Posts Tagged ‘Strong Women’

This morning I had the opportunity to attend an all-women’s CrossFit competition; the 6th Annual Women’s WOD Jam, at CrossFit Profectus. It was made up of teams of two, completing 4 workouts each over the course of the day. Every time I walk away from one of these competitions, I’m always so fired up! People push through pain in ways they never thought possible, accomplish things they never imagined, and cheer on their friends (new and old) through the same suffering they just experienced themselves. There aren’t many sports where most competing athletes legitimately care about and support one another. CrossFit is one of those sports.

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While I’ve been to dozens of events like this (as spectator, judge, coach, and athlete), yesterday I realized something pretty sweet about them. The 360 degree perspective and range of emotions for people in the room is incredible:

The Spectator: (Critical to the energy at the event)

  • They’re typically friends and family of the competing athletes, and are there to cheer them on
  • Quickly, they become supporters of all athletes out on the floor, even ones they don’t know
  • Almost always experience moments that leave them in awe
  • They leave inspired, ready to get back into the gym to better themselves

The Judge: (Critical to the integrity and organization of the event)

  • They’re typically coaches and members at the gym who want to help the event run smoothly
  • Upholding the standard of competition and encouraging others makes me feel good
  • Almost always experience moments that leave them in awe
  • They leave inspired, ready to get back into the gym to better themselves

The Coach: (Critical to ensure athletes don’t lose their minds at the event)

  • They’re typically folks who have at least some experience competing themselves, and love helping others reach their full potential
  • Learn more about their athletes, how they perform under pressure, and identify new cues and ways of communicating with them
  • Almost always experience moments that leave them in awe
  • They leave inspired, ready to get back into the gym to better themselves and their athletes

The Athlete: (Critical in order to throw a fun event)

  • There is no typical athlete, which is my favorite part! Depending on the event, there are first-timers just looking to have fun, those who treat CrossFit as a part time job and train HARD all the time, and everyone in between.
  • Immediately bond with those around them to push and encourage one another
  • Almost always experience moments that leave them in awe
  • They leave inspired, ready to get back into the gym to better themselves

Do you see a pattern there? Those are all POSITIVE outcomes! Knowing that, if you’ve always wanted to go spectate but didn’t have the courage, go to an event near you. If you have wanted to try being a judge, do it. If you’re a coach who has wanted to prepare an athlete for an event, they’re out there looking for coaches, I promise. And if you’ve always been too nervous to sign up for an event but wanted to, let me know. I’ll get you fired up enough to do it. There are rookie/first-timer competitions all over the place! In my optimistic brain, if approached properly, there is literally nothing negative associated with being in any of those groups at a CrossFit competition. Well… except for the soreness afterwards for the athletes. That always sucks!

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Ladies of the Women’s WOD Jam: Thank you for the incredible display of strength and power yesterday. The energy in the room was incredible, and I’m so proud of all of you!

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“You are your own worst enemy.”

I started this post on February of 2016. Yep. I didn’t finish it because it didn’t seem powerful enough. Like I said yesterday, I suffer from “paralysis by analysis” in most areas of my life. I sit and think, and overthink, and think some more. Then, I’ll ask one person for their opinion, then another, then another. At that point, I’ll convince myself that what I wanted to do in the first place is good enough. Rinse. Repeat.

But now I’m just going to share more. Half thoughts. Incomplete thoughts. The “gist” of certain thoughts. My hope in doing that is to start dialogue with all of you. I don’t expect my posts to be the *hard stop* of any of my thoughts. I started this blog to create a conversation with all of you! So, here’s to starting that two-way street again.

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As a trainer, my greatest goal is to prove to the athletes that I coach just how powerful they really are capable of becoming! Given that I’ve coached thousands of athletes, I’ve notice some trends. First, a woman who walks into the gym for the first time and considers herself “out of shape” is usually MUCH harder on herself than a man who walks into the gym for the first time. What happens next, though?

Through a supportive community, consistency in their effort, and a bit of decent coaching, in no time at all the confidence of the woman (re)appears. The empowerment they gain from an increased sense of accomplishment and independence, the belief that they’re capable of so much more than they had imagined, the desire to uplift and encourage others around them…. on average, I notice female athletes adopting those traits far more rapidly than men.

Many of us can quickly think of several “top performers” at our gyms. Often times, they might be the men who can lift the most weight, or run the fastest. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, if we stop and think about who creates the heartbeat of each individual box, of our unique CrossFit community, I’ve found most of these core members are women. Like most of us, they’ll be struggling through a workout but they’ll see a friend struggling across the gym and shout a few words to keep them moving. They might be done first, but they’ll rarely clean up and leave without cheering on their colleagues. In this world of ours, I don’t think it should be about thinking, “how good am I”, but rather, “how good can I make this place, this secondary family of mine?” Women do that more often than men.

It may seem like a blanket statement, but I’m just saying what I’ve seen. Women, in so many aspects of “American” culture, are almost trained to view themselves as underdogs or “less-thans”… but I’ve found that through helping these individuals see just how powerful they are, barriers are knocked down in their own heads and this new sense of strength is transferred into every other area of their lives.

To quote Queen B: “Who run the world? Girls!”

The next time you’re in the gym, look around. Look for that “eye of the tiger” stare in your fellow classmates. Remember that “beast mode” isn’t just defined by who lifts the most or moves the fastest. The individuals who inspire others around them the most are typically the ones who push on when things get tough. They’re the ones who never quit.

Ladies, you’re awesome. Please don’t ever forget that! Thank you for constantly inspiring me to push myself just a little bit more every day!

Know that your friends can see your progress, and they’re amazed by what you can do. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself.

…. Post that I started 18 months ago: Published!