AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — For Marcell Jermaine Turner, the concept of fitness is more than just staying in shape or eating right.
“Part of my purpose is to talk about fitness, I’ve been in it since I was five years old,” said Turner, who founded the event three years ago. “Just want to spread some positive energy, get people out there to get some vitamin D, and just having fellowship.”
Turner is an Amarillo native who lives in Houston now, and the cause behind his T-FIT Walk/Run Event hits close to home, literally and figuratively.
“Within the African-American community, we suffer from the ailments of diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so forth. We do have to be more aware, more conscious of the foods that we eat and being physically active,” he explained.
Black Americans are among the hardest hit by medical ailments.
The 2020 Census says African-Americans make up 13% of the population, but more than 12% are diabetic.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-Americans rank number one in high blood pressure, with 56% of black American adults living with the condition.
These are just some of the reasons why Turner is pushing people to get active, even if they’re a beginner.
“Just get up and get started, just do something. If it’s just a half a block around the park, just do that, just become active, just get outside, get things moving,” he said.
The T-FIT Walk/Run Event is this Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Bones Hooks Park, and there’s no pressure, other than to show up.
Turner said simply, “there is no set thing, there is no set time, there is no set distance. Just getting started somehow, don’t be intimidated.”