Michelle Caldaroni
Photographer: Marie-Lyssa Dormeus
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Women are raised in a world that dictates what it means to be “fit”: skinny, calorie counting and 5 pound barbells dominate women’s health magazines and proclaim that “skinny is sexy”, strength is masculine and weight lifting will make you bulky. Besides this obviously unhealthy attitude of what it means for women to be fit and healthy, this mantra places the utmost value on body image. Women are led to believe that looking thin is the end goal of exercise and sports. 2012 has seen a veritable explosion of media coverage for CrossFit, marking the mainstream emergence of the sport and fuelling the notion that there are other options in the world of women’s fitness. For too long, we have been misled down a path of backward thinking, flooded with ideas about fitness and health that serve to work against us.

These ideas of “toning”, “tightening” and cycles of crash dieting reflect that “fitness” has been used as a marketing term to sell products to women, to keep us buying into the next fad and sending us on a perpetual quest for the unattainable. But for female CrossFitters, nothing is unattainable. They have rejected that there are limits on the physical abilities of women and explored the amazing feats of strength and agility that their bodies are capable of and have found that they  can do more than look good. We are powerful, confident and driven.

We female CrossFitters do pushups, not Pilates. “ We take pride in our community that pushes us to our limits and offers support along the road to our goals. We revel in learning new skills each time we step foot inside the box, and love the feeling of lifting that barbell loaded with seriously heavy weights that the magazines said we shouldn’t lift. We eat the calories our muscular bodies crave. We grow stronger and more empowered with each rep”. CrossFit has redefined “fit”. Women embrace CrossFit because it blows traditional ideas of fitness for women out of the water: Forget “toning” your abs, cardio machines, counting calories and the other garbage that has been fed to you your whole life. CrossFit women stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow CrossFitters of all ages, sizes, shapes and genders and go head-to-head for each and every rep, gaining physical and mental strength through perseverance in the sport. The women of CrossFit featured in these pages represent the new definition of fitness. Breaking with convention, these female athletes have rewritten years of misguided ideals about fitness and embraced being healthy, strong individuals.

Their strength stems from hard work, achieving personal records (PR’s) and the support of other like-minded athletes who refuse to be defined by anyone but themselves.

What transpires inside the box directly translates into everyday life. Although every CrossFitter starts at a different level of athleticism, they share one common trait: setting goals and pushing themselves each and every day until they can ring the PR bell proudly and proclaim their victories.

CrossFit women carry themselves with confidence and are never afraid to face any challenge the world might throw at them. Accomplishments feed confidence, and when CrossFit women step up to the barbell or stand on the podium, they send a strong message: CrossFit women are redefining fitness for this generation of females and the next. And the world is watching. So bring it on!

Athletes: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Britney Holmberg, Angie Pye, Alicia Connors, Leanne Andali, Michele Letendre, Kristine Andali, Lacey Van Der Marel, Monica Branco

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