Here’s what Agatsu Inc CEO Shawn Mozen had to say about the recent protests about race and police brutality:
In times of crisis no voice should be silent.
The world is in the midst of a global crisis. People should not remain silent about their convictions and demands for equality. We recently made two posts supporting equality and justice for all which were quickly met with a post announcing “unfollow” and a loss of around 60 followers on instagram.
Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!
Yes we are a fitness company not a political platform but our posts have not been about politics. They are about serving our community and showing and sharing our belief in equality for all.
Anyone who takes issue with us showing support in the fight against racism doesn’t need to stick around.
We are and have always been a diverse group of individuals committed to the betterment of health.
At the heart of Agatsu are these core values, guiding our development and continued operation. They are the essence of what this organization stands for and should be reflected in all public facing information.
Health And Wellness First:
All choices from programming to equipment are done with the health and wellness of the individual in mind. We are building better bodies and stronger minds, not breaking them.
Be Of Service To All:
Agatsu programs, events and trainers exist to be of service to others regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Any behaviour that violates this philosophy of inclusiveness will not be tolerated.
Agatsu is a lifestyle of self-betterment, brought about through mindful physical practice and skill development. This is movement towards self-mastery.
Now is the best time to be alive.
Now we can effect change.
Now we can make history.
This statement stands in stark contrast to inflammatory comments (and later semi-apology) by CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, and is a great example of the many reasons that we support the Agatsu philosophy. Today, we are so proud to be an Agatsu affiliate.
Now some words from us at Agatsu NC.
We have wrestled with the reality that simply posting about racism is not sufficient. While businesses speaking up is a start, it’s important to remember that it’s ONLY a start.
Because the truth is that the issue of systemic racism is so much bigger and more complicated than posting a strong-worded rant on social media. It requires action as well as a willingness to constantly examine one’s own behaviors.
Yes, we will do our best to address problematic behaviors and language that we encounter. But we cannot offer the empty promise of perfection, because we are human. We were raised in this flawed system and so likely have prejudices of which we are not aware.
But we are sincerely trying, we can promise you that. We are doing the work.
Gyms are a service business. Our particular gym is about service even more personally, because it focuses on the broader idea of self-mastery — which goes beyond push ups and kettlebells. “Agatsu” gets into ideas about how we view ourselves and others, as well as the ways we speak and think and act. What we are promoting is a lifestyle and way of thinking, with a central focus on fitness.
We want to expand our mission of helping individuals find self-mastery. We intend to help you conquer obstacles in the gym or your own mind, but also in society as a whole.
We want to encourage our growing community, which we consider our family, to notice how it feels when they walk, crawl, roll, and swing through life. We connect lifting weights (body weight and otherwise) to lifting spirits and building tissue tolerance to building resilience, but know that it is just as important to be able to identify other types of discomfort and learn to address those appropriately.
We want people to ask questions and have a sense of purpose with their movement, in and out of the training space, because how you do anything is how you do everything.
For our part, we are reading all the resources and having all the conversations we can, but we surely have our own blind spots. We won’t say we’ve solved all our own issues, because that would be a lie. What we can say is that confronting issues of race, gender, sexuality, and equality as a whole will be a permanent fixture in our gym’s practice. Our definition of “practice” is intended to encompass the plan one has for self-betterment in all areas.
It is not possible to separate physical and mental health. We want you to show up and do your best. But fitness is part of a larger practice. A complete practice includes a determined questioning of beliefs, confrontation of fears, and dismantling of prejudices.
We want to help you fill in the gaps, and have you help us fill in the gaps that we may not see. We want a feedback loop between our community, clients, our business, and ourselves as individuals. We want fitness, ethics, and philosophy to be elements of a conversation we are always having.
Unless people do the inner work, their outcomes are necessarily limited. True for our athletes, true for us.
Our nation’s prejudices need to be addressed, not suppressed. We have a lot of collective inner work to do. We want to help as much as we can. We are listening. We are with you.