Radio Interview with 100.7 The Promise


Check out the local radio interview between GLOW-God Leading Our Wellness and NE FL Neighborhood's 100.7 The Promise.

Welcome to Jacksonville dot radio. We're a family of radio stations serving the Jacksonville and South Georgia areas. As a service to our community, we highlight organizations and events that help make this area the best place in the country to live. Thank you for listening to Our North Florida Neighborhood.

 I'm Colby and North Florida Neighborhood is all about getting to know our neighbors. Just hearing what really sweet stuff they're doing with us and for us in our community. And today the neighbor we get to chat with is Samie Jo Arnold. She goes by Samie Jo.

She's the founder of GLOW, which is God Leading Our Wellness. Samie Jo, thank you so much for joining us. Hi, thank you. So first give me a rundown on what GLOW is all about. Yes. Well, just like you said, the name GLOW itself actually stands for God Leading Our Wellness. And we are a women's fitness ministry.

That is basically who we are in what we do, a women's fitness ministry. So can you tell me a little how you're different than a normal women's fitness ministry? Yes. Or like a normal women's fitness group? Yes. Yes. Yes. So. Basically, the name itself hopefully is, is it gives you some insight as to what it's all about.

God Leading Our Wellness, meaning that we are different from a lot of the other fitness arenas out there because we are actually faith based and we invite our heavenly father into our wellness. So that's really the main thing that makes us different. So can you kind of tell me how you do that?

What's a practical way? Absolutely. So probably the biggest way we do that is by the music that we listen to in our classes. We do fitness classes that incorporate choreography fitness. Okay. And we do all different kinds of fitness, even though it is choreographed, but we mainly use only Christian music.

So it's, it's, we, we like to say that you get to worship while you're working out. I love that. Yes. So, Samie Jo, can you tell me a little bit, you said it's choreographed, do you have people that used to be choreographers and now they work for you, like what, what's those people's background? Yeah. So we do have a team.

We do have a GLOW team an amazing GLOW team, I must say, got to give a shout out to my girls. And we are all basically fitness professionals. Like myself, for example, I am an ACE certified, which stands for American Council on Exercise Group Fitness Instructor. Several of our instructors are. So we've got that base of, of training, if you will, in the physical fitness industry.

But. We specialize in group fitness, specifically women's group fitness and kind of what that looks like is yes, we work out to music and when we choreograph our routines, you know, we choreograph it for like this is a cardio routine or this might be a drumming routine or this might be a stretching routine and I've, I've, I've brought my little arsenal of things to, to kind of show you as well, if that's cool.

So, for example, she just pulled out drumsticks. Yes. So, we do some choreographed routines with drumsticks. And, basically, it's, it's intentional fitness and, and with drumming to the beat of the music. We also do resistance bands, right? Okay. So, we have choreographed. Songs that we do fitness routines with bands.

We also, this is one of my favorites here. It's like a Mary Poppins bag. Oh my gosh. I know, right? Ching, ching, ching. If you can hear it, guess what this is. It's the little like, Greek skirts is of. Yeah, so belly beads. Oh. We call them belly beads. Okay. Right? And this is really just for fun to kind of take your mind off of fitness, what you're doing.

Gosh. You know, after a while you kind of forget like you're working out because you're just having so much fun. Of course, we're going to bring the strength training into it, right? So, we've got our weights and then every once in a while, we'll throw some ribbon boxing in there. Just fun stuff, right, to mix it up.

And again, another, you know, we, we call these booty bands resistance bands. Yeah. Gotta work all parts of the body, right? So, yeah that’s what we do in our classes. We do all the different modalities of fitness from head to toe, working all the major muscle groups.

I just love moving, moving and music just, you know, It, it, it soothes my soul really, it is what it does. So, and Samie Jo GLOW isn't just like some gym where we pay membership, but y'all are a nonprofit.

That is correct. We are a nonprofit 501c3 women's fitness ministry. Basically, what we do part of our mission is to create space for women to come in to feel loved in the image that God created them.  We also provide free fitness to women who cannot afford a gym membership because let's be real, it's expensive.

Yeah. It can be really expensive. So we partner with churches. We normally start off with like eight-week programs with them just as kind of like a, okay, let's test the waters. Let's see if your women going to show up. Is this something that your church finds important for your congregation?

We start off with eight-week programs and then sometimes they turn into year-round classes at their facilities. That's actually kind of how GLOW got started. I was asked to teach at my home church. At the time I was actually teaching Zumba. I know. Fun. Yeah! But what started happening was the Zumba kind of started changing and morphing. And there's nothing wrong with Zumba, don't get me wrong.

