Community says pandemic helped them get healthy

Studio 814

MOBILE, Ala. — Coronavirus has caused many in our community to take a hard look at their own health. While the virus has had so many negative consequences, there’s one group of people who says Coronavirus may have saved their lives.

Nichole Edwards and Carl Cunningham joined forces during the pandemic to start a group called MobPacers. They both exercised on and off but knew they could do more. They both had family histories of underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity. They did not want to go down that same path.

“As a 46-year-old African-American male, I understand what comes with my age,” Cunningham said.

“It seemed like the African-American community was being highly affected,” Edwards said.

Edwards said she, along with many of her friends, felt cooped up during the quarantine. Her mother had just died, and she was very depressed.

“I was depressed. I couldn’t cope, I was gaining weight,” Edwards said.

The two friends started walking a few miles a day through downtown Mobile. Over time, they posted their workouts on Facebook and more people joined them. Soon, 25 people started showing up. They slowly increased their distance, and now they walk six to eight miles per day. Their walk begins at Christ Church Cathedral downtown (their home base) and winds through Oakleigh and back.

Step by step, the pounds and inches have come off. MobPacers participants say they feel so much better.

“The group is fun, a family to me. I didn’t know could actually walk seven miles,” Tunisia Cole said.

“COVID saved my life. Yes. COVID saved my life,” Cunningham said.

“We never thought it would turn out to be something like this, but we are happy that it did. We are going to continue to show up every day if it’s going to make a difference in our community,” Edwards said.

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