There is an increasing standard occurring at our gym lately. T-shirts are coming off more than usual. Some might attribute the shift of dress code to the summer humid-weather in Florida but I have noticed otherwise.
For example, I’ve had a adolescent kid come into my evening classes with his mother and father for the past 5 months. In the beginning he would sit on the side and watch his parents CF. Then for reason of boredom or discipline by his parents he began to do some of the workouts with us. I would help him out as much as time allowed but I never really took him seriously.
Then about 2 months ago I have a seen a major shift in his attitude. He has been more consistent with his workouts. He started writing down his workout times, and even started taking post workout shakes. His movements are improving and so is his confidence.
Just last Tuesday I noticed something very odd from him. During a wod he took of his shirt!
Wait…your not getting it. He took of his shirt! A 13 year-old kid, skinny as a pencil, surrounded by grown male adults 3x his size took of his shirt. The implications of this are profound. At an age in which body image seems to control everything we do or think about he has a gained enough confidence to prove that he’s just as strong and worthy to remove his shirt as anyone else in the gym.
Mind you if anyone else would have taken off their shirt I wouldn’t have thought much about it.
But what CF has done to this young man’s perception of masculinity is more than just a superficial act of immodesty.
Matter of fact, he asked me the other day where he could get a CF sticker to put on his school binder so that his friends could see that he CrossFit’s. And just two days ago he Facebooked me and asked me, “What are preservatives?”
Are you kidding me?! At that age I was eating Pop Tarts and playing video games.
I write to challenge all of us to be more discerning for such things. Be vigilant. Such acts must be noticed and approval made immediately. The health of our kids depends on affirming to our youth that hope comes from the act of blood, sweat and tears. This hard work is being instilled everyday in our gym, control is being taken back, and nobody can say otherwise. Just ask my 13 year-old.
Side Note: I have been working with his parents for the last couple months to help them get him of Ritalin, with proper nutrition, exercise, and high dose pharmaceutical grade fish oil his parents report a 50% decrease in the amount of Ritalin they are prescribing to him. I’m just waiting to hear any day now that he has stopped taking it all together. I’m just waiting.