For years all I posted to this blog were bootcamp ideas. Not surprising, I know, because it is the name of the site after all.
I also knew that those were the posts that got the most clicks from readers. When I posted about my opinion on business, mindset or other topics it often fell flat.
In fact, I remember posting something related to running a business once and got a curt reply from a reader, ‘These emails are boring, please only send me workout ideas.’
That was enough for me to hide in my shell again. Back to the comfort of just sharing unopinionated workout ideas.
Last year that changed though. I still had things inside me that needed to be said about running a business and being part of the fitness industry. Despite the odd person not getting it, I knew that if I wanted to create positive change in our industry I needed to speak up about things that matter.
And that is why today I need to be very clear and state for myself and on behalf of the Bootcamp Ideas community that Black Lives Matter.
Initially, I resisted writing about this. I didn’t want to post about breaking news. I didn’t want to react. I didn’t want to be just another white person sending an empty message. I didn’t want to offend anyone.
And then my very wise wife pointed out that it was my privilege to stay quiet.
I am under no illusion that much of my success in life has come from being a straight, tall, white male. The privileges that come from just looking the way I do, are far reaching.
I don’t fear walking at night. Or driving in my car. Or taking my daughter to the park.
Living here in Australia, it would be easy for me to look at what is happening in the US right now and say it’s not my problem. That it’s too far away.
But this problem is all of ours. It’s a festering sickness that bubbles beneath the surface in all multicultural societies and it’s just that now we are being forced to look at it. And as uncomfortable, as heart-wrenching, as foolish as that can make us feel, we need to.
We all know someone who identifies as a person of colour. This amazing, supportive community that has gathered around Bootcamp Ideas includes Black trainers. My 2 nephews who I love dearly have a father from DRC. I have distant Black relatives in the US who share the same surname as my Mum.
We are more connected than we realise. This is not a problem for people of one skin colour, this is a problem for all of us.
Here in Australia we are not without sin either, having built our success and privileged life on land that never belonged to us. Injustice is still rife here and there is a huge community of people who are struggling because of racism, disconnection from culture and a lack of opportunities.
I want to help. Like I said earlier, I don’t want these words to be empty.
Here’s 2 ways I’ve thought of that I can help:
- If you are a Black reader of this website, I want to let you share your story about being a Black person in the fitness industry. Send it to me in a format that you’d like to share (written, video, audio, etc.). Whether it’s struggles you’ve faced in the industry as a POC or advice you’d like to share or just a great workout idea, my platform is your platform.
- Here in Australia I want to do something too. For a while I have been wanting to donate a portion of BootCraft’s earnings to charities, so from now, each month I’ll be donating 1% of BootCraft’s earnings to Indigenous Australian causes like Pay The Rent.
Let’s, as a community (remember when I was telling you how amazing and supportive you are?), help our Black brothers and sisters (and grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, nieces, nephews and cousins) feel included, respected and safe when they are with us, whether that’s in a class we’re running or while chatting in a Facebook group.
Don’t look away.
Update 15/6/2020: After some great email conversations with members of the community and my team I’ve realised I need to read and learn more and come up with a plan for how we can make Bootcamp Ideas more diverse and even more welcoming in the future.
Here are some resources I’ve found helpful for non-BIPOC business owners wanting to learn about anti-racism and diversity:
- REIMAGINING SMALL BUSINESS: A town hall to listen, learn & commit to building equitable, anti-racist organizations
- SPI 426: Black Entrepreneurs Speak Out, Volume 1
- Unlocking Us: Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist
I know there are lots more resources out there, but personally, I find giant lists of resources overwhelming, so this is just a few to get you started.
I’ll update this post again with a list of the changes I’m making soon.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.