Follow This Mother!


Tina Shoulders, jubilant, after finishing the NYC Half-Marathon in March

I was drawn to Bronx mom Tina Shoulders on Twitter by the vibe she gives out. Since taking up running last year, this single mom of a pre-teen son has lost 60 pounds and started training for the Nike Women’s Marathon. Tune into her vibe for yourself.

Best recent run: Best run recently was an 8-miler. I was feeling no hip pain and very little congestion--I felt like my old running self. Very shady park, with hills, the sounds of birds, the smell of grass, and the occasional athlete passing by. Heaven.

From walking, running: One day I just got up and started walking. Knowing I was very much overweight, I just needed to move. I would walk fast to break a sweat and to get finished, walking a neighborhood loop six times, six days a week. (The loop is about .65 miles.) Some days I would run mid-block just to speed up the walk and see how far I could run. A half a block turned to a block, a block turned into two, and before you know it, I was able to run the loop non-stop. Within months I could run it about six times. I was elated, then started to move off course onto the streets. It was definitely a slow and steady progression.

Hot time, summer in the city

Happiest, not fastest, runner: Running takes my breath away, literally and figuratively. It clears my head, tones my body, and gives me a rush that few other things can. I am not that fast--I am probably not going to win any races until I am in my 60s (LOL). But I couldn’t be happier than when I am running.

Daily smiles: I love the idea of logging my daily accomplishments, and right now, many a day, the only noteworthy accomplishment is my mileage. I love dailymile for the community aspect: I have made friends, received great advice, and gotten to challenge myself by seeing other people’s pursuits.

Sixty pounds heavier: Tina dubs this photo, "lots to love"

Naysaying neighbors: It’s interesting being a black woman who runs, especially in the Bronx. It started off very supportive, people cheering me on. They were so proud I was at it, day in and day out. Fast forward about a year : I’m now 60 pounds lighter, and it makes friends and neighbors uncomfortable. People say things like: “Girl, you don’t want to lose to much.” “Honey, you going to blow away in the wind.” “Maybe you should just focus on toning and stop all that running.” Or my favorite, “You better eat something.” Some friends make comments about me needing to eat or ask why am I still running and other random things; some people even want to argue or debate my running. Crazy! I have fortunately inspired many people in the neighborhood because they do see the difference running and working out makes. Prayerfully, in time, in the community, maintaining optimal weight and health will reign above me having a big behind (and, trust me, I still have junk in this trunk). As African Americans, we definitely do maintain healthy body image and love our curves; however, more of us need to find and to encourage the balance of having a healthy, curvy body.

Tackling 26.2: My longest run ever will be in the Nike Women’s Marathon in October. I am excited and a bit fearful of the distance. I am running with Team in Training to raise money for a cancer that my dad lives with and in memory of my mom who had breast cancer. The cause gives it more meaning and helps me to push myself harder and train consistently. It seems so extreme and crazy to run such a long distance, but running challenges my mind and body and makes me think anything is possible. So I am looking forward to it. It will be my first destination race, too.

Must-have running apparel: I am going to sound corny but running shorts, a week's worth of shorts. I own no running shorts and wash by hand a pair of capris and running tights every day. Shameful. I do, however, love and live for the run with my Garmin 305.

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38 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. I liked as much as you will receive performed right here. The cartoon is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be handing over the following. unwell undoubtedly come further previously once more since exactly the similar just about a lot ceaselessly inside case you shield this hike.

  2. This is an post about an incredible woman. What an example and light for her son to find time for her that is healthy and creates balance. I am not really a blogger at all but I may have to peek and check her out. Tina if you read this- I’m cheering for you girl! I am an east coast runner… may be our paths will cross. 🙂 I am hoping to run the Nike marathon next fall. Cheers girl. Cheers.

  3. You go – don’t listen to those HATERS!! I lost 40 pounds running and now do combine my running with strength training to tone up. However, I get all those same comments from everyone, like “oh you could eat now”, “why are you still exercising”, “don’t lose anymore weight” – I am so tired of it. I AM HAPPY doing what I am doing and feel GREAT!!! I know it is going to be harder now to maintain what I am currently at, so I feel like now I have to work much harder in order to do that. You rock on and do you!!! EF the haters and naysayers!

  4. Tina, keep it up. You are doing great. I can feel your enthusiasm. You are inspiring so many folks. And that’s awesome. I will certainly makena donation on your TNT page. See you on DM!


  5. Such an inspiration! Keep it up! I just finished a 1/2 with TNT and it was the most amazing experience ever. It comes in 2nd to childbirth ; ) A coach told us that she had done 7 and cried when she crossed the finish line on each. I thought she was crazy, but when I crossed, the tears flowed. I’ll give another plug to the skits..I NEVER thought I would run in one, but I love mine. Bibbity Running has a 40% off sale going on right now…

  6. Tina – You are an amazing inspiration. I have lost 65lbs, too, and have about 10 – 15 more I’d like to eat my dust. Reading your words was powerful. You are incredible! Thanks for sharing your story and voice and being so inspiring!

