FIT MOM: Patrice Griffin

Director and Administrative Assistant at FedEx Service

MOM OF 1: Timothy, 17

What are you proud of? For me, it’s more about competing with myself. I’ve never been a very fast runner, but I did get a PR at the Firecracker 5K.

When did you begin to run? I worked at Church Health Center (CHC), so I used the gym there regularly. It evolved into working harder, trying more, and then moving into running.

How did you reach your first finish line? I was a part of the Women Run/Walk Memphis program, where I finished my first 5K. I usually run by myself, but when I was with CHC, there was a group of us who would run 4-4.5 miles on Wednesday mornings. I have been a member of Sisters in Motion Memphis, which was great motivation. We met in different areas throughout the city every Saturday morning.

How does your son feel about your races? I love to be an example for him; I want to let him know that fitness is important. We work out, go to the gym, and run together. He’s even trained with me and my personal trainer, Darius, at CHC.

“Women should not be afraid to strength train.”

How do you train? I strength train two days and try to get in at least 10 miles a week. I stay consistent and like to be in physical shape year round.

What do you eat during training? I cut back on sugar and processed foods, since they make you cramp up during a run. I try to eat healthy as a rule of thumb, but I have a weakness for Muddy’s Cupcakes. My favorite is the Tomboy, peanut butter and chocolate.

Helpful advice for beginners? Fitness comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s not about being a specific dress size or hitting a certain number on a scale. Fitness is more than those numbers. It’s about being able to climb three flights of stairs, chase after your kids, and carry in groceries in from the car.

Don’t try to run a half marathon your first week. Listen to your body. If something hurts, pull back and feel it out. Start slow. Look for resources online and get plugged in with Memphis Runners Track Club. Get into groups and talk to people, because it is nice to see faces you know at the races.

Get-up-and-go gear? I have two pair of Brooks Ghost 7s, which are my running shoes. I weight train in Nikes.

Words for fellow Fit Moms? I would like for women to remember that we have to take care of ourselves SO that we can take care of others. Schedule some time for yourself. If you’re tired and run down, you’re not strong. Physical strength carries into mental strength. When I know I can accomplish a difficult training session, it fortifies me to know that I am prepared to handle life’s challenges as they come. Carve out time for yourself.

To workout at Church Health Center: 901.272.0003 or churchhealthcenter.org

by Robin Beaudoin. Photos by Edward Kolton.

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