Grunty Crush of the Week: Tracy G of Sway in the Morning


Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 12.03.52 AMThese days you may know Tracy G as co-host of Sway in the Morning but in another life, she was a burgeoning writer at Vibe magazine, where we met. She is a feisty potty-mouthed Scorpio who is creative, unique, blunt, thoughtful and exceptionally cognizant of her actions, words and intentions (and I love her for being this way, unapologetically). She is also a fan of the fit life so I caught up with her to get a glimpse of how working out fits into her busy life and how she finds zen in a chaotic industry.

How and when did being active become an important part of your life? 

The first time I ever gravitated towards fitness was in middle school when my mother gifted herself with some Tae Bo tapes. I wanted to be more than just a cheerleader for the madre so I joined her in the living room for fun, but then quickly became a Billy Blanks disciple! That led to Tae Bo sleepovers and by the time college hit I was leading Tae Bo Tuesdays and Thursdays in my dorm lounge. Weird I know. (Editor’s note: See what I’m saying about her uniqueness? Lol).

Honestly, working out appealed to me because I could be loud, aggressive, say weird things, listen to loud music, feel amazing, straighten out my life and look awesome all in on session. Of course I’ve fallen off at different periods of my life for different reasons, but to my close circle of friends, I’ve always been known as the go-to chick for questions about getting in shape so, the pressure’s sorta always on, which is a good and wack thing.

What are some of your primary ways of getting fit and why do they appeal to you? 

Right now I am hella into boxing. Shout out to my friend and trainer Percell! I just like ninja activity man! I like physical activities that require a high level of concentration and I guess punching just comes natural to me.

But I also get bored easily so need a great amount of switch-ups and some fake competition. That’s why Crunch is my favorite gym, there’s just a flurry of awesome classes to choose from. Nike also offers super awesome free trainings.

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What’s your diet like and how does it work for you?

Blah. I can’t wait ’til money allows me to roll into Whole Foods with a big cart whenever needed. My diet when I’m focused is usually yogurt or oatmeal in the morning, lots of tea, a mid-morning snack of like trail mix, lunch is a very diverse salad with no damn cheese (sadness) or actually I’ve been having low sodium butternut squash soup from Trader Joe’s with chicken, kale and chia seeds with a piece of Tuscan whole wheat bread a lot. And dinner I try to be completely carb free and load up on vegetables and protein. My diet works as long as I prep the night before and re-up on groceries in a timely fashion. If those things aren’t in place, it’s wrap city for me, especially during that time of the month when all I want to do is be massaged in Nutella.

The media business, especially in dealing with entertainment, can be negative and extremely draining, so how do you find you find your zen space and decompress from work?

Man is this not the darkest part of the truth! I do a lot to keep my sanity intact. Peace of mind is my biggest life priority.

Okay, so I’m not completely consistent with this, but fuck man I’m getting there… because I have to. So in the evening I try my absolute best to not fall asleep, but to go to sleep. These are two completely different things. Going to sleep means peacing out on my computer and phone at least one hour before bed to give my brain a chance to slow down. Our membrane gets confused by the LCD lighting wondering if it’s really evening or actually daytime.

So during my last hour I read something along the lines of personal development. Right now, Battlefield of the Mind by my main, Joyce Meyer is a first pick up. Then I really just talk aloud to God, show gratitude ask for security and listen to this 15min audio of affirmations for women while I detangle my weave and lotion my feet, stuff like that. Also, I’m very into aromatherapy so I light some candles marketed to the hella stressed and I drink some special chamomile tea.

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In the morning, if my room is neat I will wake up extra early, if it’s a storm for some reason my body just wants to buried beneath it. Assuming the former however, my alarm clock goes off to Tony Robbins “Awaken The Giant Within” and I literally say out loud something to the effect of “Thank you God for this day, I will do my part in collaborating with you to make sure it’s the best it can be!” then I do some stretches and/or workout, meditate for like 15min, listen to my affirmations again, eat and be the fuck out.

If during the day I feel like crying, I let myself cry in private, but put a timer on it and I do a good amount of military breathing and talk God’s ear off. I also watch my beauty gurus on YouTube; makeup tutorials calm me all the way down for some reason.

This was all a lot right? I should’ve just said: candles, affirmations, prayer, reading, Tony Robbins, no technology before bed. Oh well. I enjoy scenic routes.

What are your intentions for your hashtag, #sweatwithTG?

