I'm Still Me, Just MOAR Me!
Running Through Transition with Isaac Grivett and
FPP Sponsored Athlete Kade Schuldt
Coach Sarah of the Fitness Protection Program talks with Kade and Isaac about the role of running in their respective transitions from female to male, particularly the way it offers them both a non-gendered space to be in their bodies and be truly themselves.
We're never really talking about the running. The people in our community are running THROUGH things, and often their runs are the one part of their day when they get to truly get to be themselves, and be for themselves. Whatever kind of transition you are running through, you are not alone.
We are so pleased to introduce Kade Schuldt and Isaac Grivett to the Running Life podcast. Many of you know of Kade at this point, since Coach MK announced last month that he would be joining our team of Fitness Protection Sponsored Athletes. It’s important to know that Kade is responsible for the phenomenon that is Coach MK, as he was the one to give her her first coaching job at Lifetime Fitness! So THANK YOU, Kade, for that! He has done over 50 half marathons and we are dying to hear about this thing in his email signature, the 5280 Brewery Quest (it's pretty much what it sounds like, and it's awesome!).
Isaac Grivett has been profiled twice on Outsports, an SB Nation blog featuring stories of LGBTQ athletes, and in addition to having run TONS of marathons - coming up on #10! - they also work on Broadway in wardrobe, often for multiple shows at a time. I came across one of the Outsports stories about Isaac via Twitter, and I was really captivated by the way they talk about their relationship to their body as a teenager and the role that sports played in their discovery of selfhood.
This really gets to why we are so grateful to you both for telling us your stories. I, Coach Sarah, carry a lot of privilege as a runner. I sign up for a race, and when I am prompted to select my gender, I just tick a box and move on. I show up to every start line knowing that whatever impostor syndrome I may have about being a runner, no one will ever call into question the validity of my results or argue with me about where in the sport I belong. I will not have to name or defend my identity every time I want to participate in my chosen sport in public. Isaac has worked with athletic clubs to modify that process of gender selection in membership signups to make it less binary and more inclusive, and I imagine that to some people, it may seem like an incredibly small deal (because many people, like me, just tick the box and move on with their day) but we cannot overestimate the importance of ANY action, big or small, that makes ANY runner feel more included in this sport.
While I may not have ever experienced gender dysphoria, I do absolutely know what it feels like to hate my body, to feel ashamed of it, to feel like people look at it and form opinions about me that I am powerless to control. I want our audience to hear Kade's and Isaac's stories, directly from them, because I believe that there is so much empathy out there for some of what you have experienced and lived. And I believe that everything is better when there is a space for everyone to show up and feel at home, welcome, and understood.
Follow Kade on Instagram: @irunbike
Follow Isaac on Instagram: @isaacgrivettnyc and @isaacqgriv, and on Twitter: @isaacgrivett. Click here if you're interested in learning more about Isaac's fundraising efforts with the Team To End Aids at the 2020 Chicago Marathon!
MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC and Sarah Axelrod leads Fitness Protection's #CoachedandLoved Community. Try our accessible, affordable monthly running plans at www.fitnessprotection.com!