My name is Ilya and I am the owner of Decolonizing Fitness. I a black non binary trans masculine person who uses the pronouns: (he/they). I am a Physical Therapist Assistant and ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist with over 13 years of rehabilitative and functional training experience. I am social justice activist, and educator whose work centers racial, gender and healing justice. I am also a freelance writer and have contributed to Every Day Feminism, Self Magazine , Mashable and AthleteAlly. I love hiking, reading, listening to jazz and discovering lots of amazing food!
How Decolonizing Fitness Came to Be
Quite simply I grew fed up of entering movement spaces and seeking the services of fitness coaches who were unable and unwilling to provide me with the affirming support I need as a trans person in a larger body who also carries chronic injuries and medical conditions. So I decided to merge my love for restorative based movement practices and community advocacy to create Decolonizing Fitness, LLC which is currently owned and operated by me. I do the best I can with the limited resources I have living in the Southeast U.S.
Decolonizing Fitness is a social justice platform that provides affirming fitness services, community education and apparel in support of body diversity.
Decolonizing Fitness as a collective was birthed from the need for folks (i.e. fat, trans, queer, people with disabilities, people over 65) who have historically not felt welcomed in fitness spaces to have better access to inclusive services.
**NOTE** Although I am using the word “decolonizing” in the metaphorical since to break free from normative and restrictive standards. I want to honor my use of this word "decolonizing" in this context while also acknowledging that I believe in the unconditional sovereignty of all Indigenous and African people on this continent.