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A NOTE ABOUT SPIRITUALITY. WHAT IS IT TO YOU?

Author / Drea Osborne

Spirituality is a broad concept. Basically, it’s a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves. It can give people values, a source of comfort, or even a meaning to life. 

But if you want specifics, I can’t give that to you. Why? Because it can mean something completely different for each person.

For example, spirituality can be: religion, talking to your ancestors, using crystals, incense meditation, and fasting. But it doesn’t stop there. Whatever one deems as spiritual to them, is practicing spirituality. 

Since I can’t talk about all things spiritual, I’ll talk to you about what it means to me.


What made you believe in spirituality?

I was raised in a Christian household, so for me God was always guiding my life. But honestly, my spiritual life didn’t really start growing until I became an adult and even more so in the past 5 years. This growth happened when I felt abandoned, experienced abuse, and some other not-so-pleasant experiences that challenged my outlook on life. Honestly, the fact that despite these events and not only did I still have my positive outlook, but I’ve also been blessed afterwards encourages my belief that there is something greater out there. Somebody watching over me.

What makes you want to be spiritual?

Being spiritual gives me something to believe in and values to work towards. Also it encourages me to put my petty feelings to the side and treat others well, even when it’s hard. The way I look at it is I’ve been mistreated, so let me treat others good and hopefully it’ll be infectious. 

What are 3 ways in which you practice spirituality?

 

I read the bible.

I do yoga followed by meditation.

I pray.

 


The benefits that are included in practicing spirituality are vast. It can decrease stress, blood pressure, increase gratitude, and positivity which will uplift your mood, and it can even enhance relationships, romantic and platonic.

So now, I want you to take a deep breath, in and out. Take a minute for yourself and visualize a place where you find your peace. What does that look like? How do you practice your spirituality?

 

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MEDITATION: GOOD FOR SOUL AND BODY

Author / Drea Osborne

Meditation is important for our well being. How? For starters, it’s a good stress reliever, allows you to feel more deep-seated feelings (unmasking your true feelings about an event or situation), and most importantly it can be an eye-opener. 

Now, most of us assume that you have to be sitting still to meditate. But what if I told you that you can do it while running?! Of course, you can meditate beforehand to get your mind right, but while running, it will challenge your body with the added bonus of clearing your mind. Meditating while running may seem different and, honestly, a bit more difficult, so here are some tips on how you can try adding this unexpected benefit to your running practice:

Choose A Mantra

Adopt a phrase that can keep you focused like, “Keep running”, “ I am strong,”, or, as simple as, “Right left, right left”.

Breathe

Having a consistent breathing pattern can help keep you moving through your run. 

The breathing pattern that I have found helps me is an alternating pattern which is “Slow breath in through the nose, slow breath out through the mouth, slow breath in through the mouth, slow breath out through the nose” and repeat.

Be Aware

Truly take in your surroundings. The scenery, sounds, feeling of the breeze, etc. Make a mental list of everything you see and feel.

Get A Guide

Meditation can be difficult in general and adding it to a run can seem daunting to most. Try to lookup apps that can help you with this level of focus. Here are some of the best meditation apps to use. 


Now that you have a better idea about how to meditate while you run, you may be thinking that’s all well and good, but why would I want to? What’s the benefit of dealing with extra work when I can just run? Some benefits include:

  • Decreases stress while running
  • Find more enjoyment in your runs
  • More energy throughout
  • Improves your speed and endurance

For those that have never meditated before and want to try meditation on their own, check out this post for meditation for beginners.

So now that you have a better idea of how to meditate while running, we would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below about how it goes for you!

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ZODIAC WORKOUTS: IN TIMES OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

Photo by Colin Stoecker

Author/ Umarah Mughnee

Social distancing might be hard, but starting a workout doesn’t have to be. Here are some workouts for each zodiac sign:

*Cue Signs by Beyonce*

Aries | Leo | Cancer | Pisces | Scorpio | Taurus | Sagittarius | Virgo | Libra | Capricorn | Aquarius


Aries

You feed off of intense “highs” and we have a solution. Get your serotonin soaring with a HIIT workout to keep your mind busy and your energy UP. Try this:

[5 Sets, :40 sec on, :15 sec off]

Burpees, Rest, Jump Squats, Rest, High Knee Sprint, Rest, Plank, Rest

Leo

You like to be in the spotlight, and we love to see it. For you? Try an Online Workout Challenge. See 10 pushups, Do 10 — but why stop there? See 50, do 50 or mix it up with 3 sets of 30. . .online tho.

