When women first start CrossFit, their bodies change, and they become CAPABLE.
To begin, women’s bodies optimize for their training: If a Crossfitter is stick skinny and is unable to squat without her knees collapsing in, she will most likely grow lean muscle to allow her to perform a squat. If she’ls overweight and unable to run a mile with her excess bodyweight, she will most likely shed weight until running a mile is more efficient. Regardless of how a woman’s body changes, whether it becomes bigger, smaller, denser, or lighter, her body adapts to be able to perform the training required. She is now able to do things she couldn’t before.
Ability feels good; in fact, ability feels better than almost anything, and when a woman feels capable, her confidence soars.
All of a sudden, a formerly heavyweight woman is able to climb stairs without getting out of breath, and a skinny woman isn’t shying away from physical tasks. The gym becomes less of a place she goes to in order to look good, and becomes a place where she discovers more things she can accomplish. Often, the desire to be skinny starts to fade away, and becomes less important than the next accomplishment. Women in CrossFit end up embracing a stronger, more capable figure. But a woman’s transformation in CrossFit goes beyond this.
Most women end up loving the way they look. even though it does not fit the female archetype.
The more successful they become in Crossfit, the less important mainstream society becomes. So, if these women are anything like me or the women I’ve trained, they stop doing these things. They spend their time on CrossFit websites rather than Cosmopolitan, they shop more at Lululemon than Bloomingdales, and they begin to doubt the society that shaped them and those around them.
This is GREAT, but this is also why sometimes CrossFit women become obsessed. They start to forget that they were told women shouldn’t have calluses. They start to enjoy how strong-willed they feel pushing through a tough WOD. They feel powerful putting hundreds of pounds over their heads. They start to feel beautiful without a product in a magazine. All of a sudden, they see a world that appreciates their strength, will power, and ability versus a world that appreciates their…small pores? No, thank you, I’ll stick to the CrossFit world.
In essence, CrossFit is a gateway to removing the superficial expectations of society. We start to live in a different kind of reality, one that we have shaped for ourselves. Character matters more than facebook posts. Hard work is valued more than instant gratification. Getting to the gym matters more than TMZ. The superficial falls away and what we are left with is quality women that are figuring out who they REALLY are, instead of what they thought they should be. The ability to see past societal influences and then, eventually, not succumb to societal influences takes a long time, but is a worthwhile and valuable journey.
The transformation that most women go through upon entering the world of CrossFit specifically is important, meaningful, and deserves attention.
The changes in the confidence levels, attitude, and mental fortitude are my favorites to witness as a coach. Women do not CrossFit just to look good; We CrossFit to ground ourselves in what matters, revert back to the time we didn’t know who the Kardashians were, and give a big middle finger to the meaningless limitations society places on our gender stereotypes and expectations. And that feels really, really good.
If you are a woman that has gone through this or you can feel yourself starting to, i urge you to explore it. Challenge yourself to look closely at what is shaping you, and don’t be afraid to turn your back on ideas and lifestyles you once blindly accepted.