Girls Do Things (and Boys Do, Too)

If these pictures were posted separately on social media, with their subjects appropriately tagged, you would see comments like this:

Man’s wall: “Beastmode!” “That’s so rad!” “Killin’ it!”

Woman’s wall: “Your arms look great!” “So hottttt!” “You look awesome, girl!”

This bothers me.

He looks good. She does too. She did something. So did he. But his accomplishment mattered to his friends; her appearance mattered more to hers.

Men aren’t wired for accomplishment more than women are. But we’re taught by mass media that women have painted nails and ‘gym outfits,’ and boys are sweaty with perfect hair. That we should care less about what they do than how they look doing it.

It’s not surprising that we assume every woman is trying to lose weight or tone up. Most gyms cater to this futile hamster-in-a-wheel mindset, so it’s a common mistake. Call it an error of context: sure, she’s lost weight. She’s also doing a handstand. Take note.

When you do a Bar Traverse, it’s hard. It rips your palms. Your forearms want to fail, and you’re never sure if you’ll be able to hold the next grip long enough to stay on the bar. But the amount of ‘awesome’ is directly proportional to the difficulty of the task. It’s a causative relationship.

CrossFit isn’t going to make you a skinny waif OR a mutant. But it will reveal what you’re supposed to look like: a human athlete.

CrossFit makes you toned. The clinical definition of ‘tone’ means tension; readiness. It doesn’t mean “presence of muscle–not much–and 100% absence of fat.” ‘Toned’ arms are stretched and primed, not anorexic or bulky.

Yes, I’m aware of the “backward in heels” joke about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Some women take pride in looking good while kicking ass. That’s great as a secondary priority. Buy all the pink knee socks you like; but please learn how to climb a rope. Guys, if you’re wearing pants to the beach, you should squat. Take a selfie afterward if you must, but I’d rather you post your squat PR, or your ‘Ghost’ time. Show the world what you can DO. You can do a lot.

We can take no-makeup selfies to prove women aren’t just decorative, or we can climb over an eight-foot-high wall. And we can teach our friends and family, can’t we? We can show the whole town that Girls Do Things. Awesome Things, just like Boys (usually better.)