I have been waiting for this moment – to be featured in Juli’s blog! You know you have made it when she asks you to write for her, and you probably have, except for me, because I basically told her I was writing something and she should post it. True story.
But the real reason I ever started thinking about writing something was in part due to the liberation that Crossfit has given me as a woman and I wanted to share that with others that may relate to it. And I have seen enough comments throughout Juli’s website to know there are both men and women out there that can relate to, or at least appreciate, some of the things that Crossfit does for women.
My story is nothing exceptional; I bought a Crossfit groupon in November 2011 out of sheer desperation to try some new fad that would cure my monster thighs. Here is where my naiveté probably saved me, because I had no idea what I was doing or what I was about to embark on. The coaches (enter my friends Juli, Sergio and a lot of other awesome people) had fun socks and donned awesome sunglasses and headbands so it seemed cool. For the most part, I never thought it was anything more than a gym with some weird workouts where people grunted. I never thought it would rock me to my core.
Most of my life I have spent time looking in mirrors because one day, long ago, I decided I was fat. I am not sure if it was because of the gym teacher in high school who told me I wouldn’t be able to do a pull up unless I lost weight, or if it was because of my peers that told me I wasn’t fast enough to be on their jail-break team. Regardless, it was something I lived with for years, and it consumed me.
Did you know that recent studies have found that more than 90% of girls want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest? Most of the girls surveyed were teenagers – and true to statistics, that was the point in my life when I was standing in front of a mirror, saying horrible things to myself.
I’m not here to complain about the size of my thighs, although they are pretty beefy; and I am not here to tell you about the size of my ass, although it really should be insured like J-Lo’s; I am just here because I figured something out, and I have Crossfit to thank for that. Crossfit, ever so slowly, changed the way I thought of myself. I didn’t notice it at first, but eventually instead of looking in the mirror and critiquing myself, I was looking at my reflection and smiling. Who knew I could toss around 150lbs like it’s nothing? I had no idea that I could run a mile faster than 10 minutes…let alone almost under 7! And did I mention that not only can I do a pull-up, I did a WOD with 50 AND I weigh more than I did when I was in my high school gym class? BOOM!
The thing is, Crossfit has allowed me to become someone I never knew I could be, both physically and mentally. It has opened my mind to so many more possibilities. If I can do this, and make it through, what else can I do? There’s a personal sense of pride knowing that I am part of a community that values strength, determination and passion. As a woman that has spent years trying to fit into a mold that is not realistic, I finally have found comfort in knowing that my muscles, athleticism and sweat are in good company in my Crossfit gym.
There is something even more liberating knowing that my muscles are not only attractive features, but critical components for me to function. No longer do I see myself as a bigger woman, I’m a strong and capable athlete. No longer do I look at my thighs and wish for twig legs – how will they help me get to my goal of a 300lb deadlift? Gone are the days thinking that I needed to eat nothing so I could fit in a dress, how would I be able to crush a hero WOD if I never ate anything?
For years I told myself that I can’t, but now, I have never felt more capable, strong and sexy then when I am finishing a WOD and writing my score on the white board. I have found something that makes me know I can, and that I will be able to complete the unthinkable, whether it’s a WOD or something else in life. I finally, after years appreciate the strength in my muscles, the sweat pouring down my brow and the gratitude I feel knowing my body can do what I am asking it to do.
It is for all these things that I am thankful for people like Juli and the amazing coaches and athletes I meet along the way. Because they also know this little secret, that it is not really Crossfit that makes us who we are, it’s that we are the people that make Crossfit the sport it is today. And I am damn proud to be a Crossfit athlete – with my monster thighs!