National African American Women’s Fitness Month: Meet Carmenella Blockton

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In the month of April, Midwest Black Girl Recess is intentionally raising awareness for the participation and celebration of National African American Women’s Fitness Month.

Raising awareness to this National Holiday is especially crucial amongst the African American community as heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for African American women.

Midwest Black Girl Recess had the pleasure of interviewing Carmellena Blockton of St.Louis,MO who is undoubtedly making an impact in her community when it comes to the fitness lane! We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.

Tell us about your own personal journey that made you decide fitness was a mandatory lifestyle for you.

February 2020 I was sitting on my couch during the pandemic, flicking through YouTube. Fortunately somehow Xtreme Hip Hop magically appeared! I looked into the program and decided to try it. I instantly became hooked! I struggled the first month trying to learn the steps from pre-recorded videos. Then, greatness happened! Phil started to promote his Live classes 4 days a week everyday at noon. I dedicated myself to 3 days a week and lost 40lbs.

I didn’t stop there, Summer of 2020 I invested in 12 basic step boards, a bluetooth speaker, grabbed a few friends, headed to Tower Grove Park, and started stepping! During that time, I tested and challenged myself to see if I had the abilities to become a Certified Instructor. I kept working it, even on days I only had one person show up. I couldn’t stop or give up because I believed in a program that gave me some of the best results of my life!

Fast forwarding… Certification Classes became available. I had the option to take it virtually or fly to Phoenix, Arizona. I flew to Phoenix taking a 6 hour training course with Phil himself in person. It was really so exhausting! I’ve never felt so tired in my life but, I knew I hadn’t come that far to give up. I really had to fight for my life at that point! I knew to become certified, I needed strength not just for myself but enough strength to help fight for someone else’s life. So, I kept going. Once I completed verification and my name was called, I never felt so proud! I did it!

Now, here I am and great things are happening. All thanks to God & believing in myself. God has truly brought some of the most amazing people into my life to help build and support the program in my own city! I am now in year 3 as a Certified Instructor!

How did the interest for fitness navigate you into teaching and leading fitness for others?

Well, it’s so important for me to continue to teach and encourage people of all backgrounds and levels. I enjoy teaching people to try something different, get out their comfort zone, and create a healthier lifestyle. I was once that person sitting on the couch wanting better for myself. I know first hand that moving out of your comfort zone with Step Aerobics boosts cardio, burns calories & builds energy! It’s fun and it challenges you in many ways sometimes questioning if you can do it but, you can!  

What advice do you have specifically for African American women in fitness being or becoming a lifestyle?

The advice I would give is, start with yourself and target your community. Be compassionate toward your demographic. Teach how health and fitness is a priority for change in your community.

What is your advice for beginners looking into being consistent with your specific fitness niche?

The advice I would give? Do not doubt your abilities! Xtreme Hip Hop is for all ages and levels. Stay motivated in your mind and body.

Where can individuals find more information about the class/classes you offer? 
Individuals can find more information at www.xtremehiphopstlouis.com

Please share your social media handle/s and website if applicable where we can follow your journey!

Instagram/HipHopStepStl

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