Something has been weighing on me for a while and came to a bit of a head today. This is my blog and I intend to vent here. Read if you will. I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost 3 years now. I started at a weight of about 152lbs and a body fat percentage close to 20%. Each year since then I have lost body fat and gained I’d guess about 4lbs of muscle. This year I’m almost back to the weight I began at, but I look nothing like I did, nor do I feel like it. Somewhere along the way I realized that to be the best at this sport I was going to have to forgo looking as feminine for a while, and I decided I was ok with that. To be honest I’m more than ok with that, because I F*’n love what I do and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I love feeling strong, I love surpassing what I believed my body would ever be capable of doing at this age, and I love laying on the ground after a WOD totally spent. What bothers me are some people’s comments who just don’t “get it” and here are some responses I would like to give them:
- “You must be on something to get that strong and be lean like that” – The only thing I’m on is
And Progenex… If you really think I need to take something to get this strong and be lean then… thank you!
- “How much bigger do you want to get?” – I don’t even comprehend what you’re saying to me. Do you actually think I look in a mirror when I workout? The only thing I look at is Coach’s Eye on my phone and I’m focusing on the finish of my second pull, not the size of any part of me. My goal is to snatch 200lbs, run a sub 6min. mile, and win the CrossFit Games. I could care less how big I am when I do those things, except that running a mile that fast at a certain weight would probably become impossible!
- “You look manly” – This is my favorite :/ I can only come up with two things on this one. Either the people saying it are so intimidated and insecure that they have to say something like this to make themselves feel better. Or what I prefer to think is, as long as you’re doing something worthwhile there are going to be haters. Seriously, I’ve thought it over and I could easily stop lifting and eating so many calories and get skinny at any time. It’s easy to “lose muscle”. Just sit on your ass. Do I choose to come home and sit on the couch after work, because someone hurt my feelings? Hell no. I’m not here to live my life as they see fit. I’ll let them do that!
- I got a letter once from a fan whose daughter had said the women on the CrossFit Games were “too muscular” and they wanted me to write her as to why “strong is beautiful”. This is at the heart of what bothers me. I feel our society is way too focused on vanity and aesthetics. In all honesty I felt sexier 12lbs lighter when I looked like this:
- But did I enjoy sitting on an elliptical as much as I did competing in the CrossFit Games, which I’m going to get to watch on ESPN2 tomorrow? Do you even have to ask that?! Do you think that the women running the 100m dash in the final heat of the Olympics and trying to win gold are worrying about if their thighs look big? No, I think they’re focused on being the fastest people on the freaking planet, and that’s pretty bad ass if you ask me. I was never sure what to tell this person then, but now I would like to tell them to refocus their child on what’s important. i.e. what are they truly passionate about and making sure they know regardless of what they look like it matters more that they can sincerely say…
Of course it would be pretty admirable if she could squat 300lbs too, but that’s only if she wanted to.
I hope my ranting on this helped more than just me. I have trained my body for different sports and while I can say I loved gymnastics most, I feel healthier and more rounded doing CrossFit. The focus is on performance, not appearance and I love that. Sometimes people ask me if I want to do fitness pageants and the answer is NO! I’m not a show pony in a bikini and stripper heels with fake tanner at the mercy of subjective judges. What I do resonates as the time on a stop watch and the weight on a bar. It’s beautiful in its simplicity of measurement and beautiful in the virtuosity the human body is capable of. In this way it’s beautiful in its strength, but it’s deeper than an image. If you don’t understand what I mean, check the premises of what you place your values on.