Community Fitness


What a warm start we’ve had to the month! I absolutely love it and want nothing more than warm weather (and for me to turn brown soon….I am black…. But after winter I’m basically clear). We’ve only got 100 good days of summer in Michigan, so I’m hoping you all are soaking it up as much as I’m trying to. 

One of my favorite things to engage in during the warmer months is SoulfulMOTION (duh)….but outdoors at Garfield Park. Now my friends who know me best, know that this comes with a lot of anxiety about what to expect, who will arrive, etc. But I love nothing more than to be outdoors moving my body, and seeing God’s work in action. 

There’s always a lot going on outdoors at Garfield Park: 

  • The pavilion space is typically being used prior to our arrival, for parties, barbecues, kickbacks….and we always have to interrupt people’s fun and move into their space. This isn’t cool. 
  • Speaking of barbeques… the barbeque grill smoke choking me out each Monday 🙂
  • Unknown dogs… which I don’t know if they’re going to take me out
  • Dogs running through the crowd
  • People under the influence of something… 
  • Random news outlets showing up
  • Children running around
  • Dodging the holes and divots in the ground
  • Cant forget August Football practice!!! 
  • People asking questions about SoulfulMOTION 🙂

Just soooooo much!!!

As an instructor, there is so much that we need to be aware of at all times, while TRYING to lead you all in praise, worship, and fitness. However, there is so much more GOOD that happens on those nights which fills my heart. It is the commUNITY that SoulfulMOTION creates. 

On 5/22/23, I met a couple, Billie Jean and Tyson. They were really intrigued and asked a lot of questions about what was about to happen. As people started to fill the grassy area for class, Tyson got excited. He asked who the class was for, and if he could join. My response was, “Tyson this class is for you, and any person who wants to join.” He smiled, and continued to watch. As we got started, and the music began pumping loudly, his excitement reached another level. He was ready. Period. I invited him to “jump in”, and he did it with full force. He gave his all. He smiled. He laughed. And he even mentioned, “…they told me that that was the hardest song of the night!! And I did that!!” My response, “Tyson you DID that!” with a few claps to encourage him. 

From there, Billie Jean called up her daughters and grandchildren who arrived at the park about 10-15 minutes before the class was to be over. Billie Jean proceeded to talk about her life. A very hard life in comparison to my own. A life that I can’t even imagine. The differences between Billie Jean’s life and my own are painful for me to even think about. But to see her smiling, watching her family move their bodies to Christian music was the biggest gift that I got that Monday night.  She was beaming with joy! She even mentioned that they don’t exercise. And although she was unable to exercise that night, she was planning to attend the next session. After class, Tyson asked if he could help us by carrying the speakers to my vehicle, and he did so with pride. 

This family has been etched in my heart since that day, and the unity of our commUNITY has been burning in the forefront of my mind since. 

I am so grateful for the partnerships that we’ve been able to secure this season. With Corewell Health More Life Mas Vida Program, GR Parks & Rec, Be Well Center, and The YMCA, so many more people are able to access equitable fitness classes and engage with us. We are bridging the gap with our partnerships, and we are unifying people, while adhering to our mission statement:

It is our mission to create a space that connects ALL people to God, through a praise, worship, and fitness community. 

I have no idea if Tyson and his family knew that they were moving to Christian music, but to have 100 people in a public park engaging in fitness with Jesus music blasting…. I consider that a win. I want you to keep this in mind while at your SoulfulMOTION Fitness classes moving forward: 

The Kingdom of God is open to all believers. Even those that: 

  • Don’t look like you
  • Don’t live like you
  • Don’t talk like you 
  • Don’t vote like you
  • Don’t think like you
  • Don’t love like you do. 

Let’s just love people as God calls us to. 

Take away the judgement. You’re not the judge. God is. 

Let’s welcome people to our SoulfulMOTION community, as you once were when you were new. 

Let’s work collectively through this amazing praise, worship, and fitness community to bring people together in Christ

That doesn’t mean shunning people away.

Or being mad because some is in “your spot”. 

I pray that you will continue to help us unify our community this way, at each and every one of your classes. 

God bless yall!