Queerfit, Quarantine Edition

Need some structure to your days? A time to do push-ups with friends? Some yoga and meditation to calm your racing thoughts?

We got you.

Queerfit, Quarantine Edition starts this Monday, March 23. In partnership with Osatyam, Charisse M. Williams, Khye Tyson, and Jaadu Acupuncture, this is an 8-week program to help us all:

 Get exercise. We have options on tap (pick any or all):

  • Queerfit ATL w/ Glo and Kung Li(Mon & Thur)
  • Yoga w/ Crystal Monds of Osatyam (Tues)
  • Meditation w/ leadership coach Charisse Williams (Wed)
  • Core strength & stability w/ Pilates practitioner Khye Tyson (Fri)

Stay connected. We will be on Zoom, keeping each class small enough so people can see each other and chat before and after.

Set up a routine. We will be live every weekday Mon-Fri at 5:00 pm EST. This is not a “drop in when I feel like it” situation. It’s more “come on we’re expecting you.”

Build our immunity. Certified acupuncturist Spenta Kandawalla, trained in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), will help us build our immunity with weekly emails.

We want to give anyone who has joined us at Queerfit, plus our close friends and comrades, a chance to sign up before we open this up to a larger group. Please fill out this google form if you’re interested. You can forward this invitation to other individuals as you see fit, but please do not repost on FB.

There is no charge. You will be given the opportunity to donate directly to the instructors, and/or to make a donation to a mutual aid fund.

We will hit our max number quickly, so apply ASAP. Like, right now.

Socially distant xoxoxoxs,

The Quarantine Collaborative

Online wellness studio?


To ride out this social distancing period, we are seeing whether it’s feasible to set up a community wellness studio online for the duration. If there were classes available, would you jump in? What kind of classes? Drop a comment.

Also, if you have the skills (yoga, zumba, pilates), the desire, and the chops (think: janky Peloton, without the bike) to lead a class once a week for 8-10 weeks, contact me or drop a note in the comments here.  Tech skills also very welcome—we’re thinking Zoom (so we can see each other), but open to other platforms.


Best month ever…

Rejuvenation September is upon us already? Indeed! Pay yew bills, do a few neck stretches, and get out your calendars because there’s something on tap every day of the month. The  challenge is not to do every last thing that’s listed. Rather, the challenge is to figure out how to use the month to build your individual – and our collective – resilience. What’s right for you might be to partnering up with a friend and committing to going to yoga every Sunday. It might be to get a couple of your fellas together on Tuesdays and work your back squats. As detailed in the previous post, everything repeats through the month: salsa on Mondays, heavy lifting on Tuesdays, etc.

Our goals are simply to (1) see more of each other this month as we (2) pick up some new resilience practices.

Here’s what’s on tap for the first week:

Monday (Sept. 5). Bronx-style salsa in the West End with Quic Rojas. Quic @zuluquic is a superdope athlete/bboy/lover of life who is welcoming us to his weekly “community gathering which pays homage to Afro Latin culture” happening this week at Gallery 992 (992 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd) in the West End. Doors open at 6:00, lesson at 7:00. You can buy a $7 ticket here, or drop your name in the comments below saying you intend to go and QF will cover you. We want more salsa dancers in the world!

Tuesday (Sept. 6). Heavy lifting with your QF coaches. Deadlift, power cleans, squats, maybe a bench press or two. Come anytime between 6:30 and 8:00 to the East Atlanta Barbell Club (530 Flat Shoals Ave.), where they’re offering up their shiny new bars, new lifting platforms, and anti-racist/anti-capitalist politics for our lifting pleasure. Whether you’ve never done a heavy lift ever, or you’re training for the next powerlifting competition, we’ve got you covered. Come and move big weight.

Wednesday (Sept. 7). Outdoor yoga at the central green lawn in Atlantic Station. It starts at 6:30 and they ask you to bring your own mat. The yoga is free but the parking will run you a few bucks.

Thursday (Sept. 8). Meditation. This is on your own. 7 minutes of seated meditation. If you have a good guided meditation youtube or download, let us know in the comments. There’s also a 30 minute meditation group at Ponce de Leon library at 12:00 if you want to sit with others.

Friday (Sept. 9) Swimming at Adamsville Natatorium (3201 M. L. King Jr. Drive S.W.). As a clinical psychiatrist noted, there is no drug — recreational or prescription — capable of inducing the tranquil euphoria brought on by swimming. Let’s dive into this enforced solitude together. We will be in the water starting at 6:00. The pool closes at 7:00.

Saturday (Sept. 10). Classic queerfit in Brownwood Park. Whether you’re a regular, a onetime QF92-er, or a never-been-but-want-to-try, join us at 10:00 for an energizing group workout in the great outdoors.

