There has been a lot in the atmosphere about girl power. Without a doubt, we are strong, we are smart, we are talented, we are compassionate, we are powerful, and in case you didn’t see the footage from the Women’s March – there are a lot of us.
Sometimes it takes large acts, like millions of people marching across the globe, to remind us of the powerful and worthy presence of women. Last night, I was reminded of how wonderful women can be in a small, but significant way.
Nike Chicago hosted their Metcon pop-up last night at South Loop Cross Fit. Just about 30 of us packed in the large, industrial space. After checking-in, signing waivers, and getting outfitted in our new shoes, we were ready to work out. In all my years of Bootcamps and Body Blasts, run clubs and gyms, I had never been to a CrossFit. Based on the faces of those around me, I wasn’t alone. I stood next to a 6’4, lean, insanely fit dude, who very timidly turned to me and said, “I’m out of my element.” “Me too” I laughed, “here goes nothing – I hope we don’t die.” He smiled.
Within minutes introductions had been made and the groups broke up into small teams. We were doing five rounds of the following exercises (30 seconds each, with 30 seconds of rest in between):
Overhead plate raise lunges
Alternative plank rows
Once we had our assignments, everyone in the room stood still—ready to work out, but so serious. No one was smiling or laughing, just long faces waiting for the clock to turn. The coach walked over and cranked the music, and shouted “Go” and off we went.
After the first two or three exercises something changed for my group. When we dropped the plate and stopped the bike for our 30 second rest period, I looked up and we were all singing. Some tune by Jess Glynne was blasting, and we all knew the words. We were laughing, and dancing, and singing. Another 30 second set, and then we went right back to singing and dancing. Yes, we were sweating, tired, and breathing deep. But, we were having fun.
And you know what, having fun is contagious! It didn’t take long before other groups were high-fiveing, sweating it out and singing along, and encouraging words were being shouted.
I was grateful to end up with my small girl-group that was willing to be a little silly and take a step outside the super-serious comfort zone of the room. It was such a small moment, but such a big reminder. Being yourself isn’t limited to be a male or female, it’s being genuine that makes any experience better—even super sweaty ones.