Working to eradicate the Fitness Industrial Complex
Body Liberation 2021 ANNUAL REPORT
Table of Contents
Land Acknowledgement..............................2 About Fitness4AllBodies...............................4 Fitness4AllBodies Structure......................10
Eradicating the Fitness Industrial Complex Panel Discussions...........................................11 Educational Courses.....................................14 Workshops & Healing Discussions........22 Patreon & Instagram Community.......24 Services..............................................................27 Fundraising Swing-A-Thon..................................................28 Financials...........................................................30 Core Collective Our Partners & Collaborators..................32 Fitness4AllBodies Family............................35
Land Acknowledgement We acknowledge that we are on the ancestral territory of I the Pawtucket, Nipmuck and Massachusett First Nations who are the continuous stewards of this land. We pay respect to their Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous people. We recognize that this land remains scarred by the histories and ongoing legacies of settler colonial violence, dispossession, and removal. In spite of all of this, and with tremendous resilience, these Indigenous nations have remained deeply connected to this territory, to their families, to their communities, and to their cultural ways of life.
Land Acknowledgement We recognize the ongoing relationships of care that these Indigenous Nations maintain with this land. We extend our gratitude as we live and work as respectful guests upon their territory. We encourage each of you to learn about and amplify the contemporary work of the Indigenous nations whose land you are on and to support Indigenous sovereignty and cultural work in all the ways that you can. We are all on Indigenous land. Please visit this website to learn more about the indigenous nations and further research how you can continually support indigenous sovereignty and cultural work in all the ways that you can. — Roc Rochon , Rooted Resistance
WHO IS FITNESS 4 ALL BODIES, LLC ABOUT Fitness 4 All Bodies (F4AB) was established in January 2020 after hosting our first in-person panel discussion about using a social justice lens when working with clients in fitness and wellness settings. This discussion included addressing larger systemic issues that affect how we work with bodies, including our own. This panel focused on bringing fitness professionals, gym,, and studio owners together to discuss what inclusion means and ways we can each work to create a sense of belonging for our clients and our larger fitness communities. F4AB recognizes that we can not create change alone and that it is through being connected as a larger community with a shared vision that change can truly happen. To us, change does not happen in the comfort of our silos and specialities but with the courage and a willingness to journey out across the divide.
WHO IS FITNESS 4 ALL BODIES, LLC MISSION Fitness 4 All Bodies teaches coaches, gym/studio owners, and people in the fitness industry to better understand how our bodies are connected to systems of oppression, how those systems are reinforced by the fitness industry, and how to develop a social justice lens and apply it to their work. We provide a space to come together from our fields of expertise to create new ideas and visions of what fitness can be in a way that honors and serves all of us without reinforcing patriarchal, white supremacist bodily ideals.
WHO IS FITNESS 4 ALL BODIES, LLC SEEDS OF GROWTH BELONGING Creating a sense of belonging. Creating an environment where we all feel comfort with being vulnerable. When we are working with bodies, we are working with whole people, whole identities that have been effected by what they have encountered all day. These stresses consist of aggressions and micro aggressions created by many of the issues we are going to discuss through out this course. Creating a sense of belonging is more about holding a space where it is ok for vulnerability to happen. LOOKING BACK We can’t understand ourselves today without looking back at our past. If we are reframing the ways in which we are connecting with ourselves and each other, its important to understand the roots of who, how, and where we have learned the ideas that we hold about ourselves and others. This looking back becomes a needed ritual, a daily process of understanding and examining who we are today.
WHO IS FITNESS 4 ALL BODIES, LLC SEEDS OF GROWTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership development is important. As we are reframing the ways we create fitness spaces, we will need to hold ourselves accountable to maintain these spaces within a larger toxic system. It’s not only about creating these spaces, but working to change systems that oppress us all. EDUCATION How are we framing our education? Who are we learning from about bodies? We believe that it is important to illuminate the voices and experiences of communities that have been oppressed, silenced and erased. We believe that learning and investing in these experiences are just as important as learning how, and why the body moves. Our courses will help to infuse more of a social justice conversation within the fitness industry.
