- CrossFit Level 1
Growing up, Parker would never have considered themself an athlete of any kind. While they enjoyed being active – playing in the woods, swimming, dancing – athletics was an intimidating world that they didn’t really feel welcome in. While training for their degree in musical theater, they had several dance and conditioning classes that were focused on fitness as a means to sustainably perform eight shows a week. While this sparked a new interest in fitness, Parker felt that as a trans and queer person, working out at a gym felt exclusive, and not meant for people like them.
Then one day, they were assaulted on the street for wearing heels and makeup. While they made it out safely, they decided that they never wanted to feel unable to protect themself ever again. And that started with wanting to feel stronger. But how? To Parker, gyms still felt inaccessible – until they discovered functional fitness (at Hardware, specifically)! The focus on functionality made sense: the goal is to become stronger in an “everyday” sort of way. But it was the community that really made the difference. Hardware provided a space where Parker could work out and feel not just welcomed, but celebrated for who they are. Getting to feel strong and powerful and embraced as their authentic self made an athlete out of Parker – even if they didn’t see it in themself at first.
And now, Parker is dedicated to furthering Hardware’s mission of inclusion in fitness. Because when you can feel comfortable bringing your full self to the table, that’s when the magic happens! And everyone deserves the opportunity to become stronger, regardless of their gender, orientation, race, age, size, or fitness level. As a coach, they encourage everyone to view each workout as an opportunity to build on the strength and skills that you already have. Even in scaling the weight or modifying the movement, there is always a way to challenge yourself, get the results you want, feel good, and have fun doing it.