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The Body Prjct: Blazing a Trail for Mental & Physical Health

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Adam Joseph Francique knows first-hand how important it is to bridge physical and mental wellness. That’s why both play a major role in the Body Prjct.

Adam Francique has always been a runner. And though he found ways to channel his passion into a litany of fitness clubs in New York City, he could not get over the lack of diversity within them.

That’s what spurred Francique to start the Body Prjct in 2016. The Body Prjct is a non-profit organization that aims to make sure people have resources available to them to maintain their health. Members can participate in yoga, HIT workouts, nutrition sessions, and more.

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As Francique built the Body Prjct, he pitched it to Adidas, which was eager to get on board. Francique already had a relationship with the Three Stripes, working as their Runners U.S. creative director — a role he has retained to this day as he helps others train for half and full marathons.

The organization seemed to provide everything Francique envisioned runners would need. That is, until 2020 and 2021 when he began to battle depression.

Francique doesn’t speak much about that time in his life — it’s his own personal journey, after all. But he credits therapy and a combination of his friends and family with helping him overcome his darkest days. Still, Francique felt like his intense physical training was not tapping into the mental aspect. So he had an idea to create something for people who may not have access to the resources he had during his depression.

It is called the Heal Prjct, which is a program under the Body Prjct.

“Immediately I knew I wanted to give back through the mental health sector but I wanted to identify runners that reminded me of me,” he said.

It’s part of what caused him to apply for a sizable grant through Adidas’ Honoring Black Excellence Initiative.

“Often initiatives around Black excellence focus on history rather than the present or future. Honoring Black Excellence is about acknowledging, appreciating and celebrating Black leaders who are here with us right now, driving change for today and a better tomorrow,” an Adidas statement from 2021 read.

That grant money didn’t stay in Francique’s pockets for long as he quickly invested it in building out the Body Prjct. The funds went toward a partnership with Therify, a Black-owned company that he bought therapy sessions from, then gave to Black and Brown runners for free. It was a tremendous success.

“We had over 200 applications in the first couple weeks. We funneled those runners to Therify for mental health services for free,” he said. “Some people got two months of free services and others received three months.”

Travis Basura was one Body Prjct member who took advantage of its mental health services.

“It meant a lot because I had always been curious about therapy as I’ve gotten older because it’s been a thing that some of my peers have done and they felt the benefits of it,” Basura said. “It was a perfect marriage of having the opportunity and time to try out something new.”

The friendly environment also played a part for Basura.

“It’s very welcoming, calm and explorative. It’s a really nice space for people to come and get active. In other group settings I’ve been in it isn’t like the Body Prjct but Adam makes it intimate, even with it being outdoors, that’s why people continue to support.”

Francique has found that the reason people flock to him is that they often do not realize they need help. There are also times when they know they need help but do not know how to find it.

“Adidas has allowed, supported, and enabled me to continue what I’ve already been doing, which is bring quality fitness alive by creating programming all over New York,” he said. “Whatever I receive I like to flip over to others and that may not have access to things so this journey has been very rewarding.”

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.