I would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land I live on and host classes from is the traditional territory of many, including the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot), and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory. I also recognize that this land is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
This land acknowledgment is important because the more we historicize the oppression of Indigenous peoples by settlers, the harder it becomes to deny them their rights and to pretend they have not called these lands home for over 10,000 years. As a settler myself, I am committed to fighting against the systematic oppression that has dispossessed Indigenous peoples of their lands and denied them the human right of self-expression.
This acknowledgment reminds us that we are accountable for the relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples, and pushes us to help protect the land and water that sustains all of us. It also reiterates the importance of listening to and raising Indigenous voices, and continuing to self-reflect and learn.
I’m Michelle “Vera” Schofield, a queer, plus-size flexibility coach, here to both check your form and cheer you on during your flexibility and movement journey. I started Flexibility with Vera because I was tired of seeing only one body type represented in the fitness industry, and sick of the lack of inclusion in many of the classes I attended. When you take a class with me, ask how the nickname Vera came about!
I know full well that everyone, no matter their body type, can be flexible and strong. This is why accessibility is at the core of my practice. I want everyone to feel included in my classes and will always listen to my students and learn new ways to support them.
When not training my flexibility or doing my day job (I’m an illustrator and web designer!), you can find me drawing portraits, pole dancing, exploring the city of Toronto on foot, cooking, watching cartoons, or hanging out with my three cats. I’m also an activist at heart, and will always speak up when something doesn’t sit right with me and my community, both inside and outside of class.
CanFitPro Personal Trainer Specialist (March 2022)
CPR-A Certified (September 2021)
Flexibility Flow by XPERT Fitness (November 2020)
Continuing Education Credits
Prescriptive Stretching (In Progress)
Perfect Posture (In Progress)
Size-Inclusive Fitness Specialist (April 2022)
The Mechanics of Stretching (August 2021)
Finding Stability and Mobility in a Healthy & Personalized Way (May 2021)
Online Fitness Professional (February 2021)
Hypermobility and Yoga (January 2021)
We have all witnessed the anti-racism protests around the world, alongside calls for an end to the long history of racial injustice in Canada. Both as a business and as a human being, I am committed to purposefully reflecting on and uprooting thoughts of bigotry and racism, as well as taking action to help end systemic oppression and white supremacy. Like many things in life, this is easier said than done, but I am committed to effectuating real and lasting change.
Of course, impact is more important than intent, so I ask that you, as my community, hold me accountable by making sure my actions align with my words. I understand that I won’t always get it right, and therefore will continue to acknowledge my mistakes as they occur. I will also continue to educate myself on both the history of systemic racism and the unconscious and automatic ways racism presents itself. Alongside holding myself accountable, I will furthermore educate and encourage those in my communities to actively be anti-racist moving forward.
Last but certainly not least, I will continue to actively listen to and include the narratives of people of colour. I vow to use my privilege to center and uplift people of colour in predominantly white spaces, while not putting the burden on them to speak about their experiences or do anti-racist work. White people were the ones that created white privilege and therefore must do the job of dismantling it.