I'm not, not throwing shade. Shade. But it started morphing and what was happening to me on the inside was the Lord was just kind of doing a work in me. The next thing, you know, you know, I wasn't really using the Zumba music anymore. I found myself using more and more Christian music and there was just like a shift in the atmosphere.

Good old 2020. During an annual fast at our church in January, the Lord just spoke to me very clearly. Samie Jo, no more Zumba. And I was like, what? What? I've been dancing all my life. I've been moving all my life, but what he showed me was I want you to do what you're doing, but I want it to be all for me.

I'm a jealous God. You're already using Christian music. Some people could probably walk in there and say, that's not Zumba. And they're right. It wasn't because it was changing and morphing. And so during the annual fast he gave me the vision for GLOW and I just kept hearing the word GLOW, GLOW, GLOW.  Let your ladies GLOW, let your light shine and GLOW and then, you know, one day he totally dropped, God Leading Our Wellness on me.

He said, you're already leading the women in fitness, you're already leading them in their wellness, but I need it to be all about me for me.  And that’s how GLOW was created as a women's fitness ministry.

And then of course that was January, 2020 you know,  we got everything together in, in February, 2020 and that was really like the birthday of GLOW. And then what happened in March? Yeah. Everything shut down. Mostly gyms too. Exactly,  but, you know, God does not waste anything.

I'm a firm believer of that and he gave me the idea just in time for us to kind of get all of our ducks in a row during that time. So when the world opened back up, so to speak, we were ready to go and we have been going nonstop since then. So Samie Jo, one of the things that you said was really transforming the way people view fitness.

So how do you do that? How do you incorporate that within GLOW?  So again,I keep going back to the name God Leading. God Leading, and it's really putting him in the center of it all. You know. God is not just for church on Sundays. He wants to be in every part of our lives, every part of our lives.

And that really includes our fitness. If you think about it, I always ask everybody the question do you pray before you eat? Yeah. Okay. Do you pray before you travel? Yeah. You pray for people, you know, that are sick and healing. Well, then I asked the question, do you ever pray before you work out?

Most people don't, right? And I normally hear crickets when I ask that question and it's because it's something you don't think about, right? You don't think about, wow, I can actually invite the Lord into my wellness, you know, process here because after all, this is his creation, right? This is his temple and therefore I should be taking care of his temple and inviting him into this process.  I call it uniting faith and fitness, And really helping women specifically become the best versions of themselves that God wants them to be.

And, you know, in the fitness industry, it’s rough! oh man don't I  know. Are you a fitness buff? Yeah. But it's gnarly. It's really hard. Like especially the visuals and it's intimidating and yeah, it's gnarly. Yeah. Normally you sit on two sides of the fence with fitness.

Either you are obsessing and you're way over here or you're neglecting and you're way over here to the opposite end of the spectrum, right? So where GLOW, where our standpoint is in inviting God into that process is, I'm not going to obsess and I'm not going to neglect. I'm going to meet it right in the middle and have that abundant life that he's called us to.

So how do you tangibly do that? Again, by not going to one extreme or the other, right? We do that in our classes by, I'll give you example…. All of our classes, we always start off with a devotional. So we're going to give glory and honor to our Lord first before we start to move our bodies.

Because it's putting him first and everything we do and, and everything else will kind of follow, right? Everything else will follow after that. And um, you know, let him be the temperature and the pulse of where we need to be.  Ask Him, reveal to me, Lord, have I been neglecting, you know, have I been eating too many sweets?

Or have I been, you know, not moving my body enough? Have I been you know, lazy? Honestly, I hate that word. So truth and love in a GLOW class, truth and love in a GLOW class. I mean, we are going to love you through everything. And you know, that's, that's part of  women's fitness ministry trifold comes together.

We're going to deal with all of those things, right? Like laziness. We're, we're going to talk about, you know, some of the hard issues in class during our devos. Let’s see what does the Bible say about it? And again, inviting the Lord into that process.  What does he say about certain things that we're struggling with?

Also one of the first things we do, and I think this kind of goes right hand in hand here, is every class when we start a program at a, at a church, we have something that we call the workout prayer. And it is where we basically have a prayer before our workout. You know, I asked you earlier, do you do you, do you think about praying before you work out?

You know, a lot of people don't, well, the prayer kind of walks us through from head to toe. I'll just give you, you know, the first one. We talk about all the parts of our body, for example, Lord as I use my arms, as I work out my arms, let it remind me that I'm held tightly in yours, right?

As I work my legs, let it be to grow stronger, to be able to be bold enough to follow you in my path. So little things like that, again, that's where we kind of are uniting the faith and fitness part of it.

Oh my gosh, I love that. Well, again, I have the privilege of chatting with Samie Jo. She's the founder of GLOW, which is God Leading Our Wellness, Samie Jo.

