Abelism, Intersectionality and Fitness

This is something that I've thought on for a good bit as I ponder about the intersectionality and the exclusivity of fitness. Are we being inclusive of those around us that would love to be able to participate in fitness but aren't able to do so? When I first began in the fitness and health space, it was all about extremes and tbh, I still venture into that space. I think how ridiculous that is now just thinking of those that may find it hard to run one mile PERIOD. Marathon runners might post an instagram story of "only 3 miles today" and I just think "NO BE PROUD OF THAT!" We are ALL at different points and I want to celebrate everyone. 

As I stepped away this year and started seeing others who were doing the things that I was doing before, I just started thinking about how I wasn't really able to do those things (albeit because of some seemingly choices of my own doing), but what about those that weren't choosing to have to sit on the sidelines? What about someone who had their entire identity in a sport and then got injured? What about someone who has MS? Or someone who was born with a congenital birth defect and paralyzed from the waist down and doesn't even know what running feels like? 

Do we think about the fact that black women must feel so out of place when they show up to marathons to the sea of white runners? I cannot even fathom what it would feel like as I sync into the start line with everyone that looks exactly like me. 

If someone is not able to physically run, and they would like to take care of their physical health, how can we help them to do so? But while we are helping them to be able to feel like they can participate, how do we make it so that they ACTUALLY feel normal because no one wants to be someone's little 'project'. They simply want a safe space to be able to take care of their body just the same as you or me and for someone to not call them "brave" by doing so. 

When we speak self love and companies reach towards campaigns that are inclusive of everyone, I do think about those in wheel chairs and how it must be so hard to maintain a healthy life (if they so desire to do so). 

My heart breaks for the girls with eating disorders who are rampant in the fitness space while at the same time not allowed there. They most likely WANT to be able to run marathons but yet can't seem to figure out how to fuel their bodies appropriately to be able to do so and when they go through recovery are basically told to be very careful to ever be into hardcore fitness. 

I think that it's important that we think about the ways in which we are privileged to perform different fitness regimens and activities and how those around us might not be able to. I think it's also VITALLY important that we don't afix a moral value to health and fitness and that it is PERFECTLY okay if someone is not interested PERIOD. End of story. There is no slap on the wrist for this.

These are simply thoughts that I ponder and I've never actually met someone who was in a wheelchair that had an interest in fitness, and I have to wonder, is that because of shame or because of actual general interest or simply just a sheltered life? 

I also think about bodies that might be larger but are in the pear shape and how that's more culturally appealing than someone who might be larger with a pear shape or spongebob shape. We see many pages that are body positive but MOST of the time, they still fit the beauty standards and the beauty ideals with an hour glass shape, big booties, and curves. 

I'm learning SO SO much about the areas of oppression and the areas of privilege in our society and watching very carefully and trying to be mindful. I have always been thin, so I have never experienced the things that my clients tell me they have experienced that I work with in Shelby. It makes me sad.

If the word intersectionality means nothing to you, it's just basically the crossing between gender, race, culture, and anything that you identify as and how all of those play on one another for the person that you have become based on the experiences that you have had and the way that you've been treated. For example, a black African American female who is lesbian is going to have an entirely different outlook on health and wellness than I will as a white Caucasian heterosexual female. 

I want everyone to know that they are welcome here on this blog and hopefully I can shed some light in these spaces for anyone and everyone that they can find useful to put into practice in their lives. I truthfully like to open up my eyes if I spoke in the wrong way on this blog post. If you are someone that knows more about this space, then feel free to comment or email me at katiesfitscript@gmail.com. I'm all ears and want to learn how to be more inclusive. Thank you for reading my stream of consciousness today! <3

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