At Golden Ape we try to create a safe space that is welcoming to everyone. We do our best to create a place for everyone to belong. Unfortunately that isn’t the case everywhere. So it was incredibly heartwarming when we received this message from one of our Golden Ape athletes. Jerry Brown is one of our founding members and Pastor of Lifeline Church here in Decatur. Here is what he wrote…
I am so excited to be back with my fellow Golden Apers. First of all allow me to say 4 years ago when I joined I was initially not sure how I would be perceived or welcomed in a gym where I was the only person of color there at the time. I was excited to be working out, but very nervous about being welcomed. And to my relief I was just another person in the gym working hard and getting sweaty with everyone else. I wasn’t treated differently, better, or worse. I was treated just like everyone else, FAIR!
The community at Golden Ape is one that if it was modeled all across the world our society would not be in the situation we are in now. Now I am sure not everyone in the gym sees eye to eye on several issues, but it does not bleed over into the way we treat each other at the gym. So thank you April and all the coaches (who are great coaches and even greater people) for setting a warm and loving atmosphere where for at least one hour a day I can come and not have to worry about being profiled, looking like I shouldn’t be in the neighborhood, pulled over and asked do I have any drugs or guns in the car, and the most common phrase fitting the description. And for yes, seeing my color, but not judging or treating me different because of it.
Since my last workout at the gym in January of this year tension and racial divide is at an all time high. But the gym remains the same. We all know there are issues we are dealing with that were here long before any of us were born, but just because we didn’t create them doesn’t mean we can’t help to correct them. Even in our small building on the corner with our bars, plates, rowers, tires, and hearts desire to see everyone live in harmony and treated fairly we can impact change. A change that starts with us taking the time to listen, not to respond, but to understand. To understand why people are crying and acting out to be heard.
No one wakes us and says today I’m going to be a racist just like no one wakes up and says today I’m going to protest. We all need help, and if we can implement measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus we can implement measures and have conversations to combat the virus that is killing the souls, hearts, and taking the lives of people in this country. I don’t have all the answers! None of us do, but together with the same attitude, heart, and dedication we bring to achieve our fitness goals we can use to achieve fairness and live in harmony with our neighbors regardless of the color of their skin and just like everything else I have a passion about I’m all in. We are in for the workout of our life but just like every WOD, we do it and get through it TOGETHER!
Come Join Us!
Joining a gym can be daunting. It’s our goal to make the process enjoyable. If you get nervous walking into a gym for the first time. Or have anxiety at the thought of working out in a group environment, then click the link below to schedule a Free No Sweat Intro. We will welcome you in with open arms and guide you through the whole process!