I was a nice girl before I started CrossFit. Well, that’s how I remember it anyway. I would drop the f-bomb from time to time, but generally my vocabulary was dull and very conservative!
Swearing was frowned upon in my family and at the nice private schools I grew up in: boys did it, but they didn’t do it around girls! Being the fairer sex meant that we were expected to be well behaved and speak in a fitting and appropriate manner. I’ve always tried to do the right thing, to fit in and behave in a socially acceptable manner. But that’s kinda like trying holding your breath – permanently. Being socially acceptable is agreeing to be something far less, far shallower, far more tame and something totally other than what I am. It’s impossible, it’s like dying a little bit everyday!
I’ve never dropped the f-bomb around my Dad, that would not be well received. I don’t even know if he swears outside of the word ‘shit’.
Enter CrossFit. How quickly I have changed.
There is something utterly liberating, raw, honest and empowering about CrossFit and the atmosphere in which we train and hang out with one another.
From the moment I walked in the doors of CrossFit Adelaide about three years ago, my language became more colourful, my sense of personal empowerment flourished and my willingness to be socially acceptable shrivelled up and died a quiet and painless death!
I swear. I make noise. I lift heavy. I sweat. I bleed. I push. I have muscles. I am wildly passionate about my life.
CrossFit liberates me, demands that I am real and authentic. We are simple creatures: dirty, hard working, honest and passionate. CrossFit has given me permission to be all of these things. When I step up to a heavy lift, I call on my fury, I focus it on the bar, I swear at that bar. What comes out of my mouth always changes but the themes remain the same; the words come from an ancient, powerful, primal place. That bar submits itself to me and knows it’s about to be dominated.
There are words that pass my lips with regularity that I would never have conceived of speaking before CrossFit!
I am one of those noisy athletes at the box, heaving, grunting, screaming and shouting when the going gets tough. It wasn’t so long ago in our socially correct history that women were meant to be seen and never heard. I see so many women come into CrossFit today who suddenly transform into the strong, empowered, confident woman they were born to be! They learn to unleash the beast within who has been gagged and caged for a life time! It is so liberating to sweat while swearing in CrossFit Classes, and lift heavy things.
At the CrossFit Games this year during the clean and jerk ladder I let a mouthful of hooha rip when my jerk failed and landed back on my shoulders! I wasn’t going to put that bar down and clean it up again, no way! Words came pouring forth, that bar was on some kind of serious notice, it should have been terrified! It went up! Those in the crowd close enough to hear me laughed and cheered like crazy! One of the media guys came up to me afterwards and asked me what exactly I’d said…I told him…yes he said, he thought that’s what he’d lip-read!!! He laughed so hard, so did I!
I don’t want to be the nice girl I was, I wasn’t ever happy, comfortable or confident trying to act in a socially acceptable manner. Today I’m not scared to swear with my clients, my family members, at my seminars, during interviews, in the heat of competition or training! I’m not saying that every second word is now the f-bomb, I’m just not afraid to use more colour in my vocabulary these days!
I honestly think it’s a relief for people when you do drop the odd f-bomb (or one of it’s friends into a conversation), particularly in more formal or corporate environments! It says I’m not trying to be anything but me, I’m a bit rough around the edges, but guaranteed, what you see is what you get. I’m not playing the ‘who’s more socially acceptable’ game with you, I’m just turning up, being real and being honest with you, and with myself!
Why do we swear? Because it unleashes power, it primes the psyche and the physical being, because it’s a primal and ancient war cry, because it focusses energy and makes clear your intention, because we’ve found a place that finally gives us permission, demands that we be our true selves!
When I walk into the box I am an all powerful, wild warrior woman on a mission, not a nice girl. I swear. I sweat. I lift heavy. I love it!
Take it or leave it!