kids and I would eventually need surgery to have a net inserted in order to keep the rest of my insides intact.
I’m sure they were just teasing me, but as I began to run seriously, I became more and more aware of the delusion that black women don’t run. I still get weird looks from people when I tell them I’m training for a marathon. My partner in crime, Ashley, and I decided it was our duty to dispel the “black girls don’t run” myth by creating a blog called “Black Girls Run.”
The goal of “Black Girls Run” is to encourage and motivate black women to practice a healthy lifestyle. For those women who consider themselves well on their way to being the next Beyonce, we want to serve as a fitness resource for runners and gym rats alike, as well as provide tips and commentary on staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But we also want to start a movement to encourage aspiring Beyonce’s, to get off the couch and get active. According to a 2007 National Center of Health Statistics survey, “23.8 percent of black girls ages 12-19 are overweight, compared to 14.6 percent of white girls the same age.” The report also found that “51.6 percent of black women ages 20-74 are considered obese, compared with 31.5 percent of white women.” We can make a lot of excuses as to why these numbers are the way they are, but excuses never solved an epidemic.
So, we’re here to make a change, and we hope you are too. There’s a lot to talk about and a lot of calories to burn, so be sure to sign up for automatic alerts. Let the training begin.
DISCLAIMER: Okay, so we know “Black Girls Run” implies that this blog is only for…well….black girls. It’s not. We just happen to be two black girls who dig running and hope to change the shape (no pun intended) of the statistics above. So if you’re black, white, purple or pink, we encourage you to follow our blog too. After all, we women have to stick together.
Statistics taken from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/134613.php.