Posts in Personal stories
Why James Supports OUTWOD: A Straight Ally's Story

Growing up my Aunt Millie had girlfriends that I was taught to call “Uncle”.

For some this may have been confusing, but for me and my siblings, it was just our family.

My parents, for all their flaws, were the cool people. They had friends from all walks of life –Puerto Rican, Italian, Irish, Black, etc. Those were the dominant races back then that made up our home of Williamsburg, Greenpoint Brooklyn.

It was there that I developed a love for diversity and learned that it was ok for boys to kiss boys and girls to dance with other girls. I grew up around the LGBT community, witnessing first-hand how cool it was but also how far they still had to go to be accepted for who they are.

When I was young my parents split up, and that was my mother came out and started dating a woman. This would be my first test at a young age, and it was pretty hard. I liked the woman. She was real nice to my sister and I. But I missed my family, and I was confused. I mean, my mom was with my dad and had me, so, if you were “born this way” as I was taught then how could she have “changed?” Did she just change her mind? A lot goes through the mind of a 10 year old faced with a life-changing event like this.

Lucky I had three gay aunts to turn to. I vaguely remember what they said, but I know they helped me begin to understand what my mom went through as she hid her feelings away for so many years.



“As a straight man who was honored to host and run an OUTWOD at my gym, I’m here to tell you this is where it starts. This is the foundation for true inclusivity.”

Years later my little brother who my mother fostered came out. We knew it before he did – when he was 4 he sang the hell out of Whitney Houston at a family party – the kid had some serious flare then, and still does now. Then my sister came out, which was great for me, because I really didn’t want to have to deal with her bringing boyfriends around.

So, as you can see, I’ve been surrounded by gays all my life. As a straight male, going to an OUTWOD is like going to one of my family parties. They’re full of a diverse group of humans who are there to celebrate love, people, and life. 

I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by love, but I also saw first-hand the intolerance and bullying the LGBT community is subjected to. I saw how AIDS would affect my family and my parents’ friends, and wish my parents had the community that we have in CrossFit that focuses on people’s health.

Fortunately, we now have that opportunity for ourselves and our kids. We have organizations like OUTWOD who bring people to together and celebrate not only their fitness, but celebrate each other.

As a straight man who was honored to host and run an OUTWOD at my gym, I’m here to tell you this is where it starts. This is the foundation for true inclusivity. 

It doesn’t matter who you love, how fit you are, how much money you make, the color of your skin, or how you identify. All that matters is you come with a great attitude. 

That’s the message I truly believe Coach Glassman is bringing back to our CrossFit community, and that’s the message I know OUTWOD continues to spread and that I’m here to support with all of my heart.

- James Quigley, Austin

 James (center) with The OUT Foundation Founder Will (left) at CrossFit South Lamar in Austin, Texas.

James (center) with The OUT Foundation Founder Will (left) at CrossFit South Lamar in Austin, Texas.

I'm Thankful for The OUT Foundation

Devin Mott

Ithaca College, Class of 2019

“Finding community is often taken for granted.  Many are fortunate to stay in the same communities that they had growing up, but for many LGBTQ+ individuals, that community is not one that is supportive of them.

Like so many others in our vibrant community, the home I knew growing up – one of faith and small town hyper-masculinity – wasn’t one that was accepting of me, which is why I had to find my own family and community.

This holiday season, I’m thankful for my chosen family – the extended family of athletics and fitness. What I love the most about fitness, whether it be CrossFit, yoga, or rowing, is that everyone is focused on bettering themselves. I made the decision this year to focus on my academic pursuits, rather than athletic ones. I gave up rowing, something I had done for eight years, and this was a major loss of community for me.

I had sporadically attended CrossFit in the past, and completed my L1 Certification, but in losing my rowing family, my CrossFit family stepped in and filled that void for me.

Being a college student, money is tight, and a membership to a box is expensive. Recognizing that my CrossFit community is beyond important for my mental health, I applied for a scholarship through The OUT Foundation to help cover the costs of this vital support system for me.  Because of the generosity of The OUT Foundation and the OUTAthlete Scholarship they awarded me, I’m able to remain part of my CrossFit community and continue bettering myself both mentally and physically while being accepted for who I am.

