*Prolyfyck got started in the summer of 2018. Named for then-living rapper Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap lyric “I'm prolific, so gifted. I'm the type that's gon' go get it.” The group has adopted that mindset, being proactive in their approach, rather than sitting, waiting for opportunities to present themselves. We are creating our own lane.
We run together, not against each other. Success isn’t measured by beating a competitor, by finishing first, but by bringing everyone home, by ensuring that everyone finishes the run or the race. We choose to run together, encouraging participants to only compete against themselves, not as measured against their neighbor, but against their previous endeavors. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be prolific. We recognize that everyone needs help and encouragement to accomplish that, so during our weekly runs we wait for each other at specific locations, cheering each other on after challenging hills. We heal on the hills together; we don’t give up when it’s challenging, we lean in. We’re stronger together.
To stay dangerous denotes a proactive way of life, it’s not passive. As a group, Prolyfyck aims to take this mindset in all that we do, not just in running. The systems rooted in racism and white supremacy that oppress black and brown communities require more than a passive “defensive-minded” approach. Prolyfyck aims to effect change in the communities we run through, the communities we come from, the communities that are often overlooked in Charlottesville. Rather than reacting to the next example of systemic racism, we are trying to bring forward narratives of Black and Brown Charlottesville that have been suppressed, overlooked, or at best, co-opted.
When Prolyfyck shows up, it’s a celebration. We celebrate claiming space as a Black-led running group (in a largely white running community, both locally and nationally). We make noise, we cheer loudly, we bring enthusiasm and energy. We know that representation and inclusion matter; we hold space for everyone, especially people who don’t think they belong. “We here” for the people who don’t think they’re runners, people whose bodies and skin-tones don’t fit the stereotype of what a runner looks like, people who think they’re too old or too young to run in a crew. You’re not going to run us off.
Often we greet each other or encourage each other by saying “I see you!” This Is another way of acknowledging the presence of Black excellence. In a world that diminishes Black excellence, greeting a fellow Black runner with “I see you,” calls recognition to one another. This reclaims our presence. We are seen, we are heard, and we are felt.
At the end of each run, we circle up for announcements, community support, recognition of new folx, and finally to let some rage out before we close. This is a call to release any internal energy / emotion flowing in the body through yelling. We lift up the idea that we can challenge/disrupt white supremacy by taking up space and disrupting norms around communication, “professionalism,” timeliness, and loudness
We encourage each other and express our joy loudly and with enthusiasm during each community run and at races our group attends. We, as a Black-led group, run through Charlottesville, in all of its whiteness, veiled and open racism, and history of oppression – we carve out, claim, or support Black Joy.
We talk a lot about what it looks like to “hold space” for each other in our crew. It could be in the streets as we are running, but it often shows up in the ways we interact with each other before and after Run. Life is tough and can be unforgiving in the way it challenges you, and if you hold marginalized identities, the impact is often compounded. So we hold space for each other to show up, in all that we are, with all that we’re carrying, with emotions that we are sometimes still processing, in all of its rawness and we leave space for that. We let our rage out, we let our tears out, we let our joy out and we remind each other, it's okay to not be okay. You don’t have to hide that here. Authenticity and vulnerability are part of Prolyfyck Run Crew’s identity, and it’s welcomed here.
Oftentimes as adults, we can look at all of the reasons why we can’t do something instead of the reasons why we can or should. Fear is a natural part of life; we fear that we aren’t good enough, fast enough, small enough, strong enough, funny enough, smart enough, you name it. In run culture, for a long time, Black and Brown people weren’t included in mainstream media depicting what a runner looks like; they didn’t even consider marketing to us. However, Black and Brown runners have always been around, and we certainly have always been more than enough. So we built our own spaces where we celebrate each other, amplify our own voices and encourage our community to push past fear and “do it anyways.” Sign up for that race that makes you nervous, add a little jog to your morning walk during the Prolyfyck route, run a little faster, qualify for Boston, talk about your feelings, introduce yourself to someone new, hold each other accountable with love, push yourself past your comfort zone. Even if you’re scared, even if you just take the first step in that direction, do it anyway. We Here!
Prolyfyck is more than a running community. To be prolyfyck is a way of life, it's a culture. Prolyfyck’s main purpose is to work for the empowerment of those who support it, especially the historically marginalized Black and Brown communities. Our goal is to continue shedding light on the impact of racism, both past and present, rejecting those who would suppress or co-opt the talent of Black and Brown people, claiming ownership over their creativity. Instead, we encourage all to look deep within themselves to find their gifts and tap into their passions, working together with a spirit of unity and love to create a world where everyone can be prolyfyck!