We are delighted to be hosting a panel discussion at noon on Friday, September 18th. The panel will be hosted by Chelsea Beasley, who tells her running story below, and will be all about running!
Running Coach and Personal Trainer Chelsea Beasley will be discussing how to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of injury. She'll be joined by international marathon runner Jordan Zimmerman and Adele Jackson-Gibson, a certified fitness coach, model, and writer based in Brooklyn. Later in the evening, Jordan Zimmerman will be hosting a whiskey tasting.
After our chat on Zoom, we'll be leading a running and core warm-up, then go out for a virtual fun run to break a sweat and get the ya-ya's out. To sign up for free, click here!
This free event is part of a fundraiser Pongo Power is holding to benefit The Okra Project, a New York-based organization that works on a global level to end food insecurity for black trans people. Sign up for the event here!
If you'd like to donate to support The Okra Project, click here.
My running journey started in high school when I became a track and field athlete. I transitioned out of 13 years as a gymnast to become a sprinter - drawn to 100 and 200m plus 100m hurdles as my primary events. Running felt like a natural transition from my time as a gymnast. In my senior year of high school (and into the fall of my freshman year of college), I moved into longer distance events and exclusively ran cross country. Eventually, though, life took me in a different direction, and I dropped off my college team due to the demanding schedule of training, school, and working a part-time job as a server.
It wasn't until years later when I was post-college, smoking cigarettes, living part-time in Las Vegas, and spiraling into all that NYC nightlife had to pull me in, that I realized it was time to make some changes. After a bad breakup, I went 100% vegan and started exercising 8-10x a week. A friend invited me to sign up for The Broad Street 10 miler in the spring of 2013.
On my first run out, I ran the 2 blocks to my local track in Williamsburg to run loops of the track, only to be so winded and defeated by the time I arrived that I just ran back home. The next day I went out and did it again, a little further. Eventually, I worked up to a 6-mile loop and completed the race in 80 minutes, and I was ecstatic. I remember being surrounded by runners donning “Boston Strong” gear in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing just two weeks earlier.
After running my first half-marathon in DC a year later (at the end of which I said, “I will never run a marathon,” I signed up for the New York City Marathon that November. That marathon was the hardest thing I’d ever done up to that point. But the training, as I would see over the course of the following six years, taught me to approach life differently in terms of growth and happiness.
Unfortunately, in the following six months, after a handful of smaller races and a lot of shin pain, icing, Epsom salt baths, massages, and a break from running, I got a bone scan and learned that I had double tibial stress fractures. After a lot of tears and rest, I started on a rehab program with three days a week of PT and a focus on strength training.
The following year, I joined my current running team, Black Roses NYC, with a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which had a special place in my heart since I had grown up in Massachusetts watching it.
Black Roses was intense in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. It is a very tight-knit group of people all with big goals, all from very different backgrounds, and all with various stories that brought them to running. Black Roses is the “Hells Angels” of running crews.
For the next year, I trained three time a week with Roses: track on Tuesdays, tempos on Thursdays, and long runs on the weekends. I did workouts like 3x5k hard on the track, 10-mile tempo on a windy West Side Highway, 2.5 hour-long run in the 90° July weather finishing up with 3x1 miles hard on the track, and hard 20-milers in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley in February.
In September of 2017 I qualified for the Boston Marathon. That winter into spring, I trained harder than I have in my life, running 70+ miles a week and completing eight 20+ mile long training runs.
If you follow running at all, you know the story, or maybe even lived it. That April 16th, 2018, after weeks of watching the weather and not believing that it could really be as bad as predicted, 30,000 runners ran 26.2 miles in low 40 degree temperatures with freezing rain, hail, swirling and gusting winds, the worst weather the Boston Marathon, well known for its unpredictable weather, had ever seen in 122 years. There were crowded medical tents and underdogs and non-elites in the top 3 finishes. Hundreds dropped out due to hypothermia, including four of my own teammates. But, somehow I ended up PRing my race by over eight minutes, completing in 3:15.
Since then, I’ve continued to train harder, smarter, and visualize goals that I couldn’t have processed as a new runner trying to run more than two blocks. My goal for 2020 was to run under three hours in the marathon and run a 5:30 mile. But of course, when the pandemic hit, all races, not to mention group training, were canceled.
Running has also taken me to places I never thought it would: from a small town at 9,000 feet in Bekoji, Ethiopia, to a volcano in the mountains of rural Mexico, to the Oregon Coast after a 200-mile relay, all through the lens of running culture.
Running looks different this year for everyone. Some people are doing virtual races, some people are training harder than they ever have, some are just jogging to keep a base level of fitness or focusing on strength training.
The future of racing may look different in the next year (or years) ahead, but, for me this has been an opportunity to reflect on who I am as an athlete and runner. Am I doing it to reach goals? Am I doing it for the people I meet and places it takes me? Mental health?
I am excited about the journey and what running looks like in our future, regardless of what it means in our culture or on an individual level.
Our team at Pongo Power is committed to teaching our runners how to minimize the risk of injury. We share how to warm up effectively, develop mobility and flexibility, as well as how to release fascial tension. We do this so that our community has the ability to learn how to minimize the risk of injury, and enjoy running. I look forward to joining a discussion with you, on Friday, September 18th at 12 pm. We each have a story to tell about our bodies and our experience. What's yours?
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Meet the Author
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Nutritious Life Certified
Chelsea Beasley is interested in the ways that movement can transform lives and communities. Having spent time training with and learning from athletes around the world—from Prospect Park to the mountains of Mexico to the streets of Berlin—she understands that wellness is a valuable tool of self expression just like other cultural pursuits. After close to a decade in corporate social marketing creating digital content around lifestyle, fashion and travel, the gymnast turned sub-elite endurance athlete made the shift to share her passion for training with others. It’s personal: her own journey has brought firsthand insight to the importance of prehab, individualized nutrition, stress management, and recovery for peak performance and energy. She has logged over 6,000 miles in the past 4 years and has run 5 marathons and 2 ultramarathons, including qualifying for and racing the 2018 Boston Marathon. She has also trained extensively in bodyweight HIIT training, Kettlebells, TRX, Pilates and Yoga. She graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School, is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and studied at the Nutritious Life Studio in New York, completing her nutrition education in 2015. Chelsea currently trains with an NYC-based running collective and is passionate about the value of teamwork for individual results.
If you'd like to talk with a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, email us at email@example.com!
We can't wait to share hours of fun and festive fitness with old and new friends alike!
Our 13th Anniversary schedule for the day includes:
Morning Meditation & Yoga class
Rev Up to Run panel & community run
Pre/Postnatal fitness session
Learn to Lift free weights sample class
Wine & Cheese pairing
Whiskey Night Cap with Brown Forman
DJ Dance Party!
Please join us in September - for any or all of these events, you can sign up for free here!
If you would like to help us raise money for The Okra Project, click here to donate!
We are thrilled to be raising money for this amazing organization, which we chose as it reflects on our values as a company, where community is at the center.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.