I’m so thankful for the support my fitness community provides, and am humbled to be a part of such a loving, giving, and caring LGBTQ+ community.”


The OUTAthlete Scholarship Program is an initiative of The OUT Foundation offering health, wellness and fitness to young adults who identify as LGBTQ+. OUTAthletes receive a one-year gym membership, nutritional counseling, gym apparel, and three months of lunches granted by Kettlebell Kitchen.

On November 27th, help support The OUT Foundation on #GivingTuesday by donating through our Facebook campaign. Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match donations made through our Facebook page next Tuesday, so by giving you can double your impact!

We depend on your support. Your donations go directly to work helping people like Devin, and countless LGBTQ+ individuals we serve by ensuring access to health and wellness through fitness.

Why Sam Supports OUTWOD: A Straight Ally's Story

The first time I was ever in the minority as a straight person, was during a 6am CrossFit class. Nobody even said anything about it either; there was no momentous celebration, or selfie to commemorate the occasion. Instead the class was completely normal, with everyone offering words of encouragement as we all tried our hardest to complete the workout. In hindsight I couldn’t tell you anything about the workout, the only thing I remember is the happiness I felt at being part of a community that made people of all identities feel welcome and supported.

Most mornings I begin my day by completing a CrossFit workout alongside Dan and his boyfriend Mike. Without trying to, they’ve taught me an incredible amount about feeling comfortable with who you are as a person. Thoughts never cross my mind about them being different in any sort of way. Instead I’m left gasping for air running after Dan trying to figure how in the world he’s so fast, or cursing Mike for keeping a pace on the rower that I can barely maintain for a few pulls. At the end of the day we’re all there for the same reasons: to get healthier, stronger and look better naked (for who is the only area where we differ).


“Now I consider two gay guys to be my favorite workout buddies and even better friends.”

- Sam

My friendships with Mike, Dan and the other members of our gym who identify as LGBTQ played a large part in why I was so upset about the disgusting comments Russel Berger, who at the time was a member of the CrossFit staff, made towards the gay community.

The second time I was ever in the minority as a straight person, was at an OUTWOD event this summer in Boston. Dan and Mike told me they were going, and I was happy to go support them and OUTWOD while getting a workout in with a big group of gays and other allies like myself. I also snagged a pretty cool OUTWOD tshirt that I’m proud to wear in and out of the gym.

What I’ve found in CrossFit is an accepting and encouraging community no matter whether you’re black or white, gay or straight, have a chiseled six-pack or are doing your best to shed some pounds. I would hope that anybody walking into a CrossFit gym across America and around the world feels the same way.

I do also understand that there are people like Russel Berger out there who don’t share the same values. I grew up in the locker room culture, I used offensive language to insult opponents on the fields and rinks of my youth and had those same horrible sayings spat back in my face. Now I consider two gay guys to be my favorite workout buddies and even better friends. What I’ve learned from them, and what I’ve felt from being part of a diverse and supportive community is what drives me to support OUTWOD. It’s my hope that others will learn how incredible our LGBTQ community is, and like myself will become powerful allies in helping drive out hate and bigotry and replace them with support and encouragement as well as thrusters and burpees.

- Sam Langrock, Boston

 Sam (middle, front) rocking his OUTWOD shirt after a workout at his home box (CrossFit on the Hill) in Boston.

Sam (middle, front) rocking his OUTWOD shirt after a workout at his home box (CrossFit on the Hill) in Boston.

Right As Rain: The Inspiring Story of a Gender-Fluid Child

This story is about a gender-fluid child named Rain. While Rain is biologically female, Rain may wake up and feel more like a boy than a girl, and vice versa, any day of the week. In this article, at Rain’s request, I’ll use the pronoun “they/them” when talking about Rain. However, you’ll see that Rain’s parents still refer to them as “she.”

It's 8:05 am, and 13 year old Rain Renwick walks into their middle school classroom to start the school day the very same way as every other student. They greet their teacher, chat with friends, pull out their homework, settle into the day. Then, Rain does something different: They head to the front of the class where a question on the whiteboard reads: "What gender is Rain today?" There are two options: “male” or “female,” and Rain checks the box that represents how they’re feeling that morning.

