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Healthy Man of the Month – June 2014

By on June 1, 2014
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Jordan Kelly Mitchell is not yet 30 years old and has surfed all over the world, having fun, breaking stereotypes.

“For years my weekend routine was very consistent. On Saturday and Sunday mornings my father would have me read newspaper articles and write essays on them. If they were to his liking and satisfaction I was released to the neighborhood and free to roam the city of Los Angeles with my friends.”

Today Kelly is a Morehouse College graduate and credits his childhood upbringing with his interest exploring new things. The Los Angeles native comes from parents who were both teachers, definitely influencing his career path as an educator.

“I always had a natural appeal to the beach. Traveling to different countries stemmed from my father who loved to travel.”

Now that he has the time and resources, he surfs all over the world with his own equipment. Surfing really became a mainstay in his life in 2011, when he was close to the beach and able to immerse himself.


 “I’ve surfed in Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. I plan to keep this going for as long as I can.”  

But surfing is not a cheap sport, initial basic costs hover around $1000 for a surfboard and wet suit and compared to basketball which require shoes and a ball. This may explain the overall lack of participation among African Americans. Kelly himself admits to having invested tens of thousands of dollars surfing.

Ironically, Kelly is also a surf instructor and says Black women generally seem much more interested compared to the guys.

I feel good to be an African American vanguard of the sport from the LA area. There are just a few of us doing it and I get a definite sense of satisfaction.

“I want to have the best quality of life as long as I have life. I know the only way to do that is to challenge and engage myself in situations that require the best of me or all of me.”

To stay in top shape, Kelly has a rotating workout that depends on the weather and waves. He runs two miles and then does a mile worth of wind sprints, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, etc. No weights. To mix it up, he says he also loves long bike rides – 25-35 mile rides and plays tennis too.

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Kelly says people can start with a personal challenge and ride a bike for 5, 10 miles, time yourself, do it regularly, and begin running, etc. So what’s next for the Healthy Man of the Month? Kelly says he’s interested in pursuing law school and also surfing in Hawaii. We’d bet money that he’ll excel on both fronts.


Walker Tisdale is editor of Healthyblackmen.org and resides in Atlanta, GA.