Cancer

Pilates, breathing, stretching, and strengthening. Get out of bed and take it slow; this is a perfect way to come out of your shell. Cosmopolitan listed 23 of the best pilates workouts you can do right in your home. Start now, you have no excuse. 

Pisces

Yoga. Maybe sit in savasana for a couple of minutes, maybe hours, days? Trust me, this is better than being in your feelings. Take a load off and airplay this yoga video on the tv. 

Scorpio

Release some of that intensity, just not on the world. Let it out, in a healthy way. Box the air or a workout on a body bag if one is available. Yes, you guessed it, Kickboxing. Here’s a kickboxing workout to try. 

Taurus

It’s your season! You’re grounded and steadfast, so level your body by focusing on the core. How about this:

(3x) superset of Plank 1:00, Wall Sits 1:00, Superman :30 secs.

Sagittarius

You like to keep it real, so how about some bodyweight training. This superset will keep you honest with yourself, how fit are you? 

(4x) superset, 20 Push Ups, 10 Pull Ups, 400’s

*Don’t have a track? Run around your apartment building or the block. One lap equals one “400”.

Gemini

This will make your twin personalities get along. Try this superset to work both sides of you:

(3x) superset

Mountain Climbers 20 each leg

Bounce Lunges 10 each leg

Single-Leg Deadlift 10 each leg

Virgo

Your detailed oriented spirit will jump for joy with this targeted-toning superset. Pay special attention to the speed of your workout. Slower is better for strengthening and toning. Use a resistance band.

(5x) superset

20 ADL Calf Raises

20 Deadlifts 

25 Decline Pushups

Libra

You’re all about balance, so your workout should be just that. Check out this full-body superset so your indecisive-nature can be at ease when it comes to what body section to focus on. 

(3x) supersets

20 Burpees

20 Kettlebell Swings

20 Box Jumps [or] Step-Ups

Capricorn

Stop! Stop! Stop! We see you STILL trying to get work done for your job. Let’s lay low for a little bit. Go out for a run. For each chorus on your favorite songs, push yourself a bit harder and run more relaxed when the chorus is over. Here are some places around DC that are still open to the public to close your cardio activity circles. 

WWII Memorial

Rock Creek Park

Great Falls National Park

Aquarius

You’re eccentric by nature, and we have the perfect solution to mix up your workout. Try some squats…with one caveat. Instead of using weights, use a 40-pack of water, your 30-pound dog, or even a gallon of juice. Here’s your superset:

(3x) supersets

15 Sumo Squats

15 Jump Squats

15 Pulse Squats

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AHMAUD’S STORY COULD HAVE BEEN MINE

Author | Coach Frank

In October of  2014, my cousin was getting married in Georgia. I had just moved from Detroit to DC that year and was so excited to travel to see my extended family. Since they live in Atlanta I thought the wedding would be closer to the city, but it was actually in Madison, GA which was about an hour outside of Atlanta. It’s one of those “Freeway towns” you see when doing long drives between major metropolitan areas. It’s the one-exit off the freeway town where there is a McDonalds, a few hotels, a Walmart, and the main part of the town is 2-3 miles down a single road. We pulled right off the freeway to the hotel and found that the wedding was “downtown” in a barn about 3 miles away.

Madison

Like many runners, I make it a point to run in every city I go to. It helps me learn the city, explore the terrain, and clear my head. So I put down my bags and decided to find the wedding location on foot. So I leave to go exploring as I do anytime I travel. 

“What is a simple jog for a white person, can be a life gambling situation for a black person. “

I vividly remember this run feeling different than others. It wasn’t the fact that this was a different city, but it was the fact that I quickly realized that I was the only black person around. Every car that passed me turned and looked. The optimistic part of me thought “they must not have many runners around here,” but I knew what the real reason was—it was because I was black. 

