HOUSTON – Neighbors keep each other up-to-date on crime alerts, missing pets, block parties and all sorts of things. But a social media message that we recently went out in Lakeside Estates was unlike any other.
An African-American resident sent out an alert, warning his neighbors that he would be out training in sweat pants and a hoodie.
“Anyone who is trying to lose weight for a fitness competition knows that’s how you do it,” William Scott.
Scott said he knows his outfit of choice may raise some suspicion and that alarming his neighbors is the last thing he wants to do. When the husband and father isn’t pumping iron at the gym, you’ll find him jogging the streets of his neighborhood during the early morning hours or late at night.
“It’s June, July and August and I’m going to be walking around with a hood and the hood on, big sweat pants so it’s kind of suspicious-looking if someone is walking around in 100-degree weather with a sweatsuit on,” Scott said.
Scott added the message he posted, first on NextDoor and then Facebook. He said it was a way for him to introduce himself to the community and an opportunity to ask for encouragement.
“From my perspective, its what I needed to do to make sure I was safe. I just want people to know that I’m here, don’t be afraid, don’t call the police on me and if you see me give me a high five,” Scott said.
Since he first posted the message, Scott has received a ton of feedback wishing him the best.
“It’s go get em'! We support you. watch out for the heat,” Scott said.
He said the social media post also opened the door to a much deeper more meaningful conversation.
“I wish we didn’t have to have these conversations for sure but look I am 6 foot tall, 220 pounds, walking in a sweatsuit with a hoodie on at 6 o’clock in the morning, Scott said. “A couple of responses have been, you know look, I’ve never had to send out a post to let people know I was jogging and I’m sorry you feel like you have to. That obviously hits home.”
The bodybuilding competition is in September. Scott said a few of the neighbors he’s met have asked him if they could join him for his workout.