George Floyd death: Personal trainer reflects, shares insight into experience as black American

The days following the death of George Floyd have been emotionally draining for black Americans who are processing it in a way that many other Americans will never understand.

As a personal trainer, Christa Shelton is committed to motivating others, but right now, she admits that showing up is hard.

"It's been rough to be honest," Shelton said, reflecting on a recent day before work when she had to pull herself together.

"I was wiping away tears and it took everything within me to focus and zero in on being there for my clients when I desperately needed to be there for myself in that moment."

She flagged a quote she came across on social media which she says describes her experience, being in "a constant emotional war" as a black person.

Shelton says she's been trying to channel her raw emotions into action by educating and talking to her white friends and clients about what's going on, while simultaneously fighting the notion that it may not be appropriate.

"I feel things, and job or no job, this is reality, and this could be me. This could be my nephews, this could be my best friend."

Shelton is calling on those who want to help to do more than just post on social media.

"It is time for people to mobilize and come together and help to amplify our voices, because our voices are clearly not enough. The voice of George Floyd pleading for his life was not enough," she said.

During the interview with Eyewitness News, which took place hours before a police station in Minneapolis was set on fire, Shelton said she does not encourage looting or stealing.

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"But what I'm saying is before people place judgment on people and how they are reacting to something, go back to the root and let's remember why we're there in the first place."

She ended in the interview with an African proverb which reads as follows: "The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth."

"I feel that just ties in to what I'm saying about really being careful about how you judge and how you look at people and how they respond to things."
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