Type “gender-fluid” into your Google search, and you’ll likely come across a few different definitions. Some will sound like medical jargon. Some will reduce it to the types of clothes you decide to put on your back. Some definitions aren’t clear at all. For Rain, being gender-fluid is best explained in metaphor:

“Imagine you had a radio with a nob. You can turn it up or turn it down. Sometimes the volume is really high, or really low. For me, sometimes I’m feeling more male than I am female. Sometimes I feel non-binary.” (Non-binary means you don’t feel particularly masculine or feminine, and you fall somewhere in-between.)  If you’re not sure what you currently are, think about what feels right for you. Just try it in your head. If you’re worried about talking to your parents, then talk to your friends first. If they’re not supportive, they’re probably not your friends!”

Can 13 year olds run for office?

October 11, 2018 is the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day—a day to celebrate those in the LGBTQ+ community who have come out to self disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, and those who have come out as our allies. It took me 23 years to muster up the courage to tell my parents I was gay. Rain came out as gender-fluid at just 12 years old, and switched their name from Riley prior to entering junior high, thinking it would be easier to start using their new name at a new school.

“I have a really great school that’s super accepting, and a really accepting family,” says Rain. I bounced ideas off my family and classmates. I told them I wasn’t sure what gender I am, and that I wanted to try being male. They accepted that.”

Rain is precocious, cheeky and has an intimidating level of intelligence. They and their equally bright younger sister, Taylor, max out their library cards on a weekly basis, carting home as many paperbacks as their tiny arms can carry, which is about 90 books a week. Their pages are immediately devoured so that Rain and Taylor can be prepared for robust family discussions around the dinner table.

“Ron and I are both avid readers,” says Winter Renwick, Rain’s mom. “Being able to dip into a book is like stepping into another world.”

“We’re nerds raising nerds,” adds Rain’s dad, Ron, a hint of pride in his voice.  

Rain’s love of reading is what eventually led them to learn about gender-fluidity—a term that helped them articulate how they’d been feeling their whole life. Their parents got them a subscription to National Geographic for Christmas, and, serendipitously, the first issue that arrived at the Renwick household happened to be the magazine’s groundbreaking “Gender Revolution” issue, which came out in January 2017.

“Everything finally made sense,” Rain tells me.

Some will argue that we’re in the middle of a gender revolution. Gender is no longer confined to simply “male” and “female,” the anatomy you were born with, or how society expects you to act. The ways in which you can identify yourself today are seemingly endless. Refinery29 partnered with GLAAD, a prominent LGBTQ advocacy group, to put out a gender glossary earlier this year that has 85 terms and counting.

It can be difficult for dominant culture—those who live a heteronormative experience and worldview—to understand why we need all these terms. Often they complain that it’s too confusing, that they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or of being offensive. I like to ask those people, “Can you remember a time when you had to establish yourself as straight, or come out as a woman or man?” I’m guessing that time hasn’t come yet.

Think about who you are: Do you see yourself represented in television commercials? In movies? Are there people like you in the pages of bestselling books? If you are someone that is gender non-conforming, non-binary, trans, gay or anything other than straight, the answer is probably no. Our culture inherently excludes those that don’t fit into digestible boxes. Those individuals become “Other.” And as a result, they’re marginalized, and made to feel like their lives are valued less than their so-called “normal” counterparts.

Is Rain asking too much of their family and peers to be recognized as gender-fluid? Or are they simply asserting themselves the way many of us do without second thought? I would argue, it’s the latter.

When people want to own their identity, their pronoun, we need to listen. It is not asking too much. That person is not whining, or demanding to be treated differently. They are demanding to be treated and recognized as equals in this world.

Judith Barnes, now retired, taught for over 20 years, and helped start the Discovery 2 Charter School in San Jose, California, where Rain is a student.

“It was a school that started with the idea of being progressive,” she says. “We wanted children to actually be able to think about what they’re interested in learning, and have an open environment so that they feel safe.”

The open-mindedness of the teachers trickles down to the students: Rain’s classmates were the ones who came up with the idea to put the box on the whiteboard.

“Can you imagine how empowering that is?” says Winter. “[The box] isn’t negative or a joke, it’s just, ‘Here’s Rain today.’ Being 12 or 13 years old is such a challenging time anyway, and then to be going through another situation that many don’t understand… it’s helped her, and it is who she is.”

Rain was the “new kid” at school. They were outspoken, bold, imaginative, and energetic. It took the other children some adjustment to get comfortable with them, but ultimately, they became Rain’s biggest supporters and advocates.

One time, during intermission on a class field trip to the theater, everyone got up to go to the bathroom. The girls lined up outside the women’s room, and Rain waited in line alone for the gender neutral bathroom. A woman walked by and asked Rain why they weren’t waiting in line with the rest of the girls. Rain gave their reason without missing a beat, and the woman continued on. After that, the rest of the girls got in line behind Rain for the gender neutral bathroom, so they didn’t have to stand alone.

“My goal as a teacher is to make sure my kids are safe, happy, and that they’re growing. The most important thing is to make sure they’re not in the same place they were in the beginning of the year,” says Barnes. “These children experience each other, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and learn to appreciate each other. I teach to see those moments.”

But Rain’s story is one of many, and not everyone is lucky to be part of a family, or community, that provides the same support.

Research has shown that LGBQ teens are more vulnerable to planning or committing suicide. Transgender teens were not included in that survey, but according to CNN, research shows that transgender youth may face a similarly high, if not higher, risk for suicide.

Imagine if every community was like Rain’s, and everyone experienced this kind of support and understanding.

People and places that give you a feeling of acceptance and community can be life-saving, no matter who you are or what your background is. Your biological family, your chosen family, the front porch of your neighbor’s house, your gym.

I found out about Ron and his family through The OUT Foundation/OUTWOD. Ron is really into CrossFit, as is Taylor, and when Taylor heard about an OUTWOD event prior to San Francisco Pride, she insisted that they participate, both to workout and to celebrate Pride. Taylor goes to CrossFit with Ron more than Rain does, but it’s easy to see that the sport and the CrossFit community have become very meaningful for their family.

“It’s such an open space. People see that you’re there, you’re doing the work, putting in the effort,” says Ron. “Taylor threw down at OUTWOD with people much older than her. It could have been really uncomfortable, but no one made it that way. People gave her space and, at the same time, challenged her.”

The Renwicks, the Discovery 2 Charter School, Ron’s CrossFit gym, and many others around the country are examples of what our world could potentially look like. They are pockets of hope, small bubbles of inclusivity that could potentially set the tone for our future.

“I am a straight, white male. I cannot imagine [what it would be like to come out] in my youth, Ron said, thoughtfully. “Rain [and their experience] gives me hope for how things can be.”

“Even if you’re secure, a bad day...can still affect you. That’s a motivator and a reminder for me,” says Winter. “As a parent, instead of saying, ‘They’re so young, they don’t know,’ maybe we need to remember that the platter of choices is wide open. The idea of limiting is more limiting than you can ever know.”


This story was shared by Alexandria Goodson, a two time Emmy winning producer & writer at Good Morning America. She learned about Rain and their family through Will Lanier, Executive Director of The OUT Foundation. Alex spoke with the Renwick family and Rain's teacher, Judith Barnes, extensively while putting this story together. Alex is passionate about LGBTQ issues, as well as fitness. She also loves her girlfriend Tommasina and pizza - almost equally.

Will Supports Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Campaign

Four years ago I heard my doctor say something that no human wants to hear, let alone a 28-year old, seemingly healthy, no-family history of disease..."You have cancer."

After a very blank stare and what seemed like an eternity of silence - my doctor followed up with " now we fix it."

Sparing you the ups and downs of surgeries and treatments, the depression and anxiety that comes with it all - I'll wrap up the entire experience with one, rather long, hyphenated

Earlier this year, I was asked by the Polo Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Foundation to tell my story.

Launched in 2000, the Pink Pony Campaign is Ralph Lauren Corporation’s global initiative in the fight against cancer. Originally focused on breast cancer, the Pink Pony Campaign designated a pink version of the iconic Ralph Lauren Polo Pony as its symbol. Over time, the campaign has expanded its mission to reduce disparities in care across a wide range of cancers.

The reason I signed on to work with this incredible campaign - and the reason I fight for what I do at The OUT Foundation every single day - is to remind people "YOU are NOT alone!" Whoever you are and wherever you are - there are others just like you, who share your story, your angst, and your woes - we have lived your pain...and just like you, we have made it through.

