Rolling Out

Que Parnell explains what inhibits personal growth

Que Parnell helps athletes and others prepare for the future

The word “monumental” means a lot to Que Parnell, and she created a program called The Monumental Impact, which helps athletes tackle common issues that can consume their lives emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Parnell spoke with rolling out about how she overcame obstacles in her life and how it led her to create the program.

Is there ever a time when you spoke down on yourself but didn’t realize you were? What were you saying to yourself then, and when did you become conscious of it?

Absolutely. Growing up, I was always one that never really had to study. I could go to school, listen to the teacher, and I’d be doing my homework while I was in class and it was all good. It worked when I was in high school and when I went to undergrad. I went to pharmacy school to get my doctorate in pharmacy, and I showed up the same way, but on my very first exam in pharmacy school, I got a 58.

I emailed my teacher first because something had to be wrong. I never knew how to study because I never had to. When I got the 58, I couldn’t drop out. I couldn’t stop because I already took out loans and Sallie Mae is going to want her money back. I had a lot of doubts, and I had a lot of fears. I soaked in my sorrows for about a day or two because the next exam was coming up, and I was like it is what it is. But that lesson taught me that it is a strength to ask for help and not a weakness to ask for help. I think that in today’s society, we all feel like it’s me against the world. I don’t need anybody. I got this figured out when, in reality, asking for help is a strength because if somebody’s already been through it and can give you the pathway, you don’t have to go five miles to take one step. Take that one step and go ask for help.

Do you think having pride is a part of being Black?

I think so. I say that because we have a history of feeling like we have something to prove and feeling like we have something to prove. It’s like, “I don’t need nobody, I don’t need your help. I don’t need your assistance. I don’t need anything, I can do this by myself.” It’s really detrimental to your growth. I do believe that it’s definitely something cultural, and then especially for women who say they’re a strong Black woman — “I’m Superwoman. I’m a super wife. I’m a super mom. I’m super everything…” — where you feel like you have to live up to so many different titles. In doing so, you’re really hurting yourself, burning yourself out, and mentally messing up your own thought processes. It’s not healthy.

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