We started Smarter Sweat in May 2020: We had a fantastic launch planned for June first, and we’d been working hard on back-end operations as well as content and product.
We were excited.
But then — in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter uprising — everything we had worked on felt so excruciatingly unimportant.
Who were we to talk about fitness and wellness when the entire country was reeling in disgust, pain, and confusion?
Who were we — two white girls with very privileged lives thus far — to ask people to pay attention to us and our new endeavor?
It felt wrong, distasteful, and hurtful to follow through with our launch of Smarter Sweat. So instead, we invested the time and energy we would have put into this launch into checking ourselves, unlearning and relearning, researching Black history, and figuring out how we can use our new business to foster love, peace, and justice.
Most importantly, we used this time and energy to figure out a way to give back to the Black and POC community — especially Black and POC females, who have historically been excluded from the fitness and wellness industries.
These are the women who are the backbones of most fitness and wellness trends you see today:
It’s painfully clear that BIPOC fitness and wellness professionals have spearheaded the mainstream fitness and wellness trends we enjoy today, yet the fruits of their labor have been enjoyed primarily by white people.
That said, we have taken — and will continually take — steps to make Smarter Sweat unequivocally inclusive. Here is what we promise to do for our Black, colored, and indigenous sisters and brothers:
We don’t have a lot of resources yet. We’re a brand new business, and to be frank, we don’t have money to give right now. But we DO have time, energy, skills, and potential. And we hereby promise to use those assets — and money when we have it — to support our BIPOC brothers and sisters.
That’s what we plan to do as a unit — as Smarter Sweat. Below, please find statements from the Smarter Sweat founders regarding their plans as individuals.
Statement from Amanda Capritto, Smarter Sweat Co-Founder
“It’s been tough for me to collect my thoughts into words. It’s tough because as a progressive white person who wants to help, my first instinct is to defend myself — ‘No, of course I’d never do anything to contribute to the pain and oppression of Black, indigenous, and colored people.’
Though that is wholeheartedly true, it’s only true in intention: I would never intentionally do anything to contribute to the pain and oppression of those communities who have suffered for so long. But as a white person, subconscious learned behavior exists. There is no getting around that. It is my responsibility as an ally to unlearn those deeply rooted thoughts and behaviors.
It’s also tough because I am stuck in the middle: I do support good policing — there are unfortunately a lot of malicious people in the United States and we need a system of safety and protection — but I also stand for racial equality and social justice. It is unfortunate that policing and justice aren’t synonymous. I truly believe the answer lies in police reform, as well as media reform and media literacy education.
But for now, racial inequality STILL exists and it needs to stop. And it’s up to progressive white people to stop it. Black and colored people have worked hard long enough.
To be quite honest, if you asked me right now what is something I’ve done that contributed to pain of the BIPOC community, I would say I do not know. That means I have more work to do. It is up to me to identify any hurtful behaviors and change them immediately.
As that continual inner work goes on, I realize that I have a powerful vessel as an entrepreneur. Smarter Sweat couldn’t have come at a better time — the horrid murder of George Floyd forced us to postpone the launch of our new business, and that forced us to reevaluate what we are doing. We had to ask ourselves what the purpose of our new business is and what our values are. We were forced to hone in on what we stand for. And we stand for justice.
So in addition to the measures we are taking as Smarter Sweat, the business, I am taking some personal measures to ensure I become the best ally I can be. I pledge to:
Statement from Ashley Pfantz, Smarter Sweat Co-Founder
“I typically stay away from discussing anything that is political. I don’t invest a lot of time into watching the news or following the media. I’ve failed to use my voice in the past in hopes to keep peace with every individual. However, over the last several weeks I have been disgusted by the racial injustice my eyes have been opened to.
Growing up as a white female in Louisiana, I was ignorant of the racial injustice, systemic oppression, and just plain hate that black Americans were experiencing right next to me. My own friends were experiencing it and I had no idea. I’m ashamed it took the murder of George Floyd being recorded for me to see this systemic oppression and pain my black brothers and sisters have and still are experiencing. I’m ashamed I have not been a part of the solution.
Now that my eyes have been opened, I must take action. I am taking action.
Here are some steps I am personally taking to educate myself and be a part of the change:
I realize I will never understand what our black and brown communities go through. I will be doing my best to be educated. I will be asking questions. I will be searching for ways to be an ally. I realize now, I must use my voice and my privilege to disseminate injustice.”
By Ashley Pfantz and Amanda Capritto, Co-Founders at Smarter Sweat
About Smarter Sweat
Smarter Sweat is a fitness company built from the ground up by fitness experts Amanda Capritto and Ashley Phantz. Amanda and Ashley are both dead-set on cutting through the clutter of the fitness industry and providing raw, real, utterly honest information about fitness and wellness.