WHO IS FITNESS 4 ALL BODIES, LLC SEEDS OF GROWTH HEALING With all of the things that we experience in a society that continues to police our bodies, we have to find more spaces to recover and rejuvenate. When we think about working with bodies, we emphasize healing and recovery. This is also true to the work we do as coaches - especially for BIPOC coaches, trainers instructors and gym owners. We believe that it is important to ensure we are always making space for healing, rejuvenation, and recovery.
Dismantling oppression and our role in it demands that we explore where we have been complicit in the system of body terrorism while employing the same compassion we needed to explore our complicity in our internalized body shame.
— Sonja Renee Taylor 9
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Panel Discussions Fitness 4 All Bodies was established in January 2020 with our first panel discussion at Achieve Fitness in Somerville, MA. Together, we were able to create a space where we could challenge our ideas about fitness, wellness, and movement. This space was dedicated to making space for bodies that are normally demonized, ostracized, and criticized when they are a part of gym spaces. We used this space to talk about inclusion and what it means to create a sense of "belonging" and moved together to understand what our clients experience during sessions. Specifically, that being in our bodies is often a vulnerable spaces because of ideas of body image and its association with our worth.
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Panel Discussions After this workshop, we were asked by other communities to bring these teachings to them. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved our programming online. Ultimately, this allowed us to reach even more participants and fitness professionals than previously anticipated. We were able to create a continued dialogue about what inclusion means in the fitness industry. Our panel discussions have been our most well attended events throughout this year.
2021 Panel Discussions Using Our Stories to Eradicate Toxic Masculinity in Fitness Culture
A Movement Towards Healing & Resistance: Black Trans, Femme Embodied Women and Non-Binary Bodies in Fitness
Deconstructing Ableism: Experiences of Disability & Illness in Fitness
Yoga as an Anti-Oppression Practice
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses This year we established a 6-week cohort-based course focused on challenging the ideas we hold about fitness, especially ideologies we have learned through certifications, schools, and institutions. This course includes discussions focused on interrogating what it means to be "fit" and the ways we oppress each other and separate ourselves from our own bodies. This is echoed by Sonja Renee Taylor: "Dismantling oppression and our role in it demands that we explore where we have been complicit in the system of body terrorism while employing the same compassion we needed to explore our complicity in our internalized body shame." We think it is crucial to name this force that terrorizes our bodies so we can examine our relationship to it, challenge it, and work toward change. We have identified this structure of power as the Fitness Industrial Complex.
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex What is the Fitness Industrial Complex? "The Fitness Industrial Complex defines and maintains power over our bodies through the lens of privilege. These mainstream ideas teach us what it means to be fit and well in our bodies determined by race, gender, identity, ability, and body shape. These mainstream ideas reinforce stereotypes about the identities and bodies of BIPOC, Queer, poor, and communities with disabilities. The Fitness Industrial Complex is maintained by private companies that gain huge profits from diet and fitness culture as well as the propaganda it spreads about health and wellness; increasing influence of athletic bodies and sports; and eliminating any social dissent to prevailing ideas about bodies, health, and wellness that illuminate our true experience of the industry." — Justice Williams
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses Deconstructing Fitness Culture: Identifying Power Dynamics & Moving Toward Connection This course takes place over six weeks, includes weekly live discussions, take home assignments, and a private discussion space for participants. Completion of this program requires participants to submit a presentation about an idea or element about inclusion within the fitness industry. Through these discussions, lectures, and assignments, our goal of this course is to understand and define what the Fitness Industrial Complex is and how we can reshape our personal fitness practices. This includes identifying the role of fitness in perpetuating white supremacist cishetero patriarchal capitalist society and how we need to instigate change at the most foundational level. In terms of participants, we have eighteen attendees for our Spring 2021 cohort, four attendees for Summer 2021, and five participants for our Fall 2021 cohort.