Well I didn’t want snapshots of my workouts to be viewed as an exercise in narcissism and shallowness. The majority of folks on this planet are visual learners and so if repetition is the mother of learning… well damn Instagram is in the running for messiah of social networks. I really just wanted to create a hub within IG for folks to *join* me in building and sustaining an awesome lifestyle built on transferable energy, confidence and a nice ass. It also helps me with my own accountability lol.

What five songs do you currently turn to pump yourself up for or during a workout?

Awwww man! I feel endorphins rushing just off the thought these songs. Okay, here we go. In no particular order:

  • “About The Money” – T.I. ft. Young Thug
  • “Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO
  • “Ass Drop” – Wiz Khalifa
  • “7/11” – Beyonce
  • “Go Hard” – Nicki Minaj


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How do you plan to manifest the rest of your year?

Via prayer, meditation, vision boards, journaling, planning and most importantly motion.

Anything else you want to add?
For anyone who feels particularly discouraged and is dogging themselves like I sometimes do with internal conversations like “You should’ve never fallen off, now look at the work ahead of you.” Blah blah. Cut that shit out. You’re better than the version of you yesterday and you’re better than anyone whose favorite piece of equipment is a couch. Forgive yourself, then applaud yourself for getting back in the game and take the time to review what stopped your consistency in the past so you can turn a “losing” moment into a “learning” moment. And always remember, today’s challenge will one day be your warmup!

Keep up with Tracy G!

Instagram: itstracyg

Twitter: itstracyg

Sway in the Morning: M-F 8a-12p on Shade45

*All photos used with permission from Tracy G’s Instagram.

8 Common Mistakes To Avoid When You Are A Newbie Pole Dancer


Pole dancing is an addictive excellent workout. You build upper body and core strength, learn how to make incredibly difficult strength moves look graceful, and develop a sense of camaraderie with a unique group of people who understand what you go through. Newbies may find it hard or overwhelming to approach the sport. However, pole can be simplified by avoiding these 8 newbie mistakes when you start you are a newbie pole dancer.

Underestimating It

Sometimes people underestimate how hardcore pole dancing is. This is especially true for people who are athletic, or have an athletic background. Prior or current physical activity can be helpful, but pole is pole, and it requires a different approach than anything you’ve probably ever done. It requires a lot more strength and patience than you realize, so you are still going to have to work hard. You will also get bruises calluses, and be sore in places you didn’t even know could get sore. Check your ego, and be prepared to get your butt handed to you at some point. It’s all part of the process.

Underestimating Yourself

People often seem to think that they already have to be strong in order to do pole dancing, but nope! One of the major points of getting involved in pole dancing is to build up strength. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do pushups, or pull-ups, or that you don’t have a six-pack, or that you’re “too big.” Everyone has to start somewhere. For the record, there are plus sized pole dancers, petite pole dancers, deaf pole dancers, and pole dancers who are missing limbs (true story) all making it work! So, no more excuses!

Doing Too Much Too Soon

Pole newbies tend to be really eager to learn, which is good and bad. What’s bad about it is that newbies sometimes try to do moves that they may not have the muscle strength for just yet, like choppers, for example. Choppers are usually the first on-the-pole inversions that pole dancers work toward, but the right way to get into a chopper is to lift your knees with your core, not by kicking into it and haphazardly trying to throw yourself over. Some people may be able to chopper after only a few classes, while it may take others a full year. Pole dancing is not a race. It’s better to have correct form and strength than an injury so, be patient, cross train so that you can build up the appropriate strength for certain moves, and practice. Think about it this way: You have to crawl before you can walk, you have to walk before you can run, and you have to run before you can fly.

Not Getting A Spot

Get a spot anytime you feel unsure of a movement. Your instructor will be happy to assist you.

Using Incorrect Form

It’s important to have the proper amount of strength and know what your points of contact with the pole should be because this is what assists you with executing moves. If you practice with incorrect form, you won’t nail your tricks properly, or you could hurt yourself.

Comparing Yourself To Others

This is something all pole dancers struggle with at every level. Understand that what works for your body works for your body. Everyone progresses at different rates, people have different builds and flexibility that can affect a move so work on your own time, whatever that may be.

Not Checking The Pole Before Using It

How many YouTube and Vine compilations have you seen of pole dancing fails, probably a lot, right? So, yeah, be vigilant and check how secure that pole is every single time you get ready to practice. Give it a good yank!

Not Wearing The Right Clothes

Experienced pole dancers wear less clothes as they get more advanced because the skin is a point of contact, but newbies tend to overdo it. In the beginning, you can get away with wearing a shirt or longer shorts, but stay away from full on pants. You can wear your sweats for the warm up portion, but when class starts, make sure those pants are at least above the knee so that you can hook the pole with your knees without slipping.