It’s been about a month since 2017 started and I’ve still got resolutions on the mind. Those resolutions can be hard to keep, but a lot of them are about getting fit or losing weight. With that may come the resurgence of an SA hashtag that I, personally have some mixed feelings about: #SAFit. My health has been questionable at best in my adult years, due to unspecified chronic pain. This can make the “new year, new me” resolutions a bit challenging. Thus began my struggle with #SAFit.
As someone who has multiple challenges with their health and with their weight, I applaud everyone who meets their goals. You have worked hard. I can even say that I have used #SAFit in an effort to motivate myself to become more active. Occasionally, I even flip through the hashtag to see what new workouts are out there. Mostly though, I love looking through it to congratulate the accomplishments of those who have shared their struggles. I admire those who have opened themselves up to public ridicule as the internet can be a cruel place. That, though, is pretty much where my love for this particular hashtag ends.
I hope that the intentions of the hashtag are in the spirit of what I wrote about above. On the other hand, internet users have tainted many good things (see all the terrible grumpy cat memes). While #SAFit is likely made to be positive, I think that it can unintentionally marginalize those that are not able bodied. Quite a few of the workouts that I would like to participate in with my friends and colleagues are not friendly for my body. This may be the hardest part about this hashtag. Although, I may want to participate and I truly believe in the goodness of my colleagues, it can be challenging to find the good. #SAFit can be a constant reminder that my body has failed me and even on a good day, 100% isn’t possible.
My former athletic self takes it extremely hard that I can not embrace #SAFit in the way those around me have. I can only speak for myself, but as someone who has to think constantly about the physical consequences of all of my actions, #SAFit is becoming harder to love. I’ve done the 21-day fix and have done some Jillian Michael’s DVDs, but then one of my joints caves and I remember all over again that the workouts I see from all of my colleagues may not be my way to a healthier life.
With all of this said, I hope that #SAFit spreads a lot of positivity during 2017 for all those who use it. I also hope we use it with gentleness to help those struggling to participate in this community. That I don’t scroll through one day and see “what’s your excuse?” or “so and so can do it, why can’t you?” I wish everyone good luck with their resolutions and that you find your version of #SAFit. My #SAFit will be one day at a time and finding gentleness for myself and my body in this journey.