Posted on Dec 3
Meet New Balance's New Friend, the "Sassy Fit Girl"
Always training hard, always posting on social media, and always sassy, Sashea Lawson-Douglas is the one and only "Sassy Fit Girl." She can be seen in and around NYC training in her NYC 890v4's preparing for her next race. Here is her story...
I grew up extremely active on the island of Jamaica; Track n field, Netball, Swimming, Karate, Tennis- you name it. Then BAM!! I was diagnosed with asthma in the 7th grade. Like any other kid I remained active but suffered an asthma attack during almost every event. I became afraid to participate in the simplest activities.
My doctor recommended that I use my inhaler several times a day and reduce my sports. So I did. In the 9th grade, sadly one of my classmates pasted due to asthma related complications. I was so freaked out that I immediately quit all activity out of fear that the same could happen to me.
Fast forward 12 years, I was living in New York City and went to do my yearly physical. I had gotten used to taking asthma medications so I was always scouting out new ones to ask my doctor about. I did the usual spirometer test only this time, the results were shocking. My doctor informed me that I had the lung capacity of a 70yr old (What the heck?! I’m only 25!). I was crushed. I didn’t know what to do. My doctor prescribed a new inhaler which I had to use 4x a day, he also told me that changing my diet, losing weight (I was 20lbs overweight thanks to a recent Food Heaven extended vacation in Jamaica) and becoming more active. He said I didn’t have to do anything extreme, I could just start by walking. So that’s what I did.
There was a huge park with a 200 meter track 4 blocks away from my house so I started walking there almost every day. As I walked I would notice people lapping me several times running. I became a little envious so I tried jogging. It hurt so much I thought that something was wrong with me. I couldn’t imagine running. I didn’t give up. Each day I would increase my time on the track and set small goals for myself. Like jogging for 25 meters and then walking 25 meters. That soon added up to jogging for 1 lap continuously without stopping, then 2. Eventually I started basing laps on time limits which forced me to go faster and eventually, before I knew what was happening, I was running!
I had been running for about 3 years (lost & kept off 20 lbs), when I came across the March 2009 issue of Fitness Magazine. The Cover had ‘Half Marathon Special: A Complete Guide for Beginners’. I quickly jumped to the article which stated that you could run a half-marathon in 8 weeks. I thought ‘Impossible!' But for some crazy reason I decided to try it and sign up. I had never even done a 5k let alone run 13.1miles. What the heck was I thinking? I followed the plan to the letter and a couple months later, I ran the race. It was during a heatwave so the race was altered. They cancelled the planned full marathon and left the half-marathon as an untimed event advising all runners to pace themselves and take it easy. After a little over two hours, I crossed that finish line! I was overjoyed and in tears. I also caught the race bug;)
Since my first race almost four years ago, I have completed over 40 races locally, nationally & internationally including Olympic Distance Triathlons and the ING NYC Marathon. I haven’t used my inhaler or taken asthma medication in years.
I love all things fitness. I’ve tried everything from Cross fit to Surf Fitness to Kettlebell Kickboxing (one of my faves) to Bikram Yoga (another fav). I’m always looking for new ways to have fun physically and challenge my body. I’m in the process of becoming a fitness instructor because I’d love to teach others to do the same. I am proof that your body is capable of amazing things. You just have to push yourself to realize it.
To read more from "Sassy Fit Girl," check out her blog at sassyfitgirl.com. Like the shots below, you'll be sure to see regularly updated photos from her road as we move into the winter.
"I took so many cool pictures on my 20 mile training run through New York City yesterday. This is a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Skyline from the pier on the lower east side. The weather was beautiful and the views were amazing. Exactly what I needed on my long run."
"Took my #NEW @newbalance #NYC 890v4's out for a run in #CentralPark. They are really light & comfortable."