The Collective is all about community, so in this series, we introduce you to some of the incredible members who are representing for the gyal dem and learning to live their best lives through health and fitness. Meet Bernita – a project manager who joined the Collective in April 2018, and is now based in St Croix, Virgin Islands. She’s currently training for the London Marathon in April.
Why do you run?
I started running when I moved to London, and it became a form of exercise and way to meet people. However, the purpose of running for me has evolved as it helps clear my head and is becoming a key part of maintaining my mental health.
What’s your favourite song(s) to run to?
While I don’t have a favourite song, I definitely favour soca playlists when running. Keeps me up beat and helps push through.
What was your first running faux pas?
My first running faux pas would be not fuelling my body before a long run. I was training for the Royal Parks Half and didn’t have lunch before an afternoon long run. I quickly learned that day the importance of fuelling your body. The run was completed but not without stopping at the store for a bar and water.
What other sports or fitness activities do you love?
I grew up playing sports so I’m into volleyball and football (not American football lol). While I played softball and basketball, volleyball and football were my main sports. It’s been a while since I’ve laced up my cleats but I play volleyball frequently still. Sports was a family event; I played with my cousin and my uncle took us to all our matches and tournaments. It was our bonding time and still is to this day.
What’s your favourite or dream destination to run in the world?
I’d actually love to run a race at home, St. Croix, for my family to support. When I started running in London they followed my journey from afar, but it would be great to see them cheering for me at home.
If you could go on a run with anyone, who would it be?
This is a tough one but I’d say the Collective! It’s been a couple months since I’ve left London and I do miss the runs with girls. Running by yourself isn’t the same, though I’m being joined by friends on their own fitness journey. But if I could have a run with the Collective like before, I’d take that!
And finally, what’s a life lesson running has taught you?
Running has taught me so many lessons, but I’d definitely say that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone has their own journey and you don’t know the sacrifices they took to get to the place they are now – whether that be in life or running journey. Comparing yourself to others will only make you lose sight of what you have and have accomplished to date.