At the gym I try to preface all of our intro classes with a challenge to view their health differently than the world’s standards. To measure themselves and progress by different parameters. To set their standards above what the world tells us to become and strive for something greater.
I often tell the story of my jean rip (or I should say ripS). It was around April when this happened and it didn’t happen just once, but twice. I was in my closet putting on my favorite pain of skinny jeans and I hear the wonderful sound of denim tearing in half. Yep, I ripped right through those measly seams and found myself planted ass down on the carpet floor.
I immediately felt defeated. My first reaction: “I’m getting fat”! I can’t believe after all of my time spent towards eating well, lifting heavy, and now I’m fat…
I shead a little tear and then something within myself thought WAIT!
I am eating well, I am lifting heavy, I am feeling good, and damn it, I look better than I ever have! I had to purposefully stop my thoughts from going to where they have always gone. I had to re-examine what I honestly thought beauty was, what I believed health to be, what I was ultimately striving for, and who was I trying to please.
We are taught in the magazines, on TV, and even by friends that health/beauty is this one thing. You have to fit this mold of a skinny size 00 or you really are not beautiful… I once fit that mold and now I don’t. My well-developed quads will not allow it! They say nope we would rather lift 205lbs off the ground than fit into those little skinny jeans of yours.
So when it happened again. I immediately had to remind myself of what my goals were… I had to remind myself that I’m not here to live by standards of this world and I’m not here to please others. I’m doing these things for myself and for what I believe health and beauty to be…
Here is an article I found from John of Again Faster and hope this rings well and true with all the women and even men out there.
If I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon. I’d add copies of Shape and Runner’s World until the flames reached toward the heavens, and then I’d crank call the editorial desk at Muscle and Fitness until they stopped publishing pictures of women on steroids.
I’d get the master tapes of America’s Next Top Model and dub over them with “Nasty Girls”, broadcasting the results on every television station in America. I’d skywrite “CrossFit.com” across the Boston skyline, and gently admonish the hoards of long distance runners trotting along the Charles River—with a bullhorn.
I’d take every woman with mass media-induced ideals of beauty, and I’d show them what it really means to be beautiful.
Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun. They have muscles, borne of hard work and sweat. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale. They understand that muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads.
They know that high repetitions using light weights is a path to mediocrity, and “toning” is a complete and utter myth. They refuse to succumb to the marketers that prey on insecurity, leaving the pre-packaged diet dinners and fat-burning pills on the shelf to pass their expiration date.
Beautiful women train with intensity. The derive self-image from the quality of their work and their ability to excel. They don’t wear makeup to the gym, and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a vinyl pink dumbbell. They move iron, they do pull-ups, they jump, sprint, punch, and kick, and they use the elliptical machine—as a place to hang their jump rope.
They spend their weekends in sport, climbing walls, winning races, and running rivers. They laugh as they sprint circles around the unschooled, turning the image-obsessed into benchwarmers. Beautiful women don’t care if they’re soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, if their nails are chipped or their hair out of place. They care only about quality of life.
Beautiful women are happy, healthy, and strong, and they’re right there beside me, tossing conventional beauty on the ever-growing flames of what used to be.