  7. Go Tina! You have worked hard and you will rock the 26.2 in Oct! Do not be afraid to take it on, and do not let others pull you down…you have taken the steps toward health that they are not yet ready to take. You are an inspiration and model for moms everywhere. Best wishes on your journey! And you can SO wear a skirt–once you do, you’ll wonder what was holding you back (I’m taking the leap and wearing a run dress for my next 1/2)!

  8. Tina…your story gave me chills. You look incredible & my dream is to do the Nike Marathon! Even those people that tell you to eat something are probably inspired by your success! I know I’m inspired 🙂

  9. Hi Tina,–I’ll join the inspiration chorus–you are awesome! I can relate to a bit of your journey. I lost 60 pounds almost 2 years ago and rejoice to see other black women who love to run for the sake of loving the run. This Brooklyn/Staten Island girl salutes you!

  10. Thanks Dianna, Caroline, Susan, Stacy, Kim, Alecia, Amy, Jo, Stacy M and everybody that left a comment, you guys have so totally rocked my day, for real! Big hug right back at ya Mary, Ellison my inner tomboy is trembling at the thought of running in a skirt (but hey I will try anything once)

  11. Love this post and kudos to you, Tina! Listen to Sarah about the skirt. You may be pleasantly surprised by not only how comfortable it is (as my daughter would say – “Word!”) but by how great it looks. Report back!

  12. This is so inspiring. Some girlfriends of mine and I just started C 2 5k this week, and I really hope to have similar things to say a year from now. We have given ourselves a goal of doing our first 10k in October of this year, and will be training 3-4 days a week over the next 16 weeks. Seeing your story really reassures me that we can, that I can, and WILL!!! Thank you so much for your story, and WAY TO GO GIRL!!!!!!

  13. You GO, girl! I LOVE it! I would just crank up my tunes before heading out the door & blast past the people who don’t relish in your success. You are a beautiful person and you are going to SPANK that 26.2! I can’t wait to read about it. What a great inspiration you are! Hugs…

  14. What a great post!! I love the part about how the African American community reacts to the weight loss. Its the same in the Hispanic community. I get all those same comments. Even so far once to have people put food on my plate because I “need to eat more.” Mind you, I’m 5 ft 6 in and weigh 165. Not skinny, but pretty average and a far cry from the 210 I was when I started running a year ago. You rock! And keep on rockin’!! (Oh and the Target running skirts are pretty nice too!) GO TEAM!!!! (I’m also doing NWM with TNT!)

    1. GO Team!!! Yes, hispanic community one and the same by me as well, both love the curves, it means wealth and sexiness. Congrats on the weightloss and getting your new sexy on, we’re still thick and juicy just on the healthy side.

  15. Great post. Congrats on all of your accomplishments and good luck at the marathon. It is so amazing to read stories of people who started with walking and took it one step at a time!!!

  16. Loved reading about you and your accomplishments, Tina! You’re inspirational! Good luck and have a GREAT time doing your marathon!

  17. You are such an inspiration Tina! I love your story! How do you map out your runs? Do you run loops or do you run one big run? I’m starting from scratch again, and your story has inspired me to get going!

    1. I dont do loops I pretty much pick an area and run straight and hope for a good, friendly neighborhood, lol. Otherwise I go to and check out routes other people take or hit the West Side Highway, a state park, NYC just has so many places to run. You will rekindle that love with running for sure, enjoy!

  18. I love you guys, you all just made my day, how ironic that I came back in when a blast of sun and heat hit me on my way to run late this morning, lol. I will def be running when the sun is completely down if only to live up to all of your kind words.

  19. What a great story! I love how you just started out walking one day and now look, you’re on your way to NWM! That takes a ton of dedication to keep at it in the face of naysayers! Way to go on sticking with it and now turning some of those naysayers around! Best of luck to you!

  20. I’ll race you when we’re 60! I bet we’d have a good run. I got my favorite running shorts at Lucy (they did not ride up these Bill Clinton thighs). I watch the sale rack, and they go on sale from time to time, although they may have changed the design. My 3 year old pair needs to be replaced, so I just ordered a pair from Athleta because they had good reviews. Dimity would say to get a skirt, which I also love, but my shorts are my favorite for hot weather.

    1. Thanks for suggestions–and the laughs. Love the “Bill Clinton thighs” call! And, let the record show: I would also say get a skirt! “;>)

  21. Tina is my new hero! You rock girl!! I wish I had some money to send you some running shorts. I buy mine at Target- C9, duo dry. They’re usually under $20. I am not sure if that is affordable for you, but they’re awesome! Keep on running and good luck, you’ll rock that marathon!!!

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