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Monday, 11 January 2021

Fitness is relative, not absolute

 Ion Tiriac, one time Olympian and owner of the Madrid Open, has criticised Serena Williams for continuing to play tennis, saying, "At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago. Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire."


This is a problematic statement, at so many levels.

Serena is a 23 time Grand Slam singles winner. She has opened our minds to the possibility that people (and especially women) from different races, communities, and geographical regions, with different genetics, can have non-conformist body type, weight, and shape - and still enjoy fantastic levels of health and fitness.

This is important, when there is is immense cultural pressure on us today to look thin and lose weight. And we are encouraged to confuse this with health and fitness.

It's also high time brands and endorsers start promoting the message that fitness is relative and not absolute. Do Serena, or Federer, really need to prove their fitness by defeating people who are half their age? Isn't there a personal standard, for each of us to apsire for?

In a new age, inclusionary society, we need to liberate fitness from unidimensional standards.
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