Hey y'all, hey!! The semester is getting busy, but here's what I've been up to.
- Recently I approached a couple of organizations: my local housing authority and The Welcome Project about offering free fitness classes to their constituents. With the housing authority, I got a call the next day. It turns out that they've been wanting to develop a senior fitness program, and we set up a meeting for tomorrow. With The Welcome Project, I got a phone call within a day or so, and I'm scheduled to start next Saturday at 3.
- I recently applied to be a recess helper at the elementary school next door, and I got fingerprinted for that yesterday.
- Because so much of this is new to me, I've been looking for mentors and opportunities to learn about different aspects of the field. On Monday, I have 2 meetings set up, and I'm really grateful for people who take time out of their day to speak with me and answer my questions.
- I got my first AFAA magazine in the mail and a real live membership card. I almost feel official. tee hee
- My group exercise instructor certification exam is this Saturday, and I am feeling a bit more confident about the multiple choice test.
- On Sunday I completed my first Tough Mudder and today I signed up for my first half marathon!
- In the next few weeks I'll be putting together my Punk Rope! certification video.
- I got asked to be on the Fit2Point0 Leadership Team and am now a provisional board member for Body Love 4 All. I'm really happy for these new opportunities.
- I'm applying for grants to fund my work.
- My foray into YouTube videos has been a good time! My silent fitness films are a hoot to make.
- I'm giving a few presentations on Black feminist fitness this school year!
- I'm leading "Instant Recess," a 10-minute weekly workout at my office.
Things I'm Processing
- When I talk to some fitness professionals, they assume that I want to take their classes. I went into my local rec center yesterday, and the director assumed that I was there looking for classes to take, not classes to teach.
- In Zumba yesterday, a woman told me that I look good, but then told me that I can't take a compliment. I just can't fall all over myself because someone noticed that my body is different, but even when I say this in a nice way, I'm told that I'm wrong.
- I am constantly asked to use my "weight loss success story" to sell assorted supplements and shakes. I am committed to never selling anything because I feel that fat people have been preyed on enough. I'm also committed to poor people.
- There was a discussion in a FB group that I'm in about whether certifications are worth pursuing. Someone mentioned that people can build networks without them just by going out and being social. First off, I believe in knowing what I'm talking about and being able to explain it to people who have entrusted me with their bodies. In addition, the sad truth is that as a fat Black woman in New Hampshire, I know that I have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have. (Remember when Daddy Pope broke it down for Olivia? Ain't y'all glad that Scandal is back?) Well it's true. I see how networking opens doors for certain people, and while I'm not hating, I ain't sleep neither. I can't just walk into a space and be read in particular ways. It's frustrating that my body doesn't allow it. (I think there's more there that I want to write about. My sistafriend Samira NAILED it when she said, "I just think about how much of health/fitness talk casts black folks as educable rather than as instructors." She's so smart.)
- I am very excited that my brown body is welcome in spaces that cater to brown bodies, but I wonder what that means for my future here in New Hampshire.
- I am going for a Zumba license in about a month, and I'm grappling with cultural appropriation.
- White supremacy is running all up and through the body positivity world, but that ain't new. What is new to me is the tension between people of various sizes within the community.
If you're digging what you see here, catch me on social media.
"Wrong Is Not My Name: Black Feminist Fitness"
Instagram and YouTube: blackfeministfitness
Twitter & Periscope: feministfitness