I know people always joke that CrossFit found them, NOT they found CrossFit… but honestly this couldn’t be a truer statement for me. CrossFit came into my life at the exact moment I needed it most.
As a professional dancer and yoga teacher, I have constantly been around environments that praise “fragile” women. Hours spent in the mirror perfecting my craft, and comparing my body to many other dancers around me. Girls barely eating before performance week or running hours on the treadmill after extensive hours of rehearsal in hopes to have the “perfect” dancer body. You would think health would be a priority for people who choose a physical activity as their profession, but sadly it is one of the most abused things in the industry. That is to say though, not every dancer is obsessive with their bodies, but it is a very important factor when approaching an audition.
I came to crossFit already lean with no intention of losing any weight. I had the typical small ballet body and in my mind 50 pounds seemed impossibly heavy. Upon starting college at University of the Arts as a dance major, I knew the four years ahead were going to be tough, mentally and physically. I was tired of being viewed as “weak” because of my size and tired of men helping me lift my tiny suitcases anytime I traveled. (thank you for the chivalry though) All of this stereotypical judging from outsiders was starting to sink in… I felt like my body wasn’t capable of anything even dancing at this point. People saw my size as tiny and fragile and with that my dancing started to become just that.
This is when I found CrossFit Center City.
When I first began, I had about as much upper body strength as a baby bird learning to fly. I thought years of ballet class would make squatting no problem, but let me tell you.. I was quickly humbled. I started to pick up weights I had never imagined possible and just like that my body was getting stronger. Each day was hard but the challenge was fun and well worth it. My dancing had never felt so good. Not only could I feel the difference in my strength but my confidence was sky rocketing. I always smiled to myself when I knew people would look at me and assume I was just a little weakling struggling to pick up a 5 lb. dumbbell but then I deadlifted 215 lbs and judgments quickly changed.
As a women we are told to be lean, skinny, fragile, or graceful. I found more grace in my dancing when I started Crossfit then I had ever before. Being strong is so much more rewarding to me as an athlete and dancer then fitting into the tiny unitard the director wants or maintaining a size 0. I love watching people be in awe at the capability of a small strong body not a small fragile body.
Every single coach at CFCC welcomed my outrageous personality through the doors and helped me to realize I could “play with the big boys” no matter my size. Even though at times they were certain I was going to break, they all had faith in my abilities and pushed me far beyond what my mind had told me I couldn’t. I would not be the dancer I am today without the endless support of this community and their constant belief in my strength regardless of my stature/size. This is truly a place of stars in every field and background, People come from all over the country and pass through the doors of CFCC, leaving a better person. Even though were just at the barbell each day, the strength and confidence that develops here extends easily into every facet of life.
I could not be happier that I discovered this community of truly, truly unique people… and when I say unique I mean it in the weirdest best way possible. I feel endless support at CrossFit Center City and can’t even refer to it as a gym, it is a second home. A sanctuary for growth. If you are ready to change and be the absolute best women or man you can be, stepping inside the basement of dreams will be one of your greatest decisions.