running while black feature image

Running While Black: What Now?

Racism and Running

Today’s post was originally going to focus on promoting long-distance running in the black community and increase the awareness of the health problems we continually face.

Given the recent events, it wouldn’t make sense to promote anything without first addressing the problem we (Blacks) have all faced one way or another.

Racism has been an issue for decades… I mean centuries.

Racism is present in our running community and in our daily lives. It affects our mental and physical health, disrupts our lifestyle, and is another barrier to succeed in a system that never wanted us to prosper anyway.

After all those years of crying, protesting, rioting, and social media upheavals… They finally hear us.

After all those years of crying, protesting, rioting, and social media upheavals… They finally hear us.

no justice no peace

So now what?

What do we do to get them to listen?

How do we keep this fire going?

That answer looks different for everyone.

But I wanted to give some tips on how we can continue to address racism in the running world, in our community, and advocate for change.

Mental Health

First and foremost, take care of yourself. There is too much being broadcasted online and on media outlets for one person to handle.

Social media in general is exhausting but when events like the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd happen, everybody has an opinion and everybody has some image or video that they want to post.

The news is just as bad. We all know half the things they broadcast are just for ratings. And quite frankly, I’m sure they’re just happy to talk about something other than coronavirus for a change.

Unplug if you need to

Running is a great way to destress and clear your mind. However, don’t forget that it’s okay to let yourself feel emotions. Whether that’s anger, sadness, frustration, etc.

Recognize it but don’t allow it to consume you.

Lately, I’ve been going on more walks. It’s different from running because I don’t wear headphones and because my pace is much slower so it allows me to be in the moment.

Pray

If God didn’t care about race, he would’ve made us all the same skin tone. He is intentional.

Find peace in His plan.

Keep Moving

After you’ve addressed your mental and emotional health, keep moving.

I don’t mean this as a way to become apathetic or brush it off when you see another sighting of racism or police brutality.

Recognize that real change takes time.

In the meantime, don’t stop working on yourself. Keep running, continue to make healthy changes in your diet, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

There are so many health problems that blacks face compared to other races. Are some of these problems due to our environment and the role that systemic racism plays?

Yes. But some of these problems can be controlled or prevented if we work at it.

Related: 7 Ways to Reduce Your Sodium Intake

We know this will be a long fight. We have to stay strong and stay healthy.

black lives matter

Take Precautions

Be cautious, stay vigilant, but do not be afraid.

Plan ahead and look for community groups like next door to see the kinds of activities that go on in your neighborhood.

Connect with friends to form running groups (virtually if social distancing). If you feel uncomfortable running in your neighborhood, look for local parks or public trails.

Always let someone know when and where you’re going running.

Share your location on your smartphone or watch. And if you see something suspicious or feel threatened, remember to get as much of a description as possible.

Images, license plate numbers, police badge numbers, anything.

Find Your Voice

Whatever feels right for you.

Support your black-owned businesses. Shops, restaurants, and companies need your support now more than ever. Even if it’s just replacing one name brand item with a black-owned alternative or having date night at a black-owned restaurant.

Be mindful of the intentions behind well-known companies.

Many have begun to state that they “stand with us.” Don’t just believe their words, watch their actions. Look into who their leadership is and what philanthropies they support.

Remember that even before this uprising, some company’s values never had to be questioned – we see you, Nike.

Find local organizations that promote education and advocacy. Attend a meeting or form your own group. Education and awareness are great but remember, we need action.

We all have a voice and together we can make a change. It took fifty-eleven years for this country to finally hear us.

But this is just the beginning. Don’t let the fire die out in a couple of weeks

Do not stop. Do not quit. Keep Running.

Run for the Culture

Related Articles to Support Black Culture

racism and running

5 thoughts on “Running While Black: What Now?”

  1. Amazing post! Love the positivity that shines through this post.
    Mental health is so important, thanks for addressing I know recent events have weighed heavy on my mental health here in the uk I can only imagine the fear and stress you guys are going through right now. Stay safe

  2. Girl I loved everything about this post. Mental health is so important and lately the events have been so heavy. Still I’m super proud of what we are doing. We need all that you talked about right now especially prayer. Stay safe

  3. This tips are so important! I’m definitely going to unplug I feel myself getting so drained between trying to process it all and how I look at race (as a black woman) and watching how vile and cruel people can be.
    I find this part so beautiful “If God didn’t care about race, he would’ve made us all the same skin tone. He is intentional. Find peace in His plan.” Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares