This is one of my favorite videos that captures and emphasizes the values of CrossFit. Not only does it exude the awesomeness that is slow motion, it also demonstrates at the same time feminine and masculine qualities found within typical gender expectations of sports. I’ve described in an earlier post how feminine sports like gymnastics emphasize skill and grace and masculine sports emphasize strength and precision. Here, I think the video shows the meshing of these two qualities. And not even in this video, but in the movement of the Olympic lift, performed by men and women, these qualities of strength and grace are demonstrated. Here is where CrossFit is challenging men and women to make the best of themselves, and to be feminine and masculine as they do it. The movement doesn’t have to remain within the elite sport of Olympic weightlifting. It can be instructed, with caution and guidance, to everyone. The limitations of people’s fitness based on gender will be dismantled.

Crossfit defines itself as a “core strength and fitness program” but this video breaches an entire conversation of feminism and sports, of masculinity and women. I believe this video has to be the first post on a blog that challenges the field of sports with a feminist curiosity. Crossfit is not just about fitness; the arrival of this new method of exercise and sport has to acknowledge the culture that birthed it–one that is extremely critical of its citizens and has a strict definition of beauty. Here, the athletes, both men and women, define what beauty is for them, aware of the expectations that a patriarchal society demands. Women shouldn’t be bulky. Women shouldn’t be sporty. Although the video is not direct about the issue, the undertones are there. Crossfit is stirring the pot again; the issue of women and sports resurfaces. The video redefines beauty, but it is also challenging what it means to be an athlete, what it means to be a woman.