I am very upset this morning. Not even angry. Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would say “I’m not mad…I’m disappointed.”?

I’m VERY disappointed.

And angry.

I wrote a while back about all the great things the I believe Crossfit has done for women in “The New 10”.  Sure…there’s increased self esteem, better body image, and overall health and confidence…but the community was one of the primary forces.  This group of people who are proving that there is beauty in strength.

That being said. I saw something today that absolutely infuriated me. Yes, maybe I took it too personally. Yes, maybe being able to lift a barbell without hurting yourself or being able to do a pull up aren’t goals that everyone has. This day, though, I saw something that without fail, always makes my blood boil…

…a woman saying she doesn’t like Crossfit because it makes women look like men.  They went on to say that the women currently doing it will probably look like men soon, if they don’t already.  This person apparently had tried a WOD, and didn’t complete it.  Instead of simply saying “it’s not for me”, there was a need to imply that the only women who CAN complete it or WANT to complete it, are bulky, jacked, she-hulks.

I was shocked. I understand that not everyone has the same goals. Crossfit is not for everyone, especially with my coaches who pull no punches. While I may think a woman with some muscle who can throw some weight around is sexy, someone else may find that to be too…aggressive. We all have different ideas of what we see as beautiful, and we’re all entitled to our opinions.

Before I go on, you seem confused. Let me help you out…

These are men.

and…

These are women.

Now that I’ve cleared up that little biologic mix up…

It’s not the difference in goals that shocked me. It’s the very idea that a woman, or any woman,  would be negative about something that millions of women all over the world find such positivity in. I choose to CrossFit and lift things, maybe you want to do an aerobics class, or yoga, or Zumba. Sure, maybe that’s not what I want my fitness to be.  I want to be able to to push ups. To improve my clean. To do a met con WOD faster than you. That doesn’t mean I need to tell you that your workout is stupid. Why do you need to try and rip my work down in order to make yourself feel better? Is that how you justify not completing the task? By saying only someone that you don’t want to be is capable of it? It’s the support that is missing in the world that I love about CrossFit. You would never hear a women of Crossfit, after watching someone else doing a heavier lift than them, turn to her friend and say “yea, well if she keeps lifting like that she’s gonna look like a guy.”, or get beat in a WOD and say “yea she’s strong but she looks like a man.” In the words of Taylor Swift…Never ever EVER.

This is not the most eloquent thing I’ve ever written. To be quite honest, a lot of that is because I find it extremely difficult to articulate the level of frustration I have with this. I could complain about the immense disrespect this shows towards your own sex. I could continue to bitch and moan about say how DARE you try to take away from the immense amounts of hard work that women of Crossfit put in every day. Instead, let’s cut to film.

Below are a couple of stills from the Crossfit “Beauty in Strength” campaign that aired during the Games broadcast on ESPN2.
You’re totally right. These women definitely look like dudes. GROSS!

This is Andrea Ager, one of the women in the Beauty in Strength video. Proof is in the pudding so, let’s talk numbers…

5’9″
140 lbs
Snatch: 135 lbs
Back Squat: 235 lbs
(mind you these numbers are probably way up by now)

And how about Jackie Perez

5’4″
130 lbs
Clean & Jerk: 155lbs
Back Squat: 220 lbs
(same goes for her)

I think it’s safe to say if anyone woke up with either of these bodies…they’d be pretty happy. I’d be naked all the time. That didn’t come from 2 hours of the eliptical every day…it came from HARD, HEAVY, SWEATY WORK.

Let’s talk about some of the other top competitors who HAVE been doing this for a long time…(all stats c/o the crossfit games athlete profiles from the open in 2012, so these stats have probably increased since then)

Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet

Wow. WHAT a terrible, manly, build that I would never want to have.

5’2″
126 lbs
Clean & Jerk: 200 lbs
Back Squat: 270 lbs
Fran: 2:09
6th Place Crossfit Games 2012

Julie Foucher

Ugh, NO THANKS! Who wants actual ABS?

5’4″
130 lbs
Clean & Jerk: 185 lbs
Dead Lift: 300 lbs
Grace: 1:39
2nd Place Crossfit Games 2012

Obviously, my comments on each of this bad ass women is simply dripping in sarcasm.

The women I train with day in and day out are exceptional examples as well. For anyone to try and bring down what they do…what WE do…by saying we are anything but that isn’t only rude…it’s borderline demeaning.  Would you discourage your daughter from being a gymnast, a swimmer or anything else she wanted to be, telling her “Oh, well you’re going to look like a man. Muscles are ugly. You don’t want to be ugly.”?

Yes, I may be beating a dead horse a little bit with my whole “Strong chicks are awesome” battle cries but I couldn’t stop myself. I understand the fear of becoming bulky. It’s the first thing 98% of the new women who walk into the gym say, that they don’t want to be bulky. I’ve been at it for three years, and while someone who strives for a size 0 jean may consider me too big, I do not. Your body will do what it needs to do, and for women, getting bulky and huge isn’t one of those things. Here’s the one thing I will say about some of the CF chicks who may be viewed as “bulkier”.  That doesn’t happen BY MISTAKE. No one going to a CrossFit gym a few times a week is going to wake up one morning with huge traps. You have to work your damn ass off and eat following very specific dietary guidelines to get to that place.  That is the culmination of years of dedication DAILY for HOURS. You have no RIGHT to say “I’m getting bulky” or “I’ll get bulky”.  You haven’t earned it.

If you, as a woman, do not see the value in strength…do not see the beauty in strength, that’s fine. That’s your call. That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. Don’t you dare try to bring down the work that the women of Crossfit put in every day. The literal blood, sweat, and tears that go into trying to reach our goals. Trying to get better every day. If all you have to say about it is that we are going to look like men in an attempt to bring us down…

Shame on you.

Everyone has their own idea about what beauty is. You may think my shoulders are too broad, and that my legs are too muscular. You can think whatever you want. This also means that I have the right to say…

Put up…or shut up. I’ll be over here lifting heavy things.