AK MacKelllar Builds QTNB Fitness Community

The way we think about and nurture our health has never been more important—and these health innovators are changing the way we all eat, move, think, grow, and care. Take care of yourself and take care of each other. Learn their names: This is the future of health. Read more

On a recent Wednesday night, during a queer rock-themed strength class on the inclusive community fitness platform Free To Move, the song “Deceptacon” by feminist post-punk band Le Tigre took to everyone goes home in a climactic unified energy. That moment epitomizes what teachers and founders of Free To Move and Well+Good 2022 Changemaker AK MacKellar love when teaching: The sense of community, the joy and culmination of moving together. transfer.

In 2019, MacKellar suffered a severe concussion from a mountain bike accident that left them chronically ill. They use movement to help manage injuries and also started working as personal trainers. But in that time, MacKellar, who is not bisexual, has realized (and has experienced firsthand) how alien the fitness industry can be for both LGBTQ+ people and those with chronic medical conditions. They decided to start training specifically for these communities, and when the pandemic broke out, they moved their training business online to form a “body-inclusive movement for QTNB” platform. (queer/trans/non-binary)” is called Free To Move.

“I knew I wanted an online space that would help foster community and help include people who are often left out in the fitness arena, and that was really the origin of Free To Move,” says MacKellar. speak.

Today, Free To Move offers both live and on-demand classes in strength, stretching, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, etc. There’s also a specific strength and movement program for people who have undergone top surgery as well as a “chronic chill” series that offers movement classes for people with chronic conditions. Private Facebook groups also serve as community hubs.

“One of the beauties of the internet [training] is you can find your people, you can connect with people all over the world and hopefully find other people who share the same identities that you have,” MacKellar said.

The past year has been a growth year for Free To Move. MacKellar appeared in an Adidas campaign, teaching a mind-changing workshop called Empower U to help people develop their relationship with exercise, and they invited half a dozen ambassadors. Free To Move to support their work. MacKellar says that purchase and support was a game changer.

“It’s heartwarming to have other people show up and give real support,” says MacKellar. “I am chronically ill and prone to flare-ups, and running a business is not always easy. Having some other people there to lean on has felt really great.

The pandemic, oddly enough, is a catalyst. It prompted MacKellar to move to an online model that would allow them to teach more people and reach a wider audience through platforms like TikTok, where they have more than 125,000 followers.

“I don’t know if the Free To Move platform and community would have existed if we hadn’t had a pandemic in nearly three years,” MacKellar said.

While MacKellar has seen some movement in the fitness space to become more inclusive for QTNCs and those with chronic conditions, they say the industry still has a long way to go. They consider the biggest problems to be both representativeness and true inclusivity.

“There are not enough diverse people to guide and train,” says MacKellar. “In order to do that, studios and spaces need to do the work to make sure that these are safe environments for these people to enter because it is unfair to people with identities. weak, instructors have to do all the work.”

Until then, MacKellar sees targeted platforms as one of the key ways to serve people who may feel underserved and uncomfortable elsewhere. So for now, MacKellar says they will continue to be “a bit of a performer, a comedian, a hype,” ready to bring a level of rockin’ to the world. anyone seek the freedom to move.


News5h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button