An Open Access Manifesto for Training the Body

  • Every body is different; every body has different needs; every person has different desires, aspirations, and potential for their body; Whatever those needs, aspirations, desires, and potentials are the means to train the body to attain them should be freely available to all.
  • Societies should do everything possible to ensure every form of exercise available to the abled is available at no extra cost to those who would otherwise be disabled.
  • Access to the place where a person wants to train should never be denied them by fear. Overcoming fear for one’s physical or mental safety, one’s security, or one’s position in society is not something to be praised or promoted or encouraged – it is something the need for which we should seek to remove.
  • The environments in which we live should be there for all of us; whether park or city, the wilds of nature or the concrete of the town square, the rapids of the river or the twists of the underpass the spaces around us should be tools for all of us to meet our needs, desires, aspirations, potentials; this is how we form a relationship with our surroundings; it is how homes are forged.
  • The public space is a commons; no one group has the right to deny access to another – by enclosure, by commercialisation, or by intimidation.
  • Leave no trace – leave the world in which you train as you found it so that others may enjoy, use, and relate to it in the way that works for them as you have the way that works for you.
  • Leave your traces everywhere – let your photographs, you writings, your movements, your way of being, your relationships, your kindnesses and affirmations, your anger and demands for justice show others the potential of the world around them to make them stronger.
  • Strength should always liberate and never oppress.
  • Your body is only a part of you – it is integral to your dreams and your hopes; strengthening it creates a tool that brings you closer to achieving them, but unless those hopes and dreams direct the body towards building a better future, your strength will not be all, or anything, it can be.
  • Make your parks safe.
  • Reclaim your streets for those who are denied access to them.
  • Resist the enclosure of spaces – in the physical world and online.
  • Protect those who do not feel safe.
  • Pass on your experience.
  • Give someone a spot if they need it.
  • Clean up the things that make your environment less safe (broken glass, plastic). Leave those things which do no harm (do not wash graffiti).
  • These aims cannot be met in a vacuum. They are part of a wider open access agenda that seeks to give every individual the means to realise their potential, to meet their needs, to live their dreams, and to aspire to play their part in making a better world.
  • They also cannot be met without achieving a wider open access for the body, comprising: access to healthcare; access to reproductive autonomy; access to gender identity treatment & care; access for disabled people both to the medical treatment they need and the social modifications that remove the barriers to bodily autonomy.

From the book Lift

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