Meet Sonja Forte: 2019 Sole Sister Ambassador for Gazelle Girl

Gazelle Girl

My name is Sonja Forte and I have been selected as the WOTV4 Sole Sister Ambassador (I think that’s what they’re calling me, I may have just made that up).  That means, you all will be hearing from me (a lot) over these next couple of months, so I figured I would take some time and introduce myself.

I have been a resident of the Greater Grand Rapids area for 20+ years now.  I moved to the area after high school to attend Grand Valley State University where I received my BS in Hospitality Tourism Management.  Fast Forward to now, I am the Senior Director at Baxter Community Center where I am responsible for overseeing day to day operations.  I am also the owner of a small business called The Blaquebox which focuses on circulating the dollar in the Black community.

But, let’s talk about what got me to Sole Sisters, and walking (I don’t run, never have and currently have no desire to do so).

Life started happening to me, something like 10-15 years ago.  I think that’s what happens to a lot of us. Stressful and Unfulfilling Job.  Failing Marriage. …you know, the regular things that tear your world apart.  I’d started putting on weight, and my general disposition was just “blah”.  Then, I started having some health issues – my sinuses were so bad that I was on 3 prescriptions just to make it through the day, but taking them made me a zombie.  I was MISERABLE.

I started making some minor changes in my diet.  My friends at Malamiah Juice Bar got me into Juicing and Smoothies, and things started to improve.  After about a year and a half with just tiny diet changes, I was able to get down to only using a nasal spray a couple times a month for my sinus issues.

When I turned 39 last August, I started making a list of 40 things that I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 40, and one of the things that I started thinking was “what if I were to take my health a little more seriously”

I started exploring various ways that I could make that happen; began trying things out and at the suggestion of my friend Nancy, I applied for the Sole Sisters scholarship. 

So, 4 weeks ago, on what I thought was a cold January morning (didn’t know the polar vortex was coming down the pipeline) I headed out with a group of women that I’d never met before to complete a brisk 2 miles and begin the journey that you now get to accompany me on.

I look forward to sharing more with you along the way, and hope to see you all out on RACE DAY, Saturday April 13 for the Gazelle Girl Race, where I’ll be completing my first 10k!!!

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