Reach out. People are innately good. People want to help. To listen. To heal.

If you want to read more of the story, I chronicled it all on a blog in 2014.


This post was shared by Will Lanier, Executive Director of The OUT Foundation and cancer survivor. Follow Will @truebluewill on Instagram.

For the Fall 2018 Pink Pony Campaign, Polo asked a group of individuals who have all been touched by cancer to share their stories. Will Lanier, Executive Director of The OUT Foundation, was honored to participate.
Not Just a Relationship, But a Partnership

An Interview with Meredith Root and Alex Parker

By: Jaime Filer 

I thought that anything left you flat on your back looking up to the sky asking, what the f*** happened to me, deserves a female name.
— CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman

We all know women are powerful - Especially Crossfit women. Therefore it’s only fitting that two fiercely independent, strong, determined, ambitious women find each other, and pair up – in and out of the box. Even though their cross-border/country relationship started out unassumingly and quietly over Instagram, it’s grown its own powerful voice.

2018 was a big year for both Meredith Root and Alex Parker. They came blazing out of the West at Regionals (Meredith in 5th and Alex in 7th), thanks to an incredible coach whom they share. Interestingly enough, both of them have placed 30th as individual women in the Crossfit Games (Meredith in 2018 and Alex in 2015). With so many similarities in and out of the gym (they have listed Clean & Jerks within 5lbs of each other), it seems almost natural that these two personality types would attract. But what makes them solid is most important: Despite their respective successes and competing goals in the sport of Crossfit, both of them put their relationship on a pedestal.

For such young athletes, they’re both wise beyond their years. But you can judge that for yourself …

Jaime Filer: How fired up are both of you for the 2019 season?

Alex: I always love training, and the fact that there’s an opportunity to set hard goals like Regionals or the Games in the future. Now that the Games are over, there’s a fresh season, and it’s definitely motivating.

Meredith: The thought of 2019 makes me kind of tired * laughs * It’s going to be back to the drawing board, I think, as far as planning the next season. I’m sure training will be a little different, but I’m happy to take some time off before the next phase.

Jaime: What is it like to live together, have the same coach, train together; do essentially the same things every single day?

Alex: I’ve had my coach for 4 years, and Meredith became one of his clients about a year ago. It was all fine and dandy until she actually moved here; then I got possessive of him and my relationship with him, and the fact that we were competing against each other made me insecure. I eventually came around to it, and realized it was so beneficial to have the same coach. Besides Games training and Regionals prep, we only do maybe 1 or 2 workouts a week together because it just gets too intense when we go against each other, and we’re only at the gym maybe three times a week together.

My work was really demanding for a while, and all the training was getting in the way of the time we got to spend together. I’ve eased off that job quite a bit, so we can spend so much more time together, and train with her mom. It was harder when she first moved here, and I was working until 8 or 9pm.

Meredith: The transition from North Carolina to Edmonton, Alberta wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was a really big move; that was a lot because I’ve never lived outside of NC. I also moved right at the beginning of winter, which is intense here! The move was challenging and difficult, and I had to settle into a new gym community too. I had to integrate myself into a new gym, which is so draining for me (because I’m normally really introverted). Once we got settled and moved, it was Open prep straight away, which was stressful because they’d made changes to our region (cutting the qualifying number from 20 down to 5).

Jaime: It’s interesting, Alex, that you bring up the jealousy/possessive aspect of training/being coached. At the Games, you posted a lot about how proud you were of Meredith and how incredible she is; but it was also tempered with a feeling of, “I wish I was up there”, “I wish I made it”. Meredith, did any of this take away from how you felt that week? Was it hard to train together or just be together leading up to the games knowing only one of you made it?

Meredith: I understand the feeling, as I’ve felt it before also. It’s really difficult to explain: You’re happy for this person because you love them, but also they’re doing what you love to do, and they’re getting experience that you wish you had. I get the envy and jealousy part. I experienced it last year when she was on the demo team. I have a twin sister who qualified for the Games on a team, and watched Alex do the demos, so I was experiencing all these feelings. I was sad and jealous, and it wasn’t until Wodapalooza this year when I competed and Alex had those feelings that I understood why. It’s been a conversation over the last six months that we talk about and struggle with.

