I wanted to sit down and write something useful in March, but ultimately failed to convince myself that I had anything helpful to share. We were still trying to grasp the potential severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, and deep down I knew some happy-go-lucky, "just do some yoga and breathing exercises and explore a new hobby post" would not only be silly, but completely ignorant of how complicated the whole situation would become. Still, my privelege allowed me to stay home and wait things out.
I wanted to sit down and write something positive in April, to highlight how we are navigating our new normal. There are more than a few Instagram posts of me rambling on about things to do at home but I'm not going to lie, that was not entirely for you. I needed the project - the distraction - of home fitness videos to make myself feel like I was doing something when in reality, I felt as unproductive as ever. Still, my privelege allowed me to feel listless and unfocused.
I wanted to sit down and write something passionate in May. Not only were some of my favorite races canceled or rescheduled due to the pandemic, but I found myself withdrawing from a race for the first time ever because actions taken by the race director went against everything I stand for personally and professionally. For a moment, I was ready to get on my virtual soapbox and scream, but soon realized even this was not worth giving screen space to. My privelege allowed me to just walk away from something that had made me upset.
But today, today I have to write something.
Because I see the pain of oppression and systemic racism, compounded by the toll that Covid-19 has taken on minority communities, and I realize that even my worst days are so profoundly influenced by my position of privelege. To have a home to complain about being stuck in. To run and not worry about being a target because of my skin color. To have distractions when that big scary world is just "too much". I can step away. I can turn off. I can have peace and quiet any time I please.
So it is my duty as a business owner to make it abundantly clear:
Some businesses shy away from talking about their personal core values. They don't want to risk scaring off potential customers by being too bold or political. This speaks to how dollars are valued more than lives. I am here to say that if someone thinks making a statement about human rights is "too political", that is a sale I am perfectly fine to miss.
At the end of the day, I will still give the same care and regard to every client, even if our values do not completely align. But like many businesses are not allowing people to shop without a protective face covering, I will not allow racism, insensitivity, or ignorance in my fitness space.
And I hope that my clients who have been subjected to prejudiced behavior because of their skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or religion will let me know what I can do to continue to make my fitness space a safe space.