According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. When Ashley Hicks discovered that statistic, she wanted to take action and created Black Girls Run!, a website and support group for women to help each other stay motivated to lead active healthy lifestyles.
“When Black Girls Run! was created three years ago, I had just lost a considerable amount of weight, and I was getting tons of questions from friends and family about how I was staying in shape,” says Hicks a former soccer player and college athlete. “So my partner Toni and I decided to start blogging about our running and fitness experiences in order to share this information easily. Two year later, we launched the running groups and the movement caught on like wild fire.”
The movement that started in New York City has become a nationwide phenomenon. Hello Beautiful caught up with Hicks to chat about her motivation to stay fit and how Black Girls Run! Inspires other women to do the same.
On Starting Black Girls Run! Support Groups
When we initially launched the groups, we asked our readers if they were interested in starting a BGR! chapter in their area. The response was amazing, and from there we created our first 30 groups. A few months later, was launched a second round of groups. The success of the groups has been primarily word of mouth – members tell their friends, co-workers, family etc. The highlight of BGR! is definitely seeing how many lives we are impacting in a positive way.
On Finding Motivation
I’m motivated to stay in shape by the amazing support system I have with BGR! I feel like the groups help keep me accountable, and I always have fellow runners that I can turn to for a pick me up if I’m feeling unmotivated. I think that consistency is key to living a life of wellness. I try to encourage new members to think of working out as a lifestyle change. It’s not just something that you do to get in shape for an event – it’s something that you do to take care of your self for the rest of your life.
On The Future
Right now, we are preparing for our first official race, which will be September 16th in Atlanta, GA. This is a huge undertaking for BGR!, so we are focused on putting on a successful and fun race. We are also looking to increase our membership. Right now, roughly 25,000 ladies have signed up to join one of our groups. I would like to double that number by next year.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"