There has been a wave of protest that have spread across the country in response to the violent murders of Eric Garner and Mike Brown by police who were later not indicted for the killings. These protest have been very militant, impassioned, energetic and have sparked a movement, primarily cause they’re so youth led. But one reflection I’ve had of my fellow protestors throughout, is how out of shape many of us are and how dangerous this is for our movement. When these protestors are going for hours at a time traveling many miles, traveling over odd urban terrain and repeating these effort on a weekly basis, poor physical conditioning is a serious issue.
Why should we be concerned with the fitness of Social Justice organizers?
If we want to have serious discussions about self defense of our communities, should we not be seriously thinking about how our fitness levels affect our ability to do this.This is not a new reflection I’ve had, but in this period of potential radical action and social change, it’s more important than ever. How can we hope to build a movement that is powerful and consistent in its efforts if many of the leaders of our struggle can’t even physically keep up with the rest of the protestors? And if we want to have serious discussions about self defense of our communities, should we not be seriously thinking about how our fitness levels affect our ability to do this.
I don’t want this to come off as a negative critic of my fellow activist but rather this is in the spirit of positive self criticism of our movement and the organizers we are developing in it. Cause just as I’m criticizing social justice organizers who allow themselves to get out of shape, I’m also criticizing the efforts I have personally placed in making sure the activist around me are in good physical shape. And of course at the end of the day there are serious health and fitness realities facing our communities regardless of who you are.
But as social justice activist and individuals concerned in making our society a better place, we have to realize that change doesn’t only come through traditional political organizing but it also manifests in our investments in the health and well being of ourselves and our communities. And if we want to inspire those around us; being able to push forward physically and mentally is essential to the process.
Follow the #ProtestFitTip hashtag
I recently started tweeting some fitness education tips, specifically catered to social justice activist, at the hashtag #ProtestFitTip. Follow the hashtag and shoot me any questions you might have and I will actively engage with folks on that front to spread some ways to get fit and ready for the next action and going forward.
Healthy Social Activist Workshops
I am also in the process of putting together scheduled dates throughout the next two months to deliver a new workshop I’ve developed with the Revolutionary Fitness team on how to stay healthy as a social activist.
Some things we will be covering in these workshop are a)Exercises to do prior to a street action to stretch out your body properly and drills to strengthen up the muscles you’ll be using the most during the action. b) Nutritional support; what should you been eating before an action, how much should you consume before an action and what are some things you and your contingent should be packing to sustain your group throughout. c) Restorative tactics to heal your body physically, emotionally and mentally before and after a street action. d) What are the socio-economic connections between our communities health and the larger struggles for social change. And much more…
If you have a community venue you’d like us to teach this workshop at, feel free to hit me up so we can iron out details.
Podcast on Activist health
And finally also check out these podcast I did for RevFit Radio a few months back related to this subject. The show with Jollene Levid from Af3irm really details some great strategies on how you can overlap your physical training with your organization’s existent apparatus.