Galexy Update: The Arlexander Zone

It’s been too long since I last blogged, mainly since the autumn has been quite busy with teaching, traveling, and mindriding Manhattan– more on these activities in upcoming posts. But on the heels of my last post, which was about my dearest friend Alex Galexy, I thought it worth mentioning that we are embarking on our first collaborative project together: a tech+fitness project name TBD! (Working title: The Arlexander Zone.) Actually, there are 3 components to the project, one that is under Alex’s purview, one other mine, and one that is truly collaborative.

  1. Alex, a fitness trainer and healthcare worker who in the past four years has evolved his own fitness regime to an incredible level, is developing plans for a fitness center (gym) in Baltimore, tentatively under the new Maryland Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund.
  2. As a technologist, slowgrammer, tinkerer, and inventor who was greatly inspired by Wii Fit and whose avid home yoga practice has helped me cope with mental and physical health issues, I’m developing a gamified, quantified self, strength training app that can be used by trainers like Alex with their clients, and be used by clients in between sessions.
  3. Collaboratively, we’re developing a web series of videos in which Alex trains me, particularly to improve my arm strength (which is generally a weak area of fitness for women), and we will both demonstrate how the app can be used in different settings. Stay tuned for our web series(s) on YouTube in 2015.

Fitness is an area that means a lot to Alex and me as individuals, and it’s also an area where we both see unmet technological need– most new fitness gadgets and apps are for aerobic activities or light bodyweight training. We’re hoping to develop tools that can be used deeply, humorously, yet sincerely by folks who can’t necessarily afford to hire a trainer regularly or get the latest gadget as soon as it comes out.

We also hope to use this project as a platform to talk about diversity issues in both fitness and technology, both of which are fields in which race, economic, and gender stratification are hobbling the experiences and contributions of many practitioners. There are a growing number of organizations devoted to erasing this kind of stratification in tech, and organizations like Third Root in Brooklyn are helping to ease this stratification in fitness– we hope to make a contribution in a way that can scale and can exist at the intersection of both fields.