Meridian, Mississippi A few years ago, Felecia Brown of Meridian created a fun way to reach out and help other women get healthier, with a group she calls "Divas on the Run."
They are "women on a mission" to get healthy, stay fit and help one another. It started with this woman, Felecia Brown of Meridian, back in 2008 and has grown to 200 or so women. Gwen Blakely says Brown reaches out and motivates women from all walks of life. "I've never known her to give up on anything, and our motto as divas is, 'Never give up', explains Blakely. "She wants everybody to be fit, everybody healthy. You know, she gives us a little advice from time to time about what we need to do, and mainly it's 'RUN!' That's her favorite word, run. But she's a great person!"
Brown is a busy mom with a demanding schedule. She runs and works out with the "Divas" three mornings a week at 5:00, and then again those afternoons at 5:30. In between she's working as a certified nurse midwife, and only misses when she is delivering a baby.
Brown says when you empower women, you empower families and the entire community. "Women, when we take care of ourselves, we can, in turn, take care of our families," says Brown. "And to me, that's why it's important to stay healthy and to stay fit. Mississippi does have an obesity problem and it starts at home, and it starts young."
Shanda Lewis nominated Brown, saying joining "Divas" has been an important part of her journey back to health. "Being a breast cancer survivor, I wasn't sure what my body could do anymore," Lewis told us. "I joined the divas last year, and it just gave me so much self-esteem and confidence."
Brown says that's her goal, pointing out she is not a personal trainer, but her passion is to help other women. "This allows them to see there are other people like them, so they don't feel isolated," explains Brown. "They don't feel like they have to be able to be 125 pounds and run 10 miles."
Always moving, the "Divas" now are planning for a big 5k Run/Walk June 21st in Meridian to benefit the Boys and Girls Club and the Girl Scouts. Brown will make sure her "Divas" never give up on their mission, to help others.