Sunday (Sept. 11). Yoga with Osatyam, led by the indomitable Crystal Monds and a rotation of Black, queer, body-positive, feminine identified instructors at Charis Books (1189 Euclid Ave NE). The class starts at 11:00. It’s a $5-20 donation, or you can sign in as “queerfit” when you go and we’ll cover you.

Get your grove on this weekend, whether it’s at Black Pride, House in the Park, DragonCon, or the Decatur Book Festival, and we’ll see you next week.

September Rejuvenation: 30 Days of Collective Resilience

Audre Lorde wrote in the epilogue to her book of essays Burst of Light:

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

It was 1988. Having undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer a decade earlier, Lorde was now battling liver cancer. Against the advice of her U.S.-based doctors, she declined surgery and sought out alternative treatments in Europe. She then upended her life in New York and moved to St. Croix, a place less toxic to her well being.  A year after she wrote those words about caring for herself, Hurricane Hugo tore through St. Croix, destroying nearly all the island’s buildings and roads.

There’s nothing easy about self-preservation.

It’s been a tough year here in 2016. Much has been written about the need for self care, especially by Black women, during this period of upheaval. We are all in agreement: Yes to self care!

Turns out, though, the conditions that create the need for self care – violent racism, toxic masculinity, the lie of self sufficiency, corporate capitalism, transphobia, and the viral videos that replay all that jazz on your FB feed – are the very conditions that make it near impossible to actually do self care. So we watch a few episodes of Stranger Things, listen to Frank Ocean’s new album, and call it a day. It’s better than nothing, true. But the crispy fried little nubs of your nerves know it’s not nearly enough.

Queerfit can’t make the hard and necessary work of self-preservation any easier, but we’d like to try and make it more possible. So we’ve reprogrammed the month upcoming into September Rejuvenation: 30 Days of Collective Resilience.

You know it’s serious when there’s a colon and a subtitle.

The September Rejuvenation is a month long program to rejuvenate our mighty (but weary) souls. It is based on a theory of resilience that emphasizes being part of a group, physical movement, and creating the space to make new habits. Each day of the week is a different soul soothing, toxin eradicating, resilience building practice that gets repeated throughout the month. That’s seven practices, done four times each. The line-up looks like this:

Fridays: Swimming @ various locations 1:00 or 3:00
Saturdays: Classic QF workout  @ Brownwood Park 10:00
Sundays: Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) @ various locations
Mondays: Dance! @ various locations
Tuesdays: Power lift (deadlifts, power cleans, back squats) @ EAV Barbell Club 6:15
Wednesdays: Outdoor yoga  @ Atlantic Station 6:00
Thursdays: Unplug @ your own kitchen table, couch, armchair, bed

Scroll to the bottom for the full calendar.There are two ways to jump in.

Option 1. Build a Resilience Squad. A Resilience Squad is made up of three people who are going to help each other work work work work work the hell out of this self care thing. If there’s someone (including yourself) you’ve been wanting to bring into queerfit, inviting them to be a part of a resilience squad for September is a great way to ease in. Being part of a squad doesn’t mean you’re each obligated to go to every single thing throughout the month. It does mean the three of you have decided to make September all about this act of political warfare called self-preservation, and you’re going to help each other make it happen.Totally up to you who you want on your squad, but one suggestion: if you’re doing this with your sweetie pie, best if you and they are not on the same squad. Ditto your best friend. Up to you, though. You can pull together your own 3 person squad, or you can ask us to assign you to one.

Option 2. Flying Solo. If you would rather do the self care thing without a squad, that’s fine too. Sometimes being part of a crew feels more like stress than support. That’s cool. We still encourage you to make self preservation September’s top priority, though. Everyone else gets the other 11 months. Get yourself taken care for this one.

Either way – with a squad or solo – we will be using the queerfit.org blog to keep us organized. We’ll send out weekly emails with the upcoming week’s schedule, with details of where and when. If you’re getting this as an email, you’re already signed up to receive those weekly emails. If you’re not signed up, sign up now by entering your email in the top right hand corner of the queerfit.org page.

** There is a bonus for being part of a Resilience Squad. A few of these things cost money (parking for the yoga, the tree climbing class, dance lessons), and everyone who is part of a registered squad will have their costs covered. To register your squad, drop a comment letting us know who’s on your team.

There may or may not be points (and thus, prizes) involved.

We’ll talk more about this on Saturday during/after our usual 10:00 workout in Brownwood Park. Some prejuvenation to the rejuvenation. See you Saturday – and then all of September!


This Saturday, every Saturday 

Whatever is happening in your body – heart broken, brain fritzed, gut twisted, nerves numb, nerves on alert  – bring your beautiful self to Brownwood Park tomorrow at 10:00 for some love and push-ups and pain of the simple, physical sort. Shae or Jocelyn will be coaching. We love seeing you every Saturday, but tomorrow especially. 

