Using Sports to…Make the World Better? Yep

Hey folks!

Let’s talk business. And by business I mean my business that I have been researching, networking and planning. To be honest with you, everyday I wake up not knowing how I  will feel about process. Some days I wake up and I am so extremely excited about it all, the entire process, and other days, I wake up feeling defeated, deflated and that entire day I question if I am doing the right thing (Should I be heading in this direction?) Ultimately, the good outweighs the bad, the faith offsets the fear.

So the majority of this post will be me discussing the research I’ve done about the use of sports to/for

  1. Promote peace.
  2. Youth Development.
  3. Teaching life skills.
  4. Help build confidence, esteem, & self-efficacy.
During a day camp teaching the girls how to serve.

During a day camp teaching the girls how to serve.

It’s interesting to learn about the many different methods that organizations use when sports is the foundation, which populations are being served, and how programs are tailored/targeted. Internationally, football (soccer) is huge, in America I see more diversity in the sport selections. I recently read some articles: one about the re-emergence of cricket in Rwanda and Net Ball (which I had no idea existed!) I’ve read through peer-reviewed research articles on this to find both strengths and weaknesses in using sports. It appears that the benefits do outweigh the risks, but programmatic design and the willingness of both groups to be have an open mind is imperative for success. BUT you can create a program to help with tolerance. Sports is used as a means to bridge feuding countries, heal broken nations, dissipate negative gender role myths, develop positive characteristics for youth development, spread awareness about diseases to communities and for many  other reasons.

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National Girls & Women in Sports Day

Y’all. I didn’t even know this was a day…until I got on twitter this morning, mind you it’s the 30th year of this day. Where have I been? I couldn’t let the opportunity pass for me not to talk about some of my favs!

First, a little history about National Girls and Women in Sports Day (#NGWSD)

 NGWSD began in 1987 as a special day in our nation’s capital to recognize women’s sports. NGWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.

There are a ton of stakeholders + partners that promote and are affiliated with the day and the many events across the US.

Now to talk about my favs!!

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Let’s take, a long walk. . .

Around the Park/ After dark. . .

*The blog post title is from Jill Scott’s song A Long Walk. Check the song out, Check the album out, and then continue to binge listen to her for a few hours.* 

Today we are talking about walking. Walking? Yes, WALKING!

Walking has been the topic of many conversations, conference calls & convention workshops in my life over the last 12 months. In September 2015, the Surgeon General released his Call to Action which focused on Walking and Walkability. Active Living Research, The CDC, The National Physical Activity Plan, National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and many other organizations have followed suit and provided infographics, assistance and other information about walking and starting walking programs.

I run hills. I lift. I climb. I play tennis. Everybody knows this, but all these activities can be hard on the body. Walking, on the other hand, provides a multitude of benefits (which I’ll list below) and it is low impact. When I had a full schedule of clients for personal training, walking was always included in the warm up for clients with chronic conditions.

The World Health Organization, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and American Heart Foundation recommend a minimum 10,000 steps per day to improve health and reduce risks of chronic disease. (source)

Benefits of Walking

Why is walking such a hot topic these days?

  • Walking is inexpensive. You don’t need any specialized equipment or clothing.
  • Lower risk of injury because walking isn’t vigorous and has a low intensity level
  • It is highly inclusive [for many disabled individuals] with the assistance of a walking aid or another person.
  • For individuals who are sedentary and inactive, walking is a great way to introduce physical activity.
  • Walking is physical activity and there are numerous health benefits that are  associated with being physically active.

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Winter Training Tips

Hi Muses!

I am sharing these great training tips from PowerBar Team Elite athlete and American long distance Josh Cox. Josh Cox is a 4-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, 3-time National Team Member and the American Record Holder in the 50k. In 2009 and 2011 his 50k were the fastest in the world.

Additionally, I have a complementary video and some brief tips about nutrition after your workout. Remember these four things when deciding what to eat:

  1. Your goals and the type of workout you do matters. If you want to lose weight vs gaining muscle vs maintaining. Strength vs endurance vs volume training vs cardio.
  2. The building blocks of muscles are protein.
  3. Carbs are the main source of fuel/energy.
  4. Check the nutritional content, beware of high sugar!

