Dr. Valerie Robinson
Dr. Valerie Robinson is the newly-elected president of the PanHellenic Council of Washington, DC – the umbrella organization for the city’s 16 black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.
She’s a Washington native and a trained mental health therapist. She currently works for the DC Department of Health heading a team of COVID contact tracers. For many weeks she was on the front lines of testing city residents. She shared with me her commitment to physical fitness and to God.
“Physical health is so important. We’re at an age that there are many illnesses we can prevent. Walking, running, eating well to keep your immune system strong is key. COVID shouldn’t lead to death, but many people who’re dying before their time had pre-existing health problems. I’m almost 60 years old and I have titanium and ceramic hips, and I walk 8-10 miles Monday through Friday, and longer on the weekends. It’s not speed walking – it’s distance.
"My heart is moving. I keep my blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure numbers down. I’m vegan / vegetarian and I don’t drink or smoke, and I carry no stress. At this age, I’ve learned to accept who I am and accept the people around me – no judgement, and I try to live a free life. Am I perfect, no. And do I get frustrated because of the injustices around us? Yes. Even some of our own people and the things we do to each other but just to know that many in America feel like my black skin doesn’t matter is overwhelming. But I keep moving, and I pray. I pray a lot.
"Exercise gives you a good communion with God, a God of our understanding. He gives me understanding and guidance. Living right. Ecclesiastes 7-8 says the beginning of a thing is not important, but the ending. My beginning was radical, and I made mistakes and bumped my head. But as time passed, God smoothed it out…. I was a wrinkle, and he smoothed it out.”