I am a gay man who does CrossFit. And as such, I have, many times in the past, googled the words ‘Gay CrossFitter’ as a means of connecting with others like me. If you, Gentle Reader, Google the words ‘Gay CrossFitter’ you will find that most of the search results are fairly bleak. Most of the resulting links are people expressing their distaste for CrossFit in forum posts or online articles. The reason that this search yields mostly negative reviews has to do with our society’s still lingering rhetoric in which the word gay means ‘something negative or bad’. Most of these obviously extremely educated and progressive CrossFit haters (extreme sarcasm), in reality, have had little if no actual exposure to CrossFitters or the CrossFit lifestyle. In this way, being a CrossFitter is a lot like being Gay. Being a gay man and an active CrossFitter I cannot help but to find this comparison interesting.
As this blog has attested, I am newly ‘Out’. By newly I mean I came out to my parents a little over two years ago and am at the point where all of my close friends know I am gay and I no longer hide this fact from the rest of the world. For me, it was a long journey to break out of my closet and finally be comfortable enough to call myself a gay man. To be honest, CrossFit helped me along on this journey quite significantly. My CrossFit family/box were some of the first people, who I actively see on a daily basis, which I shared the truth of my sexuality with. They all offered me such support and love and, most importantly, made me being gay such a non-issue, that I was able to feel that much more normal and validated in my journey. This amazing sense of community is something that all CrossFitters understand from their boxes.
For me, CrossFit has been a constant exercise in overcoming obstacles. I did not grow up an athlete and never felt very comfortable with physical activity. I’m tall and always felt awkward and slightly clumsy. I never knew the mental satisfaction of confidently performing difficult lifting routines or the joy of knowing that you control your body and are strong enough to make it perform difficult tasks that others may look at and think ‘no way in hell I’m doing that’. CrossFit helped me gain this confidence not only in my body, but in myself. It helped me realize that if I could overcome our terrifying WODs, if I could overcome that fear, and if I could see myself as a truly strong person inside and out, then there was no reason why I could not overcome the fear of being gay. There was no reason that I should not feel as equally satisfied in my life outside of CrossFit.
I do not mean to simplify the ‘Coming Out’ process. As I have stated in other posts, it was personally a long road for me. And this road to understanding who I am as a gay man is one that I am still walking and learning from every day. But one of the things that CrossFit continues to teach me is that we all have the ability to surprise ourselves and be proud of ourselves each and every day. That is something worth writing about. And now, perhaps the world is ready for a blog that, if found through a Google search of the words ‘Gay CrossFitter’, provides the searcher with something positive to read that properly links these two words together. After all, stating “I am gay” or “I do CrossFit” should both be statements to fill you with pride. Don’t you agree?
For anyone interested in finding out more about CrossFit, CrossFit.com is a great place to start.