This past fall, I decided to take control of my health. Little did I know how complex and life changing and how much fun it would as I travelled along this journey! I have my friend, Robyn Warren of Geek Girl Strong, to thank for that! Robyn is a Health/Physical Educator and is a Certified Health Coach in the American Council on Exercise. She created Geek Girl Strong to give geek girls a platform where they could work together to create and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
I met Robyn a few years ago at a Geek Girl Brunch and we have been running into each other ever since. When she asked me if I would like to participate in her Geek Girl Strong Power Program, I could not say no. I had been feeling in a slump; I had not been going to the gym regularly, and my eating habits were not the greatest. Something had to change, so I took the leap and joined the program. The Geek Girl Strong Power Program is a 3-month program. Several other geek girls also joined the program: Akua, Ashley, Maya, and Debbie all of us in our Jordandene tees (post on the brand next week). We would come together every Sunday. Our sessions focused on nutrition, mental health, and physical activities. I must say that those sessions were intense but I realize now they were necessary. After a session we felt good about our bodies and ourselves and we were ready to take on the week ahead!
The program ended in mid-December. As a party gift, Robyn gave each of us a card and tools to help us continue on our journey. I cried. I think we all did. I am very grateful to Robyn and for this program that continues to help me learn that being physically fit also involves taking care of myself mentally. I have met amazing gals along the way.
Robyn has an amazing ability of bringing folks together! If you catch my IG you will see us at the women’s march this past weekend, I was hesitant about going at first, but I am so glad that I participated, thanks to her organzing a last minute meet up!
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Robyn a few questions, check it out!
O.C.O: What inspired you to start Geek Girl Strong?
G.G.S: While I was a public school teacher I taught mostly pre-teens and teens. Which I feel is probably the best place to study human behavior, even if unintentionally. While watching my students over 5 years I kept feeling disappointed by my female students feeling that they had to choose between what kind of girl they were going to be. Were they going to be a smart bookworm/geek, a pretty popular party girl, or a tomboy/athletic kind of girl? Although a strict curfew kept me from doing too much partying as a teen, I never wanted to have to choose. I enjoyed video games, loved to kick butt in sports, and well wanted to be pretty too. I think that a big part of feminism for me is to share the idea that we can be anything and everything we want as girls and women. I wanted to create a space/community where geeky ladies like myself could feel that they have a safe space in the expansive health/fitness world.
O.C.O: How did you get involved in fitness/health education?
G.G.S: I graduated with my bachelor's in Physical Education and became a public school teacher while completing my Master's degree in Health Education. I was always very active and Physical Education was a way for me to channel that passion and energy in my work. While working as a teacher I realized that I wanted time to talk about health in a classroom as well. I am not longer a public teacher but continue to use my passion in both subjects as a health educator and coach!
O.C.O: Explain the importance of self-care?
G.G.S: Self-care is EVERYTHING. The reason why I make sure that people know that Geek Girl Strong focuses on Physical Activity, Nutrition AND Mental Health is because I don't think you can achieve goals in the first two without the last part. You can do all the exercising and eating right, but if you don't feel that your "mana" (your mental/emotion well being or magic) levels are full then it is all for not.
Self-care lays the groundwork for the rest of your life. It dictates the company you keep, and the life you lead.
O.C.O: You recently cosplayed at Misty Knight for NY Comic Con, why do you resonate with the character?
G.G.S: Misty Knight was the first character that I could see A LOT of myself in. I have a deep love for Storm, but physically we look rather different from one another. Like Storm (and I), Misty is from New York City, but Misty also has hair the same texture as mine, a foul mouth (Storm keeps it a bit more classy than I), and also understands what it is like to be in an interracial relationship with a white man. Misty doesn't have superpowers in the same sense as mutants, she has a roughness and a rawness that I identity with. Also, I'm always rooting for the underdog.
O.C.O: We hear people turn into different personas when they are in their "zone" do you turn into a different persona, superhero perhaps? If so who?
G.G.S: I think that I can definitely be different when I am in my "zone". That zone is usually when I am performing or teaching. I feel alive! That's probably who Stormy Riot is although I am usually so in my zone that I am not thinking about who or what I am in that moment! Stormy Riot was originally my gamertag on Xbox Live when I did not want to go by my former tag with my name in it. So there was definitely some "alternate ego/life stuff going on when checking out in the gamer world!
O.C.O: What advice would you give folks for the new year to keep that resolution to get in shape?
G.G.S: My only advice would be to do what actually works for you. Not what works for a friend, a celebrity, or your social media inspiration. You are not that person, so the same things will not work for you! Humans are so unique, and their needs are as well. Throw out the idea of trying to adhere to programs or diets that even at face value seem unrealistic to you. Many of those will work for a short amount of time, or will allow you to reach a goal for a particular event... but that does not mean that it is a lifestyle you can keep long-term. Keep that word in mind, lifestyle. Healthiness and wellness is a lifestyle not just one behavior.
NYC Friend’s! Robyn is having the first Fan Girl Health Club of 2017 on February 5th! The session on February 5th will consist of:
- An exercise tutorial – to take home for a safe free work out at home!
- A workout with a mix of self-defense moves mixed in
- A Health Coaching/Education Q&A with Roybn
Get your ticket before it sells out: Fan Girl Health Club.
I’ll be there too! If you want a rad start to your health goals this year, I recommend Robyn! Geek Girl Strong is available for one-on-one as well as online coaching find out more information and be part of the Geek Girl Strong movement click here.
Photos and video credit: Geek Girl Strong Fan Page