How can we maybe partner with you if we're a business owner or if we run something with our church and we want GLOW to come and lead a workout? How can we do that? Absolutely. You can go to our website which is God Leading Our Wellness dot org. Find us there, shoot us a message there. We also are on all the, so all the socials Facebook, Instagram, again, GLOW -God Leading Our Wellness.

We're also on YouTube. So if you want to check it out and see what we're about, you can, you know, look us up on YouTube as well. We would love to partner with, with the churches. That's kind of like our jam. That's kind of like what we do. Give us a call and try us out for an eight week session and see if we're, if we're a good fit.

We also have done some wellness events. They are normally like theme based, but there's normally a message behind it and some team building activities. You know, just some movement, maybe nutrition education as well. We actually have a board-certified nutritionist on our team.

And for example, we had a GLOW Fit Fiesta one year where it was like Latin theme. And then last year we had A-GLOW-Ha where it was kind of like, Tropical themed.

I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this, but it, but I feel like the churches do an amazing job when it, when they're talking about their Time, Talents and Treasures, but there's one “T “that they forget about that. THE TEMPLE!

And I feel like the churches could do a lot better job. Absolutely. Bingo. And, and that's kind of like part of my personal mission to get more church congregants moving.  Just think how much more could a congregation do if we just felt better, right? Alot of times, you know, you want to be healthy for those mission trips, right? You want to be able to walk this far and dop that etc….

Amen! Yes Righ!  And you know, we always say that we want our women to be healthy, to be able to do the assignments that God has called them to do on this side of heaven. That's truly what it's all about. Look, we are not trying to make Olympians, you know, I mean, seriously, we're not going for the six pack abs. We're not doing anything like that. We just want you to move better, so you can feel better, right? Yes! We just live in such a sedentary world now, right?  Where, you know, we're all just about our technology and all the devices in, you know, kyphosis is showing up more than ever now. And it's just bringing awareness to that.

And that's my goal with churches, come on, let's talk about that fourth “T”, the temple! It's just as important because this is HIS creation, right? It's his temple. That's where he dwells now is like right here in our heart. So we want to make strong hearts for him to be able to do that and all the things. Samie Jo, I love how you brought that in with the time treasure talent because we talk about that all the time, not really about our temple!  

One of the questions I have is like so for me personally group fitness classes are super intimidating I had spinal surgery and so there's things I just can't do in a group fitness class So I feel silly just kind of standing there and like I don't want to make it about me.

So what kind of  alterations do you make for people that have maybe had surgery or can't move certain ways especially in a group fitness setting. I am so glad you asked that question because that is again part of the DNA of GLOW God Leading Our Wellness.

We want to mimic the characteristics of God And, and that would be including and loving everybody and every body type, right? GLOW is for everyone and we absolutely have modifications in all of our classes. We have modifications for chair. So we have several women who, are in a certain season of fitness, if you will, and it’s i a little bit different than somebody else's.

And they have to have a chair assist and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. We also have a participant that is actually in a wheelchair, she's an amputee and she shows up and, and is such an inspiration to all of our ladies. Also we have women who by medical standards would be called obese if you will, and they are amazing! They show up and do what they can.

We, we have a saying in GLOW. There's no shame in adjusting when it's in Him (God) we are entrusting. So we're entrusting you Lord with our body. So therefore, I'm going to adjust to where you tell me to so that I'm going to get the most benefit for where I am right now.

We don't have a brick and mortar. And that's kind of on purpose. We don't have a brick and mortar because we want to go in the places where the women feel most comfortable and mainly their church home. And a lot of churches don't have mirrors the last time I checked.

So when you're in a GLOW class there is no intimidation. You can’t judge yourself or look at everybody else through a mirror. And we always tell everybody, don't look to the left or right for comparison. You look up to the Lord. Where am I going to be today? Am I going to push hard today or do I need to take it easy or look forward for instruction? And that's it.  So Again, GLOW, God Leading Our Wellness is for everybody. We want everybody to feel welcome no matter your season of fitness. You can participate. You can be a part of it no matter your abilities, disabilities or whatever season of fitness you're in.

Well, Samie Jo, one more time, can you tell us how we can find out more about GLOW? Absolutely, our website God Leading Our Wellness. org. Again we're on all the socials, Facebook, Instagram you can find us at GLOW dash  -  God Leading Our Wellness. And again on YouTube if you want to see how we move in you know, see a couple examples of how some of our classes are laid out.

Samie Jo, thank you for being such a great neighbor in our neighborhood. Absolutely! Thank you for listening to Our North Florida Neighborhood. Listen again next week and if you have an event or organization you'd like highlighted, please contact Colby King at Colby, C O L B I at Jacksonville dot radio.