As many have their abs in gear for a wild Pride season, Taofique Folarin takes a different approach – choosing to swap the tactical muscle pump for self-love and acceptance.
Pride is here, and it’s a beautiful time to celebrate our LGBTQ+ accomplishments – past and present. Unfortunately, it’s also a time that many of us feel insecure about our bodies. It’s time for that to change. This Pride, I encourage you to love your body and remind you that all shapes and sizes are sexy.
Rather than talking about booty burners and bicep pumps to show off at the parade, I want to highlight ‘Pride Fitness’ as a mental, physical and, for some, spiritual state. It’s the understanding and acceptance of yourself and others. It’s the act of loving yourself and the ability to spread love rather than shame.
Achieving and improving your Pride Fitness may help you to live authentically and unapologetically. I hope it can have a positive opposite effect on you, dear reader, and the wider LGBTQ+ community, producing strength, resilience and understanding.
How do I achieve Pride Fitness, you ask? Well, here’s a little acronym I like to use, particularly at this time of the year.
P for Play
Joy and laughter are the elixirs of life. They’re infectious and can be achieved easily when we let go, have fun and play. It’s different for everyone and we’re often spoilt for choice over Pride. Making good choices is key, and so is surrounding yourself with people that spark your light. It might mean spending more time with friends, making new friends or taking yourself on a date. You can rediscover a long-lost hobby or finally wear those heels you’ve been dying to wear out.
R for Research
Pride is steeped in history. Life-changing activism and trailblazers sacrificed so much so that we could be afforded the rights enjoy today. And yet, there’s still a long way for us to go. Through research, we can not only understand ourselves better but also the lives and cultures of others. By doing your research, you can empower yourself and those around you.
I for Improve
To improve, we must also take the focus away from ourselves and try to do something to help others. There are still many that aren’t afforded the same privileges as us, those that live in fear because of their sexuality or gender identity. When we come together to unite and do better as a community, we also improve ourselves at the same time.
D for Discover
You are never too old to discover new things about yourself and the world around you. We can meet new people, uncover new places and find new things through open discussion. It can be as simple as travelling or simply trying something new. Discovery and adventure can be amazing tools for self-growth.
E for Express
Be brave, and have the courage to be vulnerable. When we express ourselves authentically with our words, our actions, how we dress or how we show our emotions, we give others the agency to do the same. If you’re still on that journey of self-discovery, there’s no harm in experimenting.
Pride is a great time to celebrate, come together, and reflect on ourselves and acknowledge those that came before us. But remember, it’s also as good a time as any to keep moving towards your goals.
Follow Florian at @taofiqueFolarin and head to FlorianFitness.com to learn more
LGBTQ+ FITNESS TRAINERS ON PRIDE
“It’s a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community but also a time to remember our history – the fight for equality. I can’t wait to celebrate with my friends and show our rainbow colours across London!” Guillaume from Gladiator Workout (@TheGladiatorWorkout)
“It’s a recognition of our continual movement towards equality, regardless of how we identify. Equality is something we all strive for, and Pride gives us a visible platform to continue this campaign.” Mark from The Muscle Marys (@WorkoutWithPride)
“It’s a celebration of life and love. Pride is an important moment to remember that we, as a community, have achieved so much and should be proud of who we are!” Fabio Pozzetto (@TheWeekending)
You can follow Taofique on his socials @TaofiqueFolarin