Guest Blog: Daryl from Zen Planner
“There has been a monumental push forward in sport as CrossFit now recognizes athletes by gender identity rather than sex assigned at birth. With this new visibility comes the responsibility to provide inclusivity and act as an advocate for trans athletes.
Zen Planner, a leader in the gym management software community, is making strides to change the way both owners and users interact with the gender component of fitness. We are stoked to work with OUTWOD on this endeavor.
As a trans athlete and Zen Planner employee, I understand firsthand the importance of bringing awareness to, and working towards, removing the barriers to entry that many of us face when committing to a healthier lifestyle. This includes the leaderboard I want to see my name on, which competitions I can register for, and how my information is being funneled into my gym’s database. Zen Planner recognizes these pain points and has plans to change moving forward in our partnership.
The union between Zen Planner and OUTWOD is organic, as we share many of the same core values. At Zen Planner, we believe inclusivity holds the key to understanding one another and growing together. We have a Diversity and Inclusion committee in-office that organizes opportunities to highlight, educate, and celebrate the things that make us unique. For example, last year we put together a pride celebration that included information about how and why the parade came to exist, and how straight allies can understand their role and be more aware of the space they take up when trying to be supportive. We generated enough interest in this educational event at our Denver office that the office of our parent company in Birmingham, Alabama followed suit!
Gym owners who use our software also share our values, and many have submitted feature requests surrounding gender options and the leaderboard structure, which ultimately made it through to production. So now, instead of being limited to the binary options in these aspects of the software we have changed it up and started down the path to inclusivity.
Zen Planner user and owner of Rocket CrossFit in Seattle, Alyssa Royse says, “We built Rocket CrossFit as a gym to support every body. When our athletes told us that they felt excluded and erased by having to choose a gender to register, it broke my heart. But it also seemed like a problem with a solution.” Alyssa is a tremendous ally and advocate for trans and non-binary athletes in the sport of CrossFit and played a crucial role in allowing us to compete. She consistently pushed for this change over the last two years and spoke directly with our Product Team to brainstorm possible solutions. Zen Planner got rid of some antiquated code and aligned the software’s functionality with our beliefs. “From the very first call, Zen Planner was receptive. They immediately saw how important this is and started fixing it. This was a change worth waiting for. We’re so proud to have been part of this change.”
Zen Planner will continue learning and seeking out how to better accommodate a wider variety of gender identities, and we hope that other software solutions in the fitness industry will follow our lead. We are proud to be in partnership with OUTWOD and look forward to changing the world, one box at a time.” – Daryl Bagesse, Zen Planner