Courtesy of Crystal Lawrence

Howard University Captain Crystal Lawrence Reflects on Her Journey with PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT

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Before we begin another semester of making fitness fun, we want to highlight one of our Sweat Sisters, Crystal Lawrence. The recent graduate received her B.A. in Psychology from Howard University in May and served as a PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT ambassador and captain on campus. We recently caught up with Crystal to discuss her collegiate experience with the Sweat Sisterhood and her plans for the future. Check it out:

1. Can you give us a brief summary of your fitness journey?

I’ve been an athlete for as long as I can remember. I ran track from elementary up until my senior year of high school, when I tore my ACL and Meniscus. After a long recovery process, I began group workouts with PGS. I also discovered yoga, which I still practice currently.

2. When did you cross paths with PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT and how did it lead to you becoming an ambassador and captain at Howard?

In 2014, I attended a PGS flag football event with my roommate and had such an amazing time. I was so enamored by the fact that all of the attendees left with smiles on their faces. This was not what I was used to after my high school track practices. After the event, all I remember saying is “I can definitely do this.” After that, I managed to track down the current ambassador and told her I wanted IN!

3. Congrats on being a recent graduate of Howard University! What impact did PGS have on your academic and career goals and what are your fitness goals for the future?

Working with PGS for two years made me realize my love of creating opportunities for individuals to reach their health and wellness goals. My short-term goal is to develop a nonprofit that connects young adults to resources that do just that. As an aspiring psychologist, I plan on incorporating fitness into my practice; Whether it be continuing my training to become a yoga instructor, or organizing wellness events for youth.

4. Why do you think it’s important to have organizations like PGS present at HBCUs?

In my time as an undergrad student, I have witnessed many of my peers neglect self-care to maintain the high academic standards required of them. Organizations like PGS are important because they offer that break that we all need to take the time to love our mind and bodies. HBCU students are truly one of a kind. In a time where they are essentially creating the foundation for their future, PGS is there for students to have a fun, non-judgmental space.

5. What was your favorite part about being an ambassador and captain?

My favorite part of being a part of PGS had to be during the events. I loved seeing women show up for themselves and have a great time doing it.
 

6. What challenges did you have throughout the experience, and what advice would you offer to anyone interested in being an ambassador or captain?

A challenge of mine was stepping out of my comfort zone to form new relationships. Anyone who is considering being an ambassador should be ready to reach out with gyms, studios, and individuals in the wellness field on & off-campus. Also, remember it’s okay not to have the answer to every fitness question, but to learn a lot along the way.

7. What are some of your favorite ways to work out?

I’m definitely a yogi, but running would be a close second.

8. What healthy snacks/ meals do you typically eat before and after a workout?

I’m the type to make smoothies for every meal. Also, Svelte organic protein shakes are one of my favorite post-workout drink.

9. What was your favorite restaurant in D.C. to get an occasional cheat meal?

Brunch at Florida Avenue Grill was always my favorite spot. French toast is my weakness.

10. What music could we find on your workout playlist?

On my playlist, you’d find way too much Rihanna and Beyoncé.

11. How do you typically style your hair for a sweat session?

To keep my hair out of my face, I have to wear my hair in a high or low pony.

12. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?

PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means a lot of things: Girl-power, strength, but most importantly community. I found that the best part of PGS is the sisterhood aspect that is created each time we met for a Sweat Show.

Thanks Crystal for your hard work with PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT! Good luck!

CONNECT WITH CRYSTAL:
Twitter: @PiecesOfC
Instagram: @PiecesOfCee

Remember that membership registration opens on the first day of each month (August -April) at 12:01 am ET and closes at 11:59 pm ET (find your team here). Your school doesn't have a team? No worries! Click here to find out how you can start a PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT chapter at your university or as a grad!

Kési Felton is a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, DC majoring in Journalism. Having attended writing and photojournalism summer camps, and growing up around Atlanta's CNN Center she discovered her love for journalistic writing. She enjoys writing in general as a way to share her life story and connect with others on a larger platform. Her other hobbies and passions include blogging, listening to music, and finding new ways to live a healthier and more mindful life.