The desire for a healthy body must go hand in hand with the desire to maintain it. There is no quick fix involved in attaining the body of your dreams, but if you’re serious, what you do is constantly seek motivation outside of yourself to keep you fired up! This motivation can come in the form of a coach, workout visuals or even the clothing that you choose to work out in.
Kyle Harvey, 35, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, has masterfully combined his passion for weight training and hip hop to produce an exciting line of fitness apparel, Rack Runners. It all started with a logo concept which was designed and posted on Facebook. The positive reviews of the creativity of his design motivated Kyle to try something different and so he did! He decided to learn digital art and creating unique designs became a passion for him. Rack Runners incorporates the things that have inspired him since childhood; 8-bit art, hip hop culture, streetwear, and the love of food. Rack Runners active wear are available in men’s and women’s sizes, including t-shirts, joggers and hoodies. EBooks and fitness accessories are also available on the website.
Kyle loves staying in shape, and personally trains as if he’s preparing for war, with a mixture of calisthenics and high-paced weight training. This level of discipline has been his mindset even before joining the military and his passion is interlaced throughout his designs. Lots of time, thought, and creativity went into building his vision and this is why each design is either motivational, hip-hop inspired, street wear inspired or foodie- inspired to show a contrasting appreciation for fitness, food and hip-hop culture. “Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever combined streetwear, hip-hop culture, the love of food, and fitness together. This is what I feel makes my brand unique.” The most popular and best-selling designs are those that feature the classic Rack Runners logo, Gym Dropout, and the Slop Gang logo.
Since launching in 2017, Rack Runners has amassed 10k followers on Facebook and Instagram, also being hand selected by Facebook to be 1 of 1,300 members of the Boost Facebook Leaders Network.
Harvey, an Ohio native & Washington, DC area resident stays grounded by reminding himself that there is more work to do to get to where he wants to be. “I am going to leave a legacy that lasts longer than my next generation so I know what’s ahead of me and what I expect out of myself.”
The Rack Runners website also features a blog that will contain information on nutrition, motivation, as well as gym tips. Kyle ships his merchandise worldwide, so feel free to browse his exciting designs! What’s Next? Kyle’s new goal is to create his own gym shoes that rival the big businesses, so watch out for Rack Runners sneaker line!
“Success means finding a goal, acting on inspired thought, and not looking towards building the entire house right away. You start by laying a brick as well as you can then replicate that process until you have reached your ending point.”
Who would you be without struggle? We have all been shaped in some way by our experiences. At some point in our lives we can all remember at least one event that caused a shift in our paradigm; something that caused us to change the way we saw ourselves and the people around us. For Lia Abney, 54 of Hephzibah Georgia, that event was when her then husband after 15 years of marriage told her that he no longer wanted to be married. There is no quick fix to healing after a divorce, and Lia knows this all too well. However, she found the strength within herself to #keepitmoving.
After her divorce Lia moved from Korea to Georgia and started picking up the broken pieces of her life. She founded Victory Leadership Group Inc. a nonprofit organization preparing teens for success as they transition from high school into the workforce. She became motivated to do even more, and founded her very own consulting service, Lia Abney LLC aimed at empowering women (mind, body, and soul) to pursue their God-given talents. BWM visited her website and we were immediately captivated by her charisma. The passion Lia has for what she does is undeniable. During her career, she’s had the pleasure of sharing her knowledge and passion with nonprofit organizations (education, homelessness, and mental health), entrepreneurs, schools, juvenile court systems, authors/speakers and churches.
When Lia isn’t out inspiring the world, you can find her reading scripture or taking in the soothing sounds of soulful Gospel or Jazz. Her studies at Capella University, where she ispursuing a Doctorate Degree in Public Administration also keepher busy. Busy is an understatement for this veteran as she is also a Management Analyst, Motivational Speaker and Published Author. She’s contributed to skillfully penned masterpieces including – Women in Public Administration: Theory and Practice – which is being used in colleges around the world, and – Perfectly Imperfect, Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of God – which allowed her to share her story of God’s love for her after divorce. Both publications were realized during a time for Lia that was most challenging and affected her self esteem. However, she was able to persevere beyond the hurt knowing that God had a plan for her to prosper and not cause her harm…(Jeremiah 29:11).
This Black Queen wears multiple ‘hats‘, but they are all set in perfect alignment with who she is. She has fully embraced her anointing… an anointing to inspire and motivate others to achieve their highest.
In 2019, Lia was awarded the Shero Arts Award in support of local arts as an author and a finalist for the 2019 Indie Award. She is actively involved in various community initiatives as well as an active board member with the Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce as the VP of Business and Financial Affairs.
What motivates this visionary? She credits much of her inspiration to some strong female leaders whom she has admired for years – Ronic West, a prime example of an industry leader (a mover and shaker as Lia describes her), and Sojourner Truth who was a constant reminder to fight for those who are unable to make their voice be heard. Lia also credits much of her resolve to #keepitmoving to her daughter Chontele, aka Yum Yum, who is a perfect example of focus and determination.
Like many entrepreneurs and black women in general who are working toward creating their own path, Lia has experienced her fair share of defeating thoughts. For this phenomenal black queen however, giving up has never been an option.
“One time,I took a leap of faith and submitted a proposal to speak at a conference. Of course, I had people ask to come along and thinking of course why not. Well, lets just say it was the worse speaking engagement. Not so much because I had someone come with me but I was actually treated horribly by another speaker not to mention other things that did not line up. I left there feeling like man…your own kind treats you like this. It really left a bad taste in my mouth. But then as clear as day…God said I never told you to take anyone with you. So the next couple of speaking engagements I journeyed alone. And nothing but blessings…I share this not to shame or bash others but to say that in your journey there is a season where you may be required to do it alone. It won’t be for ever but it is a season that I believe God is grooming us for something beyond what others can understand. Going at it alone during that season is an opportunity for you to grow without distractions. So where ever you are in your journey KEEP IT MOVING.“
— Lia Abney
One of Lia’s future goals for Lia Abney, LLCis to outreach the business internationally and continuously build strong foundations for accomplishing strategic goals. “So many businesses get stuck in the process of building because they do not clearly have a plan that will allow them to expand and grow to the next level. I want to help businesses that have found themselves stuck by establishing the right connection, communicate the right message, and commit to the process as a business owner to #KeepItMoving.”
Like most with such an important calling as hers, Lia’s story reminds us all to stay focused. There is no quick path to success, but through perseverance and constant self- evaluation anything is possible!