As I ran farther and farther there were fewer and fewer buildings, leaving just me, the road, and cars. Every car passing me, stared as they made their way down the road. My thoughts continued to spiral as I kept going back and forth trying to rationalize, what was so interesting that kept them staring. Ultimately, I was trying not to accept the truth that I already knew. But I kept running. It wasn’t until a pick-up truck passed me, revealing the same confusion from the drivers before, pulled over ahead, and made a U-turn that my thoughts about my current safety as a black man running went from bad to worse. My heart sinks, the questions in my mind go crazy, “Is he coming back for me?” “Is this man going to mess with me?” “Is this the moment I always feared as a black man?”.

I didn’t know what to think and as he got closer and closer I felt myself trying to stay focused and run faster so I can get past him as quickly as possible. Our eyes met as he slowed down to look at me. The glare was all too familiar to me because I have seen that look before. It was the same look I got on my first day of college when a pick-up truck drove past, made that same U-turn, and pulled up aside me and my friends to tell us to “Go back to Detriot NIGGERS.”

This time the truck kept going and I made it to the barn. But that didn’t happen for young Ahmaud Arbery. His truck followed him, hunted him, chased him, and murdered him. Ahmaud Arbery’s murder feels different because it is yet another reminder that doing anything while black is dangerous. Walking, running, driving, eating, whistling, bbq-ing, sitting on your own couch in your residence, the list goes on and on. 

What we…what I can no longer do is stay silent about injustices like this. Black men are targeted in this country and each of us has a story about how we made it out of one of those life-threatening situations. You know, the moment all Black men fear. 

What is a simple jog for a white person, can be a life gambling situation for a black person. 

Today, I pray for Ahmaud’s family because that fear from my run through Madison, Georgia has never left me –I can only imagine how he felt when he realized that his truck was going to be the one that didn’t just drive by.  Remember that every single moment Black men breathe, we are constantly trying to avoid being the next Black name, hashtagged, and honored for being killed. While his killers, Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael, have finally been arrested, that is only a small win in the battle of this injustice. Not only should they be charged and convicted, but we also have to find a way to stop these types of incidents altogether. This has to change! 

Gregory Johns McMichael, Travis James McMichael
This photo combo of images taken Thursday, May 7, 2020, and provided by the Glynn County Detention Center, in Georgia, show Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. The two have been charged with murder in the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, whom they had pursued in a truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)

To my DC Run Crew family, we exist to bring all people together; we have a responsibility to each other. We must also understand the challenges Black people in America face each and every day. We will only support each other when we truly understand that “your problems are also MY problems.” Ahmaud’s story could have easily been one of our members….it could have easily been me…it could have easily been you. We must never forget that.

Ahmaud Arbuery

 

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WHAT KOBE TAUGHT THE CREW

Photo by Frank Tramble

Author | Coach Frank

“Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile, and just keep on rolling.”
— Kobe Bryant

The only moment we are guaranteed on this earth is the current moment you are in–this moment right now. Not the one after, but only this moment. The small blessings of waking up in the morning are something many of us never really value.


When in reality we should all be excited each day we wake up and that we have an opportunity to take on the day and make an impact once more. The unexpected loss of life, especially when it included a legend, is a moment in time to realize that the one link that connects us all is death. It will happen to us all. When these tragedies also include the lives of children it’s a harsh slap in the face reminding us of the fragility of human life.


So when we really think of this, we have to see the weight and value we need to put on the fact that we only have this moment. THIS moment. The moment while you are reading these words. So that means we have a simple choice. Will you make it count or will you let this moment be wasted on petty arguments, being alone, procrastination, being mean, bullying, not being with the ones you love, harming others, or doing nothing.


See the #BlackMamba didn’t waste moments. In fact, his whole use of being in a helicopter was to ensure that he could increase the number of meaningful moments he had in a day so that he could be with his family. 9 bodies lost theirs lives, but 9 souls will live forever if we take what we love from each of them and make sure the moments we are still blessed to have been fueled with the spirit of determination, drive, love, honesty, optimism, passion, and fearlessness. Make each moment matter. Tell your family and friends that you love them. Make an impact and don’t waste it.
Time is not guaranteed.

Coach Frank


I love you all and I am thankful to be apart of your fitness journey