The inaugural Pride Workout, organized in only two weeks, was a “meaningful and purposeful event,” said organizer and lead instructor Austin Head.
It was extremely beneficial, raising $3,500 for Chicago House Social Service Agency.
“I am completely blown away, (what) a great feeling,” said Head, who led more than 70 people in a sweat-filled outdoor workout in Lakeview. “The thing I love so much about my fitness community is that it's all types of people. Doesn't matter age, sexual orientation, or race. I want to model my fitness community on how I want the world to be: Inclusive, Uplifting, and Loving, and I definitely feel we were those three words on Sunday, June 6.”
The workout was held in the Replay parking lot.
“I could write a book on what this event meant to me,” Head said. “I got emotional at the beginning of the event because I looked throughout the 70-plus people crowd and felt so much love. I saw friends who have been with me for 5-plus years, and new friends who I've known for a few months. It was such a good feeling to know that even my friends who knew me before I was out were still (attending) and supporting me.”
Head moved from Texas to Chicago about five years ago and knew no one. He found a family through fitness and came out last year.
“When I started coming-out, one of my biggest concerns was how this community would react. I was confident that everyone would be supportive, but there was always that worry in the back of my head that people wouldn't be accepting.
“Looking back on the Pride Workout, I truly have never felt this much love in my life.”
A teary-eyed Head added, “The Pride Workout was more than just my coming-out party … I can't help but feel so much live and gratitude to everyone who came to support.”
After the workout, participants enjoyed brunch at Replay.
Head will post an edited vide of the Pride Workout on his Instagram (@austin_head
) on Wednesday afternoon.