Let’s gather and lift heavy things

Let’s gather, yes?

This is a special call out to come and lift some weights with us this Saturday, especially if you and/or someone you know has been hiding under the covers. Totally good to hide under the covers. But come Saturday, hows about we meet up for QF, after which you are can immediately go back to bed if you’d like.

It’s not group therapy, just a group workout. And you don’t even have to work out – come sit on the benches and watch the rest of us lift heavy things. Nothing bad about that.

I’m in town for the day and would love to see your face and give you a squeeze.

We’ll be in Brownwood Park as usual at 10:00. See you then, dear friends.

Is there life/QF after Prince?

I know you’ve been grieving. Me too. After the shock, you spent a day or two wondering whether there is anything worth doing other than put the Color Purple cast’s tribute on repeat while posting every one of your Prince memories on Facebook. By today, you may have decided yes, there are some things worth doing, like take a shower or put on the other leg of your pants. But maybe not quite yet. There’s Prince’s Superbowl halftime show to watch again, the 20 most important Prince essays to read,  and his entire catalogue to listen on on Tidal.

Someday, friend, you and I will have to crawl out of our little lavender hovel of sadness and reengage with the world.

Here is a quiz to help you know whether you’re ready. Answer yes or no.

  1. Did you figure out how to watch Lemonade, even though you don’t have HBO?
  2. Have you managed to have sex again?
  3. Can you watch the Starfish and Coffee + muppets video without crying?

If you answered yes to one or more questions, you’re ready. It’s time. Here are 3 ways to ease back into the world of the living:

  1. Come to Queerfit this Tuesday, 6:15 at Brownwood Park. If you were part of QF92, come on. If you were not part of QF92, come on. We’re open and ready for you to join us.
  2. Put your cowboy boots on for the Gay Ole’ Opry on Tuesday after QF, in town from NYC. Karen or Karen & the Sorrows is my writing coach – it’ll be a fun show.
  3. This Friday, April 29, come celebrate the completion of QF92 with a Banh Mi + Ribs throwdown at Coach Glo’s. Queerfitters of any stripe (past, present, future) are all welcome, as are your sweetie pies, children, and friends. If you’re not on the FB event page, RSVP here in the comments.

See y’all Tuesday. And Friday. Purple rain forever.

April 9 – The 92d day of QF92

It’s a wrap this Saturday, so bring yourself and for an extra point, bring a friend to our final QF92 group workout. Dress in layers – forecast is for 48 degrees and windy, but Shae is coaching, so you’ll warm up quick.

There will be a longer post and more details on the FB page in a few days about life post-QF92. The 6:15 Tuesday and 10:00 Saturday workouts will continue, and are open to QF92 folks past and present + anyone who is member of the FB group. Guests are always welcome, just be mindful as always that the space is intended for trans and LGBQ people of color and our allies.

Team #nolabels had a small lead as of yesterday, but all teams are within striking distance of winning this final point tally. To add to your 3 points for getting to practice and the 1 point for bringing a friend, the final challenge for 3 more points for your team:

Give a shout out in the comments to (1) someone from your team, (2) someone not on your team, and (3) yourself. Be specific about what’s so good, inspiring, impressive, joyful, excellent, fun, strong, kick-ass, etc. about your (1), (2), and (3). You must give your own damn self a genuinely loving shout out to get these 3 points. Go to it!

April 8 – final qf92 daily challenge 

Friday is day 91 of Qf92, so one last challenge before our final in person workout (which will be a bring-a-friend extra pointer). There are 3 points available for this last challenge. It goes like this…

5 rounds of:

  • 12 push-ups
  • 12 v-ups or sit-ups
  • 12 tuck jumps
  • 12 lunges

That’s 1 point.

For a 2d point, 100 burpees. You cannot do the burpees without doing the 5 rounds.

For a 3d point, get someone who is not in QF92 to do at least 10 of the burpees with you. 

Rack up those points! 

April 7 – Testing testing 1, 2, 3

For Thursday’s challenge, we’re testing how far you’ve come with QF92.

Start the day with 5 sun salutations. Think on who you’d like to bring to Saturday’s final QF92 workout.

Warm-up with 3 rounds of (5 pushups, 5 squats, 10 jumping jacks, 1 spiderman stretch)

Then for 1 point:

  1. Max reps of perfect push-ups.  Good solid plank, nose to ground, good looking push-ups. Rest as long as you like – a few hours is fine. Then,
  2. 100 squats in as few sets as possible. If you can find a tempo that allows you to do all 100 in a row, awesome. Rest as long as you like. Then,
  3. Max hold inversion. Time yourself.

Let us know in the comments how you did, and whether you improved on your numbers from earlier in the year. Be honorable with your push-ups especially! If you did not add to your max number but improved on your form, all the better.