If any of you know me, you know I would NEVER say that it’s “time to get skinny” as a way to motivate you to do your exercises. But, I did indeed use this phrase with a group of Somali women when I was hired to teach a group fitness class for the teachers at an Islamic school in Rexdale.
These spirited women had their own ideas about what would motivate them each week. They wanted me to bring my scale on a weekly basis, weigh everyone, and help them “get skinny.” I tried my very best to “educate” them on using the correct word, which would be “fit.” I could see an immediate disconnect. The more “correct” I attempted to be for the sake of their “health” the deeper the disappointment in their faces.
I realized that educating, fitness, correction, health – these are all subjective.