Knowing that there’s the possibility of those feelings means that you have to be able to manage those feelings. Our relationship is on a pedestal for me. I want to go to the Games and enjoy that experience as much as possible, but also want to make sure that we’re okay at the end of it.

Jaime: How, where, when did you guys meet?

Alex: Back in 2016, we were both spectating at the Games, and Meredith came up to me at the vendor village and said, “I think your Instagram is awesome. I just wanted to tell you, and introduce myself.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Then I noticed that she was competing in the ‘Fittest Fan’ comp on the tennis stadium floor in a head-to-head competition. I watched her, and saw she won! We were following each other on Instagram for about a year and a half (she was married at the time to a man), and before 2017 Wodapalooza, she asked me if I was going, so we just start chatting again from there. We hung out a lot that weekend, and did long distance after that for about a year.

Meredith: That got expensive! One of us had to move, and I was doing remote coaching, so it was easier for me to go anywhere. She had to be here to complete her articling for her law career, so it was a no-brainer.

Jaime: When did each of you come out to your families, and subsequently, social media? Was there any hesitation?

Alex: I’ve pretty much known that I was gay for my whole life. I was dating guys throughout university and a little bit after because I was scared of what people would think. I started dating a girl in law school and kept it a complete secret from everyone. After we broke up, I dated someone who was a three-hour drive away. My parents started asking questions about why I was gone all the time, so I told my mom, and she kind of spread the word. She knew, but was waiting for me to tell her.

I wasn’t as out on social media until I started dating Meredith because I didn’t just want to post about being gay, I wanted to post about someone particular, and Meredith was that someone. I’ve not experienced any negative feedback about it from friends, family, or even strangers. I don’t even think twice about posting about her; I don’t think in terms of gay or not. She’s just my significant other.

Meredith: It was really a double whammy. I said to my family, “I’m going to be getting a divorce, and here’s why… “ That was an interesting time. They’re pretty progressive, and some had known for a bit. It was just a relief for them to know when they suspected something was up. I’m from the south, middle of the Bible Belt, so I wasn’t openly discriminated against, but it’s not really something you talk about. You have to come out softly – you don’t tell everybody. I feel much better about it since moving here, because it’s much more progressive.

Jaime: Did being such big names in Crossfit ever influence your decision (positively or negatively) to come out to social media?

Alex: It took me a while to be comfortable with posting sincere, “This is a special person to me …” type of posts until it was a for-sure thing with Meredith. Having more followers made me think about it a little more, but didn’t prevent me from posting. I think it just made me more aware.

Meredith: My following is still pretty new, and it came after (or as a result of) dating Alex. You always want to be careful with how you put yourself out there on social media. I’m not the type of person to plaster a relationship all over Instagram, whether it’s gay or straight, until I’m sure. And I think it’s like that for a lot of couples. I was never too hesitant about posting about our relationship.

Jaime: Do you, or how do you, think coming out on social media helps the sport, the LGBT community, and even other athletes?

Meredith: I think there are different levels or degrees to which you are an advocate of the LGBT community. I don’t put rainbow flags or anything all over my posts by any means, but Alex made a really good post a couple of months ago when the whole Russell Berger thing came out. That got tons of responses, and we both just received a lot of positive messages about it. I think if you put out thoughtful content, people will be more receptive to it, rather than just plastering stuff all over the place. I think we represent ourselves honestly. I don’t think I need to have a loud voice; I just want to have a voice. I don’t do anything that’s super active, but I have people message me that say it’s awesome to see a gay female athlete. There are so many athletes who are gay but don’t post about it, or date anybody openly. I don’t feel a responsibility to post about it, but if I want to post about us one day, then I will, and if I want to put a rainbow flag on it, I will.

Alex: I get a lot of messages from younger people with questions about our stories and how we came out. We get messages from people who are struggling or have struggled with coming out, and they’re appreciative of the fact that there are people who are out there and open to show that it’s okay. I definitely don’t feel a responsibility to be an advocate for the community, but if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll say something. I won’t do anything that isn’t sincere. It has to be something that is representative of exactly how I feel.

I was so unsure for a long time about coming out online, but I noticed Cassidy Lance was so open about it. I love it. If Cassidy is training with her wife, then she posts about her wