Upon hearing that La La Anthony is planning on participating in a 5K, it might raise an eyebrow. Don’t let the glam fool you, though. The star says she’s been partaking in all sorts of sports and activities since she was a kid.
“I played sports growing up. I’m such a tomboy,” she tells ESSENCE. “I was the girl in the dirt and the grass. I played basketball in high school, which I loved, and I’m super competitive. It’s the competitive spirit in me that’s like, ‘Oh no, I’m going to accomplish this.'”
Her competitive spirit isn’t the only thing that has Anthony partnering for the Special 5K with Kelloggs’ Special K and Black Girls RUN! She’s hitting the ground running (or walking, which is totally fine) for a good cause — to feed the hungry. While a 5K, if you’ve never done it, can be intimidating, she’s not backing down.
“If I’m going to be in something I’m going to be in something,” she says. “What I like about it is you can be a beginner, you can be a seasoned vet when it comes to 5Ks or just running in general. I’m not a marathon runner. I’m definitely looking at the 5K like, ‘Ok! We’re going to have to take this slow.'”
You can certainly walk, jog or do the race in whatever way is most comfortable for you. For every 5k logged by those registered, donations will be made to Feeding America toward their goal of reaching 2.5 million meals. And there’s no rush to get to it. The race can be completed anytime from now to June 30th.
Aside from helping others though, Anthony also sees the race as a way to do something great for yourself. As mentioned, she’s competitive, so the multi-hyphenate is teaming up with her friends and family to reach the five miles. She is excited to be back in beast mode in regards to activity after the pandemic took away people’s discipline and motivation, including her own.
“There were times where I was like, ‘I’m not going to let this get to me. I’m going to be focused. I’m going to eat right. I’m going to work out,'” she says. “Then I had moments where I was like, ‘I don’t even care anymore. It doesn’t even matter!’ It went up and down, which I think was the case for a lot of people.'”
She adds, “I think now everyone is trying to find a way to get back into it, that’s why I say, this Special 5K is a great launching pad.”
In preparation for the run, she’s been using a spin bike at home, sometimes even just for 15 minutes, which is best for her packed schedule. Even the shortest bursts of movement make a difference because consistency is key, which La La says she’s working on.
“I’m definitely an all or nothing kind of person. When I go hard it’s crazy. I’m eating so strict and working out like a maniac. Then when I’m done I’m just done,” she says. “‘I said I was going to do that for a month. It’s been a month and I’m done!’ It’s finding that consistency of something you can keep up for your life because it’s a lifestyle change.”
Admittedly, it’s not easy. The star, who is a producer and actress, is surrounded by craft tables on sets covered in delectable foods at all times. She is currently trying to curb her cravings and temper temptation by bringing her own prepared food and healthy snacks on set.
Speaking of her career, as serious as she’s taking the run and preparation for it, she’s also taking very seriously her domination of multiple lanes in entertainment. Anthony’s producing a horror comedy called Juju with Issa Rae and is currently a star on The Chi as well as the upcoming second season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga. Her true passion right now is acting, and when asked what the common thread is between the characters she chooses to portray, she says she goes for women whose stories are similar to real-life experiences she has had in some way.
“With Lakeisha from Power, there was a need and want to be loved and she finally thought she found that in Tommy and it was, ‘you’re going to love me no matter what. I don’t care what you do and what your lifestyle is, I just want to be loved,'” she says. “With The Chi, Dom is just trying to figure out, ‘I want to be a chef and get out of this environment I grew up in but how do I do that? How do I chase my dreams when I’m going outside and seeing people killed every day and I just feel like I’m never going to get out of here?’ I know what that feels like. That trapped kind of feeling. Wu-Tang, it’s a music executive who actually is the woman who helped sign the Wu-Tang Clan, so I’m tapping into my MTV days and my love for music. So just always finding something in these characters that I can hold onto and say, ‘I remember what that felt like.’ That’s always very helpful for me.”
While her acting roles are where her heart is right now, her mind is still on that Special 5K. In spreading the word about it, and the good it will do, she’s hoping to get as many people involved as possible, including her son Kiyan.
“I’m just encouraging everybody to not be scared. We’re going to do it together and it’s going to be a really fun time. One K at a time,” she says. “Kiyan is the only person who will fly through this. He’ll get it done so quick and not even think twice, but me? I’m going one K at a time.”
Learn more and get registered to do your part over at SpecialK.com.