Category Archives: Health & Fitness

More than a Marathon

This is my first post since 2016. I told myself that I would be more consistent in 2018; we will see how that goes. 2017 was a great year for me. It was noted as the year of victory per the biblical meaning of “17” and I was determined to shoot my shot in many areas of my life. I got my edges snatched by loved ones at the beginning of 2017 which contributed to me rediscovering my power and my own light. Little did I know that those would be two of the things I’d put to work during the end of the year.

For two and a half years, I’d been stressed out at work because I didn’t leave when God told me to. This lead to gaining 20 pounds on to of the 10 pounds from the 2014-2015 winter holiday break because instead of being proactive with my career and seeing what other opportunities were out there, I stayed and was moved to a different team with a different dynamic than what best fits my work style. I was on a great team, we produced awesome work, but I felt stagnant and experienced burn out.

At the beginning of 2017, I sensed that this would be my last year at the company and started applying and interviewing for jobs that were promotions from my current role. I listened to books about pivoting in your career, read articles about how to “hold on” when you’re not digging your job any more, and even downloaded a book about how to quit. I never listened to the last book because in September 2017, I was let go from my job during the restructuring of my team.

Being let go was God’s unconventional answer to my prayer for rest and refueling. It happened at the beginning of my birth month the same week I started training for my first marathon. That was the best birthday gift that my last team gave me and I say that with no sarcasm. I had so much peace the day I walked out of the office with my box of things and that night’s 5K with my run group was even faster than my usual pace.

For three months, I balanced marathon training and interviewing for jobs. Although I knew God had me and would provide, I questioned Him about how long I would be in this season. My bills were getting paid, I had a small community of support who prayed for me, prayed with me, and sent me job posting information, but I’d convinced myself long ago that I was always supposed to have it together and felt like a failure.

During the last month of marathon training, two different companies I’d applied for numerous positions with contacted me. One was for a position I’d initially been reluctant to apply for and the other company reached out to me about a position that I didn’t apply for, but because I was in the system, my qualifications told them I was a perfect match. The latter company is in the same building as my old job.

I interviewed with both companies prior to the marathon. One interview was before the Thanksgiving break. The interview with the company within the same building as my old job was one day shy of being three months since I’d left that address with my cardboard box. Both interviews went extremely well and led to final round interviews following the marathon. Peace overcame me along with the sense that on the other side of the race, I would receive offers and would go into 2018 refreshed and with a new job.

I spent a good amount of the 6 hours and 48 minutes it took me to finish my marathon thinking about my final round interviews and how I would wear heels that week when I wasn’t thinking about what I had gotten myself into and why didn’t I decide to change to the half marathon at the last minute. Had I not been thinking about final round interviews, I probably would’ve gone faster but I’ll do better next time. Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment in and of itself ESPECIALLY when the van going to the finish line asks if you want a ride. Making it to my medal, my run family, my cousin and my cupcakes was the official close of a chapter for me.

I brought up my marathon in both of my final round interviews. My marathon medal remained in the car while I interviewed with both companies. The woman I became in 2017 from the reality checks, a re-established fitness routine, a season of rest and checking something off of my life’s to do list that I’d back out of 2 years in a row shined through in front of potential bosses. It made finally sense that the reason I’d been attracted to yellow dresses so much that year was because I recognized and owned up to how lit God made me.

What I went through off of the pavement made my on pavement, in running shoe victory so special to me. I now work in the same building as my old job with a company and team I see growth in and on the welcome board the fun fact beside my picture is “I’m a marathoner.” There are times you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, times you want to keep your pride and not ask for help, and times you want God to speed up because you feel like you’ve learned what you needed to and are ready for the next stage in your life. However, keep moving, keep trusting, and remember faith the size of a mustard seed can push you further than you logically think.

My First Time…at Xoticy

On July 16 around 3 pm, my cherry was popped. No, not that one; I’m still holding out. The popped cherry was me FINALLY attending one of Monica Wilson’s Xoticy classes. Well…more like 3 back to back classes.

I was first introduced to Xoticy in early 2015 through an Instagram post by Jessica of J’Samone’s Stiletto Dance Experience. Of course I had to go check out the Xoticy IG page…followed by the YouTube channel. I can’t tell you which video made me want to try it out, but as a woman who likes being barefoot equally as she likes her high heels, I was down.

Fast forward to July 2016, I’d been on the fence about attending because I was supposed to leave for a work trip the Sunday after, but once my trip was pushed back, I registered and decided to go big or go home by signing up for all three classes. Even though I’ve been in and out of heels dance classes over the past year, I was nervous. You’d think I’d be less nervous as I’m barefoot with or without socks when I’m not at work, but I had butterflies. Although I’d mentioned the class, I didn’t invite my girls to come along because I felt it was something I needed to experience at least once by myself so that I could see behind the insecurities and get in my sexy.


Monica broke the ice at the start of class. I thought she was taller than she actually is, but because her hair is the definition of hair growth goals and her personality is larger than life – full of truth, realness, and a passion for empowering women to do sexy their way – you really couldn’t tell…unless you asked to take a photo with her and stood 6 feet tall.

Each class had different choreography with the first two classes being completely new dances. In class one, I was still kind of shy and nervous about really putting all my personality into it. By class two and three, I couldn’t care less because I was there for me. It wasn’t about learning moves I could do to dance for a guy. It wasn’t an experience I signed up for just to talk about it on social media. It was about me continuing the journey of discovering and defining my sexy. It’s easy to get caught up in the game of what do you need to change about yourself to be sexy – lose weight, straighten your kinky and coily hair, keep your face beat – but if you’re doing it to get someone’s attention – your motives are wrong. Throughout the classes, Monica would consistently remind us to throw out what we think is sexy, forget about the inner Beyonce and just do you. That was needed and appreciated. My alter ego Ari Bamboo had the time of her life Saturday and I recommend other women check out her tour or classes in Atlanta if you’re interested.

Abs and Barres


My 25th year of life was a decline in working out to say the least. I didn’t run much and actually reneged on running my first marathon. Even when purchasing Groupons and specials for Bikram yoga, the only yoga I practice, I didn’t go the entire month. All of that laziest resulted in me gaining a good 20 pounds, 12 of which I still have to lose before I am back to my normal weight. The goal is to lose 22 pounds, but first, let me lose these last 12.

On Saturday, I attended my first barre class at The Barre Code. In addition to running track, I was also a dancer and cheerleader as a child, and after hearing great things about barre classes, I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, Facebook grabbed my attention with an ad that said that 11/21 was the day the studio closest to me would offer free classes to the public.

As I write this, I am sore. My abs is where I feel it most, but it is a full body workout. I attended the Barre Code Basics class, which would be considered strength training. Despite knowing that I need to incorporate strength training in my routine rather than just running, it’s difficult for me to stay motivated to lift weights. However, the Barre Code class incorporated exercises that involved utilizing your own body weight as well as the barre and between the instructor and other students, I kept going.

Here’s a short breakdown of what Barre Code included in just 50 minutes: warm up, ab & core work, lower body, and arms. From various exercises on the floor to using the barre as a dancer would to work the hips, buns, and thighs (which are a blessing and a curse to me), we kept our body guessing throughout the class. Also, there are modifications for a good amount of the exercises, so you can tailor the workout to your current abilities.

After surviving my first class and feeling the fruits of my workout the day after, I plan to attend more classes. I want to run a marathon in 2016, so I could see this being a cross training workout if I don’t feel up to yoga. If you have a barre studio in your area, check it out. As I continue my fit thick journey, I’ll keep y’all posted as to what’s working for me.