I cut my hair two weeks into the pandemic. Broken-down. Anxiety. Overwhelmed. Scared. I lost it. I walked into my bathroom. Grabbed the scissors. Cut four inches of my hair off and walked away as if nothing happened. My husband was the first to notice. Waist-length hair now fell slightly below my earlobes. There was no explanation. A silent glance upward, eye contact was made and I went to wash the dishes.
Being 5’3 and almost two hundred pounds again broke my spirit. I worked hard during the first challenge to get down to 180 pounds. I was so proud of the work I did. Working out consistently, eating right and resting: I did all of the things correctly. I got cocky and took what was supposed to be two weeks off (turned three months) then all the weight came back! The weight even brought a few friends with it. An extra 15 pounds at that.
Why did I come back to the challenge? There’s one simple explanation: Sisterhood. Mommination’s slogan read “if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a NATION to support a Mom.” During the first challenge, I focused primarily on getting my body accumulated to moving. I found support in a multitude of women, BLACK women, who were striving toward the same goals. Seeing hundreds of mothers moving together in unity was just so captivating. The days in which I struggled to get out of bed, I found joy and motivation through my fellow teammates. These women shared in video, private messages and phone calls their health challenges. Thinking I was alone during this journey was no longer an option.
The Fit Challenge brought a spiritual component that I never experienced before. Destiny Aja began each week with soul-stirring affirmations. As a group, we created a Bible devotional group. Many prayers and tears have been shed amongst this magical sisterhood. Prayers that were spoken loudly in groups and silent prayers of encouragement when a sister struggled through a workout.
Mykal inspired us all to take our goals to the next level with our Vision Board Party and Checkin. I am the queen of lists! I will write a list for my list and forget that list and make a new one. Creating this vision board gave me visual accountability for what I put on the back burner for years.
I never saw myself as more than a background person. Cheering from the stands, I am the loudest and most-spirited one there. Get me in front of the crowd, by myself, I shrink into a pile of sweat and nerves.
One of the most pivotal moments in my experience was finding my voice as a writer again. Years of writer’s block crippled my imagination and self-esteem. Writing blogs during the challenge allowed me to express my voice in my most favorite form. Sharing my story and seeing my words published truly brought tears to my eyes.
Becoming a captain in the second challenge was the ultimate kick out of my comfort zone. Sanya saw something in me that I truly was terrified of sharing. To this day it’s still crazy to believe she even knows my name. Pairing me with my favorite people Heather, Khalida and Katian I fully embraced my role as captain. Having them alongside me verified I was living in my purpose.
The most incredible part of this challenge is the sisterhood. Though it’s only been a year, I feel like I have made lifetime friendships. Scratch that. I know I have. My “framily” as Crystal says, has grown abundantly. The funniest part is that we have never met one another in person. The bond is real. The bond is strong. Not only do I workout with women across the country, I know that they have my best interest at heart always. Yes, there are prizes in the competition. Honestly, I already won!
Black women don’t get the credit that we deserve in working together. Sanya, Mykal, and Mrs. Sharon created a safe place for mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and most importantly women to feel at home.
I am proud to say “the Nation Raised me.”