Below are the tips. I like and agree with these. Consider these tips when you go outdoors for a workout!

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2016: The Year to Build

New year, older look?

New year, older look?

Last year, remember 2015?  A few days ago. My theme was consistency. 2015: The Year of Consistency. The Struggle! Being consistent is one of the back bones to success. I started strong, and throughout the next 45 weeks or so-I went in and out. For me, I wanted consistency in all aspects, but that’s difficult. It’s difficult to just throw that demand on yourself and expect to rise to those occasions. For instance. My morning routine includes

  • Drinking warm water with salt and lemon
  • Meditating up to 10 minutes
  • Reading my devotional and praying
  • Making up my bed

When I was on, I was ON. But it is so easy to snooze and fall off…. in 2 weeks increments at that. I probably did my morning routine 15 -20 weeks. And that’s being generous.

Every year between Dec. 29- Jan 2, I write reflections (of the previous year) and intentions (of the year ahead of me.) I’ve been doing this for years. Now, because it’s a note to me by me, I am frank and honest- especially pertaining to where I messed up *again*. Meaning, I’ve got to do some deep searching and reflecting on why I did it & what needs to change.

This is where and how I'm most productive- a cafe.

This is where and how I’m most productive- a cafe.

When I wrote my reflections, I realized that 2015 was a great year, one of those years that shaped me (moreso than others.) Naturally, there were  many trials, but my theme guided a majority of my actions. Because of that consistency it has opened doors and unveiled opportunities unbeknownst to me. Yes, I’m speaking about career and entrepreneurial opportunities. But guys, guess what? I can completely make-up my face. Which doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it really is. We can talk about this process…in depth (so um…hit me up.) Small things, like Weekly Affirmations (tumblr), going to church every week, playing tennis and reading added to the self-efficacy that is so important when pushing to become your best self.

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‘Tis The Season

to give? Yup, to be generous, caring and giving, but just now- from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Then you go back to being selfish!

I’ve been quite upset with myself because I haven’t jumped into any volunteer work since I’ve returned home. My home girl in TN (hey Nat <3) constantly posts volunteer opportunities on Facebook. I’m low-key jealous of all that she’s doing. She’s all happy and sharing opportunities that I want to do, ugh (Just kidding, love you!) In South Carolina, I mainly stayed at the tennis center and helped parents/community members with their tennis programs during off hours, or I went to after school programs and taught. But Philly is one of the largest cities and here  I am struggling to figure out exactly what I want to do. I know what I don’t want to do.

I don’t want to volunteer at my the Track & Field ministry. I coached for 2 seasons tumblr_nxk5scPuwL1ql5yr7o1_500before I left for graduate school and I’m over it. I always have this feeling, Are we God-fearing Christian adults who are leading this mass of young athletes, or high school students worried about the wrong things? Since I still have that feeling…. nah. Nope. Not doing it to myself again.

So what do I want to do and why is adding this into my life so crucial and why do I miss it so much?

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Traveling, Fellowshipping & Learning

So it’s been a while .. right? Right. Here is what’s been up. In late June I applied for a fellowship through the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The topic this year was youth development and in my application, I wrote about my work using sports as a means to bring individuals together & what I plan to do in the future using sports/physical activity to create conversations and bridge differences. Below has more information about UNAoC, visit the site & check ’em out. They have a ton of programs.

The UNAOC aims to improve understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples across cultures and to reduce polarization at local and global levels. It helps develop more inclusive societies, in which diversity is experienced as an asset.

Boat trip on the Nile

Boat trip on the Nile

I found out I was a recipient in late August, and on October 15 I was on my way to Morocco. My cohort consisted of 12 “emerging leaders”- we joked around non-stop with that phrase, and we all came from various countries in Europe and North America (EUNA.) I visited Rabat, Cairo, Doha and Sarajevo. I could go on & on about those 2 weeks, but I will do my best to summarize in the next 2 paragraphs.

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