Strength was never something I grew up valuing. You either had it or, as in my case, you definitely didn’t. And that was that. Skinny was the physical attribute to chase, but what did you get when you finally achieved it? A heightened need for a belt and society’s permission to wear a bikini. Big. Deal.
But when you replace skinny with strong, you unlock a world of really practical perks. Crossfit, with its focus on functional fitness over aesthetic gains, totally opened my eyes to this. My gym offers some pretty dope strength programming in addition to our regular Crossfit and rowing classes, and month over month, I’m able to lift more, run farther and row harder.
But it gets even better, you guys. Being Crossfit strong translates INTO REAL LIFE! Focus on building strength and watch as your weakling world crumbles! Need proof? My routine repertoire now includes:
1) The 3-Story Stair Sprint
I live on the third floor. And because my landlord still hasn’t installed a dumbwaiter after all these years, I’m pretty much lugging things up and down on a daily basis. But am I winded? No way. All that time spent rowing, squatting and box jumping has transformed stairs from enemy to friend. And what about shaving precious seconds off the daily commute? Running for the bus won’t destroy you. And escalators that once seemed convenient are now “too easy” and certainly too slow. You’ll take the stairs, and like it.
2) The Ground to Overhead Bin
The G2OHB move is complex and demands respect, especially when you’re a short gal with a shocking lack of upper body strength. How many times did I entertain fellow airplane passengers by pulling my biz lady luggage down on top of my head? Many times. While it did allow me to meet a few kind and able strangers, this situation was no bueno.
Yet do enough thrusters and push presses and voila, you’ll be swinging your luggage overhead like it ain’t no thang. In fact, I’ve even started packing heavier because it’s simply not a concern anymore. All of the shoes, permission to board.
3) Level 1 Jar Opener Certification
I don’t know when I seceded all jar-opening duties, but I somehow managed to avoid it for the majority of my adult life. When I found myself living alone for the first time ever at age 32, I was very ill-prepared for the realities of the vacuum seal. Yet hanging from a pull up bar does wonders for the grip strength. Pickles, salsa, anything with a screw off lid is now my bitch. Note: this certification also covers Wine Bottle Opening.
4) The Cat Litter Farmers Carry (Sub: 24-Pack, Miller Lite)
No car, no worries. Every time I’m schlepping heavy stuff for my cat (who has yet to thank me btw), I think back to the time I had to farmer’s carry a 35lb kettle bell 400 meters. Or a 15lb wall ball 400 meters… 5 times in a row with burpees in between. I laugh at you, cat litter.
Welcome To Your Functionally Strong Life
The ideal body type is always going to wax and wane. Someone else can have skinny. Totally done with it. I’ll take strong.