Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Walking is the single most powerful thing a woman can do for her health. From Harriet Tubman to the women in Montgomery when black women walk things change.
Vanessa & Morgan: Co-Founders
Back in March, our Aunt Lisa invited us and a couple of other women to her house for a Harriet Tubman Day celebration where she introduced to us: GirlTrek. We had no idea what it was at the time but she asked us to come and we came to support and to listen. We discussed relevant and heart wrenching topics that pertain to black women and one of them was the health crisis in our community. 82% of us are over a healthy weight. Black women are plagued by diabetes, heart disease and strokes. (We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders). From there she asked us if we wanted to be a part of GirlTrek, where we make a commitment to ourselves to walk at least once every week on #SuperSheroSaturday as a group or as a solo trekker. We agreed, still not 100% sure how this was going to go. She gave us our GirlTrek shirts and the next day (-5 degree weather) was the first GirlTrek walk we committed to. Out of the four of us, only Sajeeda made it out that next morning with Mom. As the snow melted and the weather got better we all emerged into Trekkers. We strive to trek every week as a group and we trek every day. We trek to work, on the track or at the park.
We put our feet to our prayers every day.
I watched the Ted Talk with the founders of GirlTrek, Vanessa and Morgan called “When Black women walk, things change”, and that sealed the deal for me on how important this movement was. They are on a ‘mission to reduce the leading causes of
1. Do not wait, WALK right now in the direction of your healthiest most
fulfilled life, because self-care is a revolutionary act.
2. When you learned the way forward, go back and get your sister. So, in our case, start a team with your friends, your family, your church, your mosque.
3. Rally your allies. Every single person is complicit in a Tubman-inspired takeover.
4. Find Joy. The most under reported fact of Harriet Tubman is that she lived to be 93 years old and she LIVED.
We walk to heal our bodies, inspire our families and to reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods
We walk in the footsteps of those women: our foremothers….
We walk because walking 30 mins a day can decrease 50% your risk of diabetes and heart disease
I love that GirTrek uses Sonia Sanchez’s poem: Catch the Fire, as women begin to catch on to the fire of self healing. It is such a great poem. Listen to GirlTrekkers reading it HERE.
Below is a short interview with our Aunt Lisa about her experiences thus far with GirlTrek!
1. How did you initially hear about GirlTrek?
I initially heard about GirlTrek while reviewing JJSmith’s Green Smoothie Cleanse and information about the movement came up in the FaceBook reel.
2. What made you personally join?
I joined at first to maintain a healthy lifestyle by WALKING since I was already eating clean . As I learned more about the GirlTrek movement I wanted to share it with my family and friends. The only way I felt I could introduce GirlTrek to my family first was to literally WALK the talk! We come from a matriarchal family and thought this is free , challenging and about self-care why not start with the Black Women I know young and younger –
3. What have you gained so far?
What I have gained so far, Wow to put it I words … FREEDOM comes to mind and maybe that’s because GirlTrek ‘s movement is “grounded in civil rights history , community leadership health advocacy and WALKING on the heels of Harriet Tubman who left no one behind as she lead slaves to FREEDOM. I have also gained the opportunity to see some of my family and friends join the movement of Walking 30 min a day for health and to reach a million Black Women who will be walking for health by 2018!
In this new found FREEDOM being part of GirlTrek I challenged myself to walked over the BK Bridge on purpose , walked 4 miles in an hour, walk 52 miles in one month, Pilates on the beach with #ThoseChinSisters,
Lastly, I will be attending a #STRESSPROTEST in Colorado, where I will sleep in a cabin wear outfits maybe twice
All an all I could ramble on about what I have gained but there isn’t enough blog space so I will end by saying that being part of GirlTrek is a true journey not a destination !