Archive for November 17, 2010

“There is magic in fighting battles beyond endurance…”

Posted in Articles on November 17, 2010 by Swole Patrol

Strong is beautiful: A Silverback soliloquy.

A week or so ago a friend of mine was questioning whether lifting heavy weights or Crossfit was right for her. As usual she was worried that all the lifting we were doing was gonna make her bulky and she was afraid she would build certain muscles over others and wouldn’t look proportional. It breaks my heart when I hear women talk about not wanting to lift anymore because they’ll get bulky, or talking about quitting Crossfit to just diet and do yoga. It kills me to see what female role models young girls have to look at on TV and in mass media, over skinny, underfed, skin and bones girls. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have some very strong women love me, teach me, and inspire me. None of these women inspired me because they were rail thin size zero runway models, they inspired me with their strength of character, strength of mind, and strength of body.

I am also inspired by our Crossfit Ladies and OCBC members, every day these women are smashing the myth and showing everybody that strong is beautiful. I am filled with hope when I see “Ear Muffs” come skipping in the gym with “Grey Beard,” going through our warm ups and then finishing her own WOD, the next generation of OCBC members will be full of strong women. Below is an email I wrote to my friend, I truly hope all women can see through the trash and realize that strong is beautiful.

How your body will look is largely determined by genetics, ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph, are the three basic body types: long and lanky, athletic and lean, stronger and softer. Changing your body type isn’t impossible but for somebody like me who is pretty much a mesomorph I’ll never be long and lanky, it’s not in the cards. I could get more athletic and lean by adjusting my nutrition accordingly but I probably won’t ever look like Brat Pitt from fight club (I would kick that guys ass anyway). So to some extent you are limited by what your parents gave you.

Lifting weights will not make you ‘bulky’ and yoga will not make you ‘long and lean’. Anybody who tells you lifting makes you bulky and inflexible is a moron and probably doesn’t know shit from shit. Look at female gymnast, or Olympic sprinters who are jacked out of their minds and tell me they are not flexible. Muscle don’t stretch permanently, when you stretch your hamstring your quad shortens and the opposite happens when you stretch your quad. If you really could make your muscles permanently “longer” you would have to also grow taller, where would the extra muscle length go right?

You as a woman are constantly overwhelmed with body images in media that are probably enhanced to unnatural and unattainable levels, achieved via very unhealthy practices, and generally are sickly looking. I know myself and almost every man I know would take an athletic “Crossfit Lady” over a skinny sickly runway model any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The dudes that like super skinny girls are tiny little wimps anyway so they don’t count.

On a personal level I’ve struggled with body image issues my whole life and still do. I’ve never been skinny, or shredded like Ryan or Zach. Even in college wrestling when I wrestled at 187lbs, nearly 100lbs lighter than I weigh now I didn’t have a six pack. In college when I had to make weight and maintain my weight I did a lot of unhealthy things to do so and it caught up with me. After I was done and I stopped wrestling I gained like 70lbs almost over night, so do a lot of weight class athletes, so please don’t do anything unhealthy. I literally have been on teams and competing with dudes that are the best conditioned athletes in the world, no body fat and muscles for days, and here I was a chubby dude that no matter what I tried it didn’t seem like I could get there. In the end I guess I figured out that it doesn’t matter what your body looks like, I’m not saying you should get morbidly obese, but the things people are drawn to are attitude, confidence, and personality. Strength makes you confident, confidence improves your attitude, a positive attitude improves your personality, and a good personality will take you farther than being super thin ever will.

Have faith in yourself, have faith in what we are doing in the gym.
Most importantly… be strong.

Posted by: Johnny