One of the things I like very much about the CrossFit coaches at my
gym box is that they are very kind. Wait—I don’t mean kind. I mean that the coaches effectively explain the purpose of workouts and how I can achieve that purpose. I mean that they communicate clearly that there is no shame in scaling movements. I mean that that they don’t embarrass me or anyone else about our lack of fitness. Is that kindness?
It is not.
It’s basic human decency and professionalism. It’s what I should expect from each and every other person I interact with during the day. But it’s so fucking rare, especially at a gym, that it feels like overwhelming kindness. So much so, that it’s occasionally grating. “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE EXTRA NICE TO ME BECAUSE I’M FAT!!!” I want to scream. They’re not, of course. They’re paying the same attention to me as any other client with some special needs, as they do the injured, the fit, and anyone else who needs modifications for whatever reason to the
prescribed Rx’d workouts.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the intersections of feminism, fat acceptance, the health at any size movement, and my own frustrations and insecurities. These aren’t new thoughts, but I find it telling that I am so much fucking less tolerant of fat shaming bullshit now that I’m exercising regularly. I shouldn’t have ever tolerated that bullshit, and I have to be constantly vigilant that my self-encouragement doesn’t take the form of fat shaming my former self (or anyone else!). It’s a weird but interesting place to be in.
So. I am being kinder to myself, and other people are being regular decent human beings, and all is right with the world.
Also, I fucking love squats.