It is no secret that Crossfit girls have a tendency to lean towards wearing booty shorts. It may not happen right away, but just as with the blooming confidence to take off your shirt mid-WOD, it’s a seemingly inevitable outcome that seems to correlate with body confidence and self-empowerment that comes from the sport.
I look back to when I started Crossfit two years ago, donned in what I felt was appropriate workout gear, t-shirt and some moisture-wicking pants. I previously had a bout of confidence a few months prior to wear booty shorts, but wasn’t quite ready to wear them anywhere other than my garage gym, so a t-shirt and loose-fitting pants seemed to be the most logical outfit to wear.
As time went on, I realized I sweat a bit too much to be rocking the t-shirts and staining the pits of all my shirts was not a look I was going for. When I started to notice I was growing baby biceps, the last thing I wanted to do was to cover up those arms, so I branched out a bit and discovered the life of WODing tank tops (which later would become an uncontrollable addiction).
For my bottom half, I was still more than content sticking to pants or capris. Even then, it took me a bit of time before I traded in the traditional yoga-pant style for leggings, as the thought of something so close to my legs was just not something I was comfortable with. No matter how much the confidence grew with my arms and even though I was starting to trend towards more fitted pants, I still hated my legs. and thinking about putting on shorts to workout in surrounded by a bunch of other people was just so far off my radar.
Up until less than three years ago, I NEVER wore shorts in public, not to the beach, not to the gym, hardly even around the house if anyone else was around… It started at some point in grade school, where I would wear knee-high socks under my Catholic school uniform so that there was no skin showing between my shins and my knees; I would wear jeans all year-round and over many summers would have to repeatedly say, “I don’t own any shorts” when asked. I claim to never have had any body image issues as I was never trying to “fix” something that was wrong with me. I just didn’t like my legs so didn’t care to show them.
No one was seeing my legs. Ever.
The earliest picture I found of me wearing shorts in public was June, 2013. If memory serves me correctly, it was a million and one degrees, so it was a huge bold move for me to do it, but it was definitely for functional purposes and not for flattery. This is less than two years ago. It was a large event going on at my box and I knew with the heat and how much I’d sure to be sweating I had to make a decision.
It was time to own my body.
Everyone has insecurities and legs just happened to be mine. As the unseasonably hot Michigan summer went on, and the hot, sticky humid temperatures continued (a gym without air conditioning? What was THAT all about??), I became more comfortable in my workout attire and with the idea of wearing shorts since it was for practical purposes, not to show off.
And nobody cared.
Nobody judged that I was wearing shorts and nobody commented on my self-hated legs, and nobody probably even knew that I had been carrying around an irrational insecurity for the past twenty years! No one looked at them and saw the same thing that I did, just as I would have no idea if anyone else had similar thoughts in their own heads. If nobody else cared, why did I?
Why should I?
With even more confidence growing as my performance was increasing in the gym, becoming stronger, faster, and starting to see aesthetic results, what I covered up or didn’t cover up had nothing to do with what I was capable of doing. For my next Crossfit competition, I opted to try the shorts in public, outside of my comfort zone within the walls of my box where people knew me and had grown accustomed to my pasty legs.
I rocked those shorts without a second thought, and realized I was surrounded by plenty of other girls who did the same. When you are giving 110%, the last thing that you want to consider is some piece of clothing holding you back. The tight-fitting shirts and shorts prevent a bar from getting caught on extra fabric, and it’s much more breathable letting your legs be free!
Later that summer, the confidence expanded and the practicality of removing a sweat-soaked shirt was apparent. Sweat shirts = drag factor = no time for that.
Again, nobody cared.
We were just a hot sweaty mess of athletes, some comfortable to show more skin than others, some bearing short shorts or taking their shirts off for the first time. That’s the beauty of the Crossfit community. Unless you are outright being obnoxious about the whole thing, sometimes it is just more practical and internally liberating to just let go of any internal thoughts and insecurities and just be comfortable! Claire from Girls Gone WOD wrote a post on modesty in the box; but for most of us, the last thing we are thinking about while working out is what our clothing is doing.
Since then, the trend just continued and I often feel more comfortable in less. I’ve gained weight with Crossfit, had some body issues of my own, and then embraced it by doing a photo shoot for me, to prove to myself that my hard work has paid off, not having one bit of shame about the process.
I own my body, and I love what training has done for me, even though changing my physical appearance was not at all why I started.
I don’t share this back story because I feel I need to justify my reasons for choosing to wear what I do. I don’t feel that I need to make excuses for wanting to show off what I am proud of, nor do I feel that I need to defend myself in any way, but I want to encourage women to do what you feel is comfortable to you and not to let anyone’s thoughts or opinions deter you from what makes you happy. I have never had a goal to train specifically for aesthetics; it is just a pretty swell byproduct of the work that I put in. (Though Workout Nirvana just posted an amazing post on why even if you are training for aesthetics, you need to own that!)
Right now it is 5′ in Michigan and there is no way I am wearing short little shorts into the gym to workout for a couple of hours when the temps hardly reach 60′ with the heat blasting.
But come competition time? Short shorts.
Come summer time? Short shorts.
Unapologetic, confident, comfortable, short shorts.
Second touch and go clean at 120# as part of my most favorite part of this competition.. Immediately following a 7:00 AMRAP of 6 over the bar burpees and 4 shoulder to overhead 95/135 (didn't care for this first part..): 7:00 for each partner to establish a max for the complex of 2 full squat cleans + 1 hand squat clean. Photo credit: @vanwassup #weightlifting #swolemates #datbacktho #cleans #oly #ijustwannaliftweights #wod #crossfit #ffcheckin #compete #latgearrx #wodmob #crossfitbooty #hudybooty #bootyisstrength #strengthisbooty #booty
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