Hi there! I’m a CrossFit enthusiast, level 1 certificate holder, and studying for my NASM certification – fitness is a passion and source of joy in my life and I hope to share that joy with others here. Until I found Crossfit almost five years ago I never would have considered it a good thing to be called a beast – and names like that definitely stung in high school, especially because they very clearly implied that you were failing in your prescribed duty to be feminine in a socially acceptable and non threatening way. These days, however, nothing makes me feel more proud than to push myself and accomplish something that deserves the comment “beast!” and whether anyone else may think so, that is entirely consistent with MY idea of what is feminine – because I’m female, and if I do it and it’s part of who I am, that’s feminine enough for me!
Only recently I’ve updated this blog’s tagline to specifically note that part of the fun around here includes feminism and I have a few things to say about that. First of all, what is feminism, to me? Simply put, the belief that women are people too – that female people, male people, and those people falling elsewhere between the gender poles, are all equally people. Gender and sex are incidental characteristics and should not define or list our choices (furthermore – this directly implies (or is implied by – intertwined with?) the sometimes sadly radical notion that likewise people of all colors, economic and social backgrounds, and religious beliefs are, again, equally and most importantly peopl). The beautiful thing about this is that this means feminism isn’t “for women” – it’s for everyone, especially anyone who wants to live their life without being told they can’t do something that they need or want to do simply because of the box they’ve checked on their driver’s license.
It is also, especially on this blog, about dismantling the narrative that assigned strength to masculinity and fragility to femininity. I work out for many reasons – one of them includes that I consider being strong, tough, and capable a valuable feminist statement about my efficacy in this world – a refutation of the story I was raised without about all the things girls couldn’t or shouldn’t do (I viewed my military service as the ultimate expression of this, among many, many other important things that it meant to me).
I think it’s important to focus not only on the physical aspects of fitness, but also the mental piece – both when we talk about focus during exercise, and in looking at what our fitness habits mean in the larger context of our lives, and how we can use that time to grow emotionally and mentally as well as physically. A lot of time spent in the gym can be used as a great foundation for confidence and insight in every day life, and ultimately my passion for fitness is rooted in the enormous power it has to improve our entire lives.