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses "It's really incredible. You have brought together such a wonderful group of folks for this and the chance to interact and reflect and discuss topics and materials with one another in small groups and then larger group is really unique to other courses and it's really a critical piece for connection" — Michelle Farrell "I am humbled to be a part of the conversations, the experience and this cohort. I'm learning but more importantly unlearning a lot along the way. As I embark on this journey within myself to show up the way I want to for others around me, I'm filled with gratitude to be in classes. I really like the content, the exercises and like I said I enjoy journal prompts. I'm getting more into writing as a way to express myself so having that option is great during the homework exercises. Whether people release by writing, thinking or creating art. I think they are good exercises even if it's not discussed." — Krystal Marhong
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses Reframing Masculinity & Gym Culture Taking place over three weeks, this course features weekly, three-hour meetings for lectures and discussion, and take home work for a total of 9 hours of continuing education. The goal of this course is to explore performative manliness, the history and construction of masculinity, and how fitness is both a product and agent of producing specific forms of masculinity. In order to complete this course, participants must submit a short presentation about what they learned from the course and how it will effect their work in fitness going forward.
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses Eugenics: The Science of Separation This course takes place over three weeks and includes weekly, three-hour long meetings featuring lectures and discussions as well as take home work for a total of 9 hours of continuing education. The content of this course focuses on the role that eugenics and the institution of science has played in creating ideas of standardization, “health,” and other metrics used to quantify, categorize, and objectify bodies from a white supremacist cis-hetero patriarchal lens. Participants are required to submit a short presentation detailing what they've learned and how this information will shape their work in fitness going forward in order to receive their certificate of completion.
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Educational Courses In 2021, we held two sessions of Reframing Masculinity with a total of 11 participants. We held one session of our Eugenics course with a total of four participants.
Example of a final project from our Reframing Masculinity course
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Workshops & Healing Discussions We created our workshops as a way to partner with other educators in the field and demonstrate how to use a social justice lens in creating programming. This series has allowed us to focus on specialized topics within fitness and compensate community members for sharing their expertise. Some workshops were hosted as one-time events, whereas others have now been solidified as long-term partnerships. Reoccurring monthly workshops include our Calling All White Women series, hosted in partnership with Jess Thompson from getFIT615, and our Brown Bag Healing Discussions, hosted in partnership with Damali Fraiser of Lift Off Strength & Wellness. The former serves as a container for white women in fitness to confront their specific ideologies and behaviors and the latter is a healing space for Black, Brown, and Indigenous fitness professionals to come together and connect. We have also started hosting a monthly conversation space for cis- and trans-identified men, hosted by therapist John Bridger, to discuss ideas of masculinity across experiences.
The Colonization of the Black Body Calling All White Women The Hidden History of the Kettlebell Culture Lifting & the Inner Core
2021 Workshops & Healing Spaces Brown Bag Healing Discussion For Black & Indigenous Fitness Professionals Reframing Masculinity: Honoring Our Authentic Selves
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Patreon & Instagram Communities Our Patreon community is dedicated to providing tierbased subscription content including workouts hosted by F4AB-affiliated fitness professionals, recordings of panels and conversations, and exclusive content such as Meet the Coach discussions and Virtual Gym Walkthroughs—both of which are discussions held by F4AB volunteers to consider how other fitness professionals are applying F4AB-aligned principles to their spaces and practices.
96 Patrons | $824 Monthly Revenue as of December 15, 2021 Our Instagram is focused on providing announcements about upcoming programming, live discussions with educators and community members, and educational content about fitness culture and history. For example, during November 2021, in anticipation of Trans Day of Remembrance, we hosted four weekly IG Live discussions with gender diverse people, a community workshop, and history-based discussion about TDoR.
Meet The Coach Workouts
Virtual Gym & Studio Walkthroughs Moving Outside the Lines Podcast Panel Replays
2021 Patreon Community
2021 Instagram Community
We reached 3,000+ followers in our first year
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Services This year F4AB established consulting and speaking services including a service titled "Culture Checks." These Culture Checks are facilitated by Justice Williams and include conversations with gym/studio owners, staff, instructors, and assessment of marketing content such as websites and social media accounts. Through these discussions, Williams provides specific action items about how gym/studio and institution spaces need to shift their ideologies about fitness, bodies, and people and how that reflects in their messaging. This year, we were able to provide this service with the first cooperatively run gym in the United Kingdom, Bristol Cooperative Gym, and Strive & Uplift in Seattle, Washington. In 2021, Williams presented virtually at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and at Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Both presentations centered around wellness, inclusion, and trans affirming care and spaces.
First Annual Swing-A-Thon July 3rd, 2021 A Day of Body Liberation
On July 3, 2021, we hosted a virtual swing-a-thon where community members set goals for how many times they would swing a kettlebell at certain time intervals and asked their friends and family to make monetary pledges based on their total swings.
52 Participants | $5,820 Raised, $1745 Donated to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society 28
Swing-A-Thon | July 3, 2021 Day of Body Liberation
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex 2021 Financials & 2022 Goals In 2021, we established ourselves as an LLC, launched our first year of regularly scheduled educational programming, our Patreon page, held our first fundraiser, and launched our consulting services.
IN 2022 Twelve Calling All White Women workshops (monthly) Twelve Brown Bag Healing Space meetings (monthly) Three Deconstructing the Fitness Industrial Complex cohort sessions Move Reframing Masculinity & Eugenics courses to selfpaced, asynchronous modes of delivery Coordinate an in-person conference (Spring 2022) Submit manuscript for anthology project (forthcoming publish date 2023-2024) Relaunch Queer Gym Pop Up programming Host second annual Swing-A-Thon with $7,000 funding goal Fund two salaried staff positions by EOY total of $110,000
2021 Income Donations 12.4% Panels, Courses & Workshops 26.8%
Projected 2022 Income Panels 20% Services 35%
Courses & Workshops 30%
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Partnerships, Collaboration, and Supporters B. Silverstien CATHARTIC KINESIS The Women's Strength Coalition Ground Up barbell Chrissy King Coach Saneeta Renee Pull For Pride Handi Capable Fitness Lift Off Strength & Wellness Disabled Girls Who Lift Jabbie App one kakana getFIT615 Tony Gentilcore Rooted Resistance Omnis Fitness Sonja R Price Herbert Move with Marcia Black Girl Pilates Lauren Leavell Fitness Achieve Fitness Super Fit Heros Nonnormative Body Club Body Positive Fitness Alliance Strive & Uplift Matt Watts Fitness NoTalentBattleFitness Straight Up Strong Trans Embodiment Project Katie Shiller Film PUSH Fitness Vibez Fitness Olipop Martin Reid Lift with Holly & Arryn Sarah Polacco
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Partnerships, Collaboration, and Supporters Sam McLean Swing-A-Thon Ruby Smith Diaz Ashley Barry Adele Jackson Kate Hardy Queer Scouts Marjorie Francis The Powerlifting Social Worker Kayleigh Miller Pilates Barre n Jams Jon Lyons B Free Wellness Sarah Petty Tough Love Strength Club Jennifer Gentilini Positive Force Movement Stephanie Lin KettlebellGains Meghan Morley Coach Kent Edwards Sarah Henderson Strength with Purpose Bethany Grant-Rodriguez North Country Kettlebells Juniper Trill Fit Jessica Rode Coach RT Anna Nettles Shockyard Fitness Nooel C Anna Claire Loper Catie Borzillo
Eradicating The Fitness Industrial Complex Partnerships, Collaboration, and Supporters Jess Thompson Jen Borruso Laura Wenger Asher Freeman Erin E. Lingle Michelle Farrell Roc Rochon Sara Gagnon Dominique Lim Jack Xander Taylor Elaine DiFeliciantonio Jill McLean Ruth Johnson Matt Turnquist Julie Smith-Bartoloni Lizelle R Din Julie Shiller Cara Turnquist Eilish Kidd Krystal Marhong Cara Gilmore Anonymous Donor Katie Dawkins Jessica Brock Pitts Jo Quest-Neubert Jenna M Jozefowski Laura Agosto Ren Caldwell Sara DeGray