One of our favorite things about the MBIB community is that we are constantly in contact with and learning about amazing women doing amazing things. We like to think of it as our evolving book of Beautiful Stories.
On a recent video call with fellow colleagues and partners, the topic of finding your strength during the pandemic came up. After hearing Fatima Bodrick describe her mindful mental shift, and how it's inspiring her family, friends, and colleagues to choose better, we decided to schedule time with the inspiring account executive to talk openly and honestly about the journey she labels as "holistic fitness.” Ahead, Fatima weighs in on the battle she fights everyday between herself and… herself. Plus, Fatima gives us a breakdown of the one activity that she hopes more people lean into, this year and beyond.
MBIB: Hey Fatima, thanks for being with us today. First things first, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
FB: My name is Fatima Bodrick. I’m an account executive for the Cincinnati-based marketing promotions agency pep, and I am the lead project manager on the MBIB account.
MBIB: Can you tell us how you describe the word “fitness,” and what that word means to you?
FB: Fitness to me is a holistic* term. Obviously, this was expressed through a workout journey; however, fitness to me is having a healthy mind, body, and soul. I battle with myself and become the best version of myself through fitness. When I say “battle with myself” I don't mean like Laila Ali, boxing in the ring to defeat an opponent. But in a way, it is—the version of who I am and the best of who I want to become is me vs. myself in the ring (as the opponent). How I express it is through working out, and roller skating, too!
Fatima shared with us that she bought her first pair of skates (quads) at 19 years old and started practicing five years later.
What I love about roller skating is it puts me in a place where I can truly be my authentic self. Again, it's where I can battle with myself. It’s a place of healing from life experiences—injustice, divorces, deaths, and traumas. It's a safe place where people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds skate. I’ve even skated with CEOs and reformed gang members because in the rink, labels and titles don't matter. In the rink, everyone hears the same music and expresses it in their own unique way.
MBIB: Love that! It seems like so many people have gotten into roller skating this year. Can you tell us how roller skating and fitness are connected?
FB: I really believe it's healthy for people to have an outlet as individuals and as a community. I do both with roller skating. I never thought of roller skating as fitness, although it is a full-body workout. I tell people all the time, “If you can walk, you can skate!” Roller skating doesn't feel like a workout to me; instead, it provides a sense of relief. Working out in the gym is more technical. I don't want to lift weights, run on the treadmill, and run around and look crazy; I don't want to do any of that. But it's a part of me evolving and is necessary.
MBIB: It sounds like you are invested in taking care of yourself. Can you describe what holistic fitness consists of, and how it made you feel?
FB: Before the pandemic, I used to drop out of bed (literally) and immediately do jumping jacks and push-ups. I couldn’t leave the room to negotiate with myself about if I was going to do it or not. I noticed there was something very gratifying about putting myself first on the to-do list and checking it off. Also, putting myself first helped me be able to give more to my family and my career, and be more productive. The days that I didn't do that, I felt it immediately. I felt like I was on a track running with 10 lb. weights and everyone else was in an Olympic sprint ahead of me.
MBIB: We heard you used to work out at 5 a.m. before you headed to work. The pandemic must have changed your fitness routine. Can you describe what your fitness routine has looked like this past year, both professionally and personally?
FB: The work environment within the MBIB team translates into a sense of community that is refreshing, especially during the pandemic. Breann Davis provided a series of workout regimens that I could use—the information she provided was very helpful. She, along with other MBIB team members, embraced my request for help and provided actual tips to improve. Find those people! Attach yourself to them and continue to build accountability for yourself and your community.
During the pandemic, I graduated! So opposed to working out in my room, I graduated to the next level and went to the living room with more space. It seems so minute, but going to a different space meant that I could take on more intense workouts. I celebrate the small wins. Since we were all in the house, I was also able to have daddy-daughter time and work on our fitness together. The pandemic opened up that opportunity for us.
MBIB: That’s beautiful. I wanted to bring up some data points we found about the pandemic. Statistics show that working out is down 50% from last March. Do you have any thoughts on that?
FB: We're a part of history. This goes back to the mental shift about why fitness is holistic—mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. Things are happening out in the world that no one can control. I learned the mental state that so many family members, coworkers, and friends are in is detrimental. So when I say “fitness” and “health,” it's about staying rooted and grounded in the things that I can control. We must stay grounded and protect our peace.
MBIB: Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone trying to find their own fitness journey?
FB: Figure out your why. I'm breaking generational curses. I'm shedding this old skin and coming into a new version of myself. It can be something completely different for someone else. Just note that your “why” will sustain you during the transformation. You can think better, you can choose better, you can attract better relationships on a personal and professional level. You can be better.
MBIB: Let’s talk about these generational curses. What choices are you making today for your future?
FB: I come from an amazing family and a strong legacy of women like my mother and grandmother. I'm not perfect; there are certainly challenges. I know I need daily discipline and consistency. When I have a point of resistance in my workout, I need something bigger than myself to overcome the mental pain in the moment. I also think about my kids—I currently don't have any! What I'm doing today, prepping my mind and my body, means that there's a mind-set shift in myself prior to having kids. In my workout, I'm breaking those limiting beliefs, so my kids don't have to deal with the same things I inherited or developed. The generational legacy I hope to leave is through an established shift in mind-set related to fitness, health, wealth, and relationships.
MBIB: In your words, how do generational curses specifically affect Black women?
FB: Black women have always been last, least, and left behind, yet are the backbone in so many environments (home, work, etc.). When you choose to do better for yourself, the by-product (naturally) will influence those around you. Look at Auntie Oprah and the late Dr. Maya Angelou! If it causes an adverse reaction, that’s still good, since that reaction reveals something to learn about your journey. Working out is one of those ways that you can learn. When you choose for yourself, it's reflected. As Marianne Williamson said, "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
MBIB: Fatima, thank you so much for being here. Lastly, what do you want readers to take away from your story?
FB: I believe each person is here to serve. We have a unique set of talent, skills, and gifts. The only competition is you vs. yourself. As a collective, if we each do our part while we're alive, we can make our households, communities, businesses, and governments better. If you feel no resistance, you're not working hard enough. Do your part and use your talent and skills, even if it scares you. You don’t need to download an app or pay a subscription—the decision to be better is free.
What would you do if you knew you were 100% worthy of this?
* Holistic to Fatima means “beyond working out.”
Do you like this?