“Crossfit Makes Girls Bulky” and Other Nasty Rumors.
By Ashley Holden-Klimik
We have all heard the rumors, and the endless chatter from those Crossfit “haters,” things like, “Crossfit is dangerous,” “Crossfit’s a cult,” and my personal favorite, “Crossfit makes girls bulky.”
Now keep in mind that I am just one person, and everyone’s experience is different. However, I wanted to share some thoughts about what I have discovered to be true about Crossfit, despite what the haters think.
- Crossfit makes you strong. Like really, really strong. I’m not just talking about PRs (personal records) and the fact that I can lift more than my body weight. I’m talking about functionally strong. Two years ago when my family’s home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, I had only been Crossfitting for 4 months. However, at that time, I was able to lift furniture, tree limbs, boxes, pieces of debris and everything else the storm dredged up. I was also able to move boxes over head that only 6 months before, required two people to lift. Thanks to Crossfit, I was capable of literally and figuratively carrying more weight. Oh and by the way, the only two people in my family that could physically move these items were both Crossfitters.
- Crossfit teaches you to eat like a human. Before starting Crossfit, I considered myself a healthy eater. However, I looked for low-fat, no-fat, calorie free (is that even food?), and opted for processed versions of real food because it offered fewer grams of carbs. Since joining Crossfit, I have learned to look at food differently. I see what I eat as fuel for my body and think about what I eat for how it will best help my performance, not for how it will make my butt look. In that, I have learned to eat REAL food. Fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, seeds, and lots and lots of fat. I eat a lot of it too, and that is the best part. I think of nutrition in terms of fuel for my body, and it has completely changed my relationship with food.
- Crossfit helps you develop really, really good friendships. I’m not talking about, “sometimes we text or go out for drinks” friendships (although we do that too), I’m talking about people you can laugh with, cry with, celebrate successes, and vent about frustrations with. Not just for missed lifts or benchmark PRs, but I have found my Crossfit friends to be staples in my everyday life too. Some of the people at my box are the best kind of people, and ones I consider to have life-long friend potential.
- Crossfit gives you confidence. I think this one is especially important. When you set a goal, put in the work, and watch yourself achieve it, there is no better feeling. Over and over again in Crossfit we smash personal records and watch ourselves grow and transform in ways that we didn’t imagine possible. We get physically stronger and mentally tougher. And this is not just in the box, but in life too.
- Crossfit teaches you to love and respect your body. This is especially true for women. Society teaches us we have to look a certain way (thigh gap anyone) to be attractive and/or valued. Yet Crossfit crushes that conception. Instead of looking in the mirror and obsessing over cellulite and pudge, Crossfit helps you to appreciate your body for the work it can perform.
- Crossfit allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Some may call it a cult, I call it a community. In Crossfit, not only are we a community in our own individual boxes, but in our regions, and in the world. You can watch professional Crossfitters do the same workouts you do in the Open or the Games, and marvel about how Crossfit has connected us all. Not only that, but it provides a forum to raise money for great causes, like with Barbells for Boobs, and to honor extraordinary heroes, like Memorial Day Murph. Not only do you get a killer workout, but many times, it’s for a great cause.
Now I know there will always be people who talk bad about things they don’t really understand, but for me, Crossfit will always be something life-changing and something I hope to continue to do until old age. I am certainly glad every day that I found JSA and the community it provides. Crossfit may not be for everyone, but you will never know until you try.