One of my issues with the way Crossfit HQ treats women is how they call men “men” but can’t seem to call women “women”. Sometimes they say “the females” or “the girls” or “the ladies” but very rarely can they manage to say “women”. I was very sick over the weekend, but as a silver lining I watched nearly all of the Canada West regional live stream and much of the North Central and South East regional live streams as well! If anybody is looking for a drinking game, my suggestion is to listen to the commentary and drink whenever “female” is used as a noun for a human. Drink twice whenever you hear “the females” used in the same sentence as “the men”. But here’s a new interesting trend I’ve noticed based on the hours upon hours of footage I watched this weekend: comments about how some of the women “just keep smiling” or “finishes smiling” or “can smile through that much work”. First of all, it’s being used to describe some women who are, like, not even smiling. But plenty of women do smile as they Crossfit. Where’s that coming from? I am certainly not in the mood to smile while I workout, nor do I have the mental energy to force myself to smile. Some say there’s a psychological advantage to smiling; your opponents will see you and think that you aren’t suffering at all. For example, Annie Thorisdottir (who has won the Games twice) is famous for always smiling. This quick Crossfit interview with her during the year she couldn’t compete due to injury is even called “Still Smiling”. But then I wonder why 0, absolutely 0 of the men smile as a tactical move, and why 0 of the men are ever extolled mid-workout for their countenance.
When we’re talking psychological advantage, here is a beautiful example of forcing yourself to show no weakness as a way to get in your opponents head. Kyle Kasperbauer and Jacob Heppner are almost going rep-for-rep during 50 deadlifts. One of them finishes a bit early, but rests when he gets to the next station (box jumps). The other athlete approaches the box jumps and just goes for it. Then they jump while facing each other, while gradually picking up the pace. It’s crazy and so much fun to watch. (Watch here from about 1:47:50 to 1:48:30… or watch to the end of the event. So good. Or Jacob’s face at 1:52:10. That is not a smile, and the commentators love that it’s not a smile. “Look at that effort!”.) Anyway, I’m not sure who I’m point the finger at, or if I’m even pointing a finger. Just a strong trend in the differences between the way male and female athletes (that’s female as an adjective) behave and are commented upon during Crossfit this year.