Lift Like A Girl

I like to browse Facebook video links and YouTube’s most popular picks. Typically I can find something entertaining, but it’s rare to find something that really resonates with me.

I like to browse Facebook video links and YouTube’s most popular picks. Typically I can find something entertaining, but it’s rare to find something that really resonates with me. In a world that’s polarized by overly sensitive satire, and calloused and careless behaviors, I feel like many messages are either way too politically correct, or just plain over the top. And it seems to tear our very culture and communities apart.

Rather than focus on the obvious actions we can take as a group to make the world better, we bicker via Facebook posts and blog comments about something being terribly offensive, or backing a position with strong oppositions opinions. I suppose parts of this are good: freedom of speech, staying educated and aware of current topics, and potentially opening other minds to new ideas. But if we’re being honest, most of it is bullsh*t. Most of it is people with big opinions and even bigger egos, spouting vicious digs and tactless rebuttals at one another in an attempt to “be right.”

Wading through my Facebook feed this week, I stumbled across a rare gem. It wasn’t a video of humiliating circumstances or horrific tragedy, it was something beautiful and eye-opening. A new Always campaign, #likeagirl, puts a spotlight on young girls and young women, and their confidence throughout puberty. It’s not uncommon to associate tampons with tears, but this is different. Here is the video:

We all know that being a young girl can be rough. Societal standards, educational demands, relationships, honing adaptive skills, and continuous development can be exhausting. And it’s during those times that so many young women are bogged down with concerns about they way they look and what people think. In those pivotal years, many girls lose their sense of confidence to the constant barrage of negative commentary they receive from the world around them. And their big wild dreams for the future dissipate because they are unsure of their own capabilities. Being a girl often becomes something cute and silly, rather than important and powerful.

The Always campaign emphasizes the importance of changing that message to keep their self-assurance in tact. Giving a girl all the opportunities in the world means squashing the idea of limitations based on gender. I am a daughter, and a mother to a little girl, and I’m also completely immersed in the world of CrossFit. I think this video spoke to me for the same reasons that CrossFit has become such a poignant part of my life. When you walk into a box, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re super fit, or super overweight. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 65. You learn quickly that heart is what it’s all about, and there simply are no limitations to your personal journey. In CrossFit, girls aren’t just silly, gossipy, emotional, weak creatures. Girls are astonishing, strong, beautiful, beasts. And to run like a girl, or throw like a girl, or lift like a girl is not only something we embrace, but something we should proudly pass on to our youth. Because being a girl is not something to be mocked. Being a girl is powerful and our sport so perfectly reflects that.

To all the women of the CrossFit world: young eyes are watching. Little girls are seeing their moms workout, and high school teens are watching the Games on ESPN and being introduced to a new take on what it means to be a girl. There are no boundaries on badassness, and CrossFit women are a new kind of example as little ladies form ideas and plans for their own future. I firmly believe that the CrossFit community is a perfect place for a little girl to grow, with the understanding that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Do we lift like girls? Hell yes we do. And there’s nothing bad about that.

Abi Reiland
Co-Owner, Trainer - CrossFit 8035
Director, The MAT Games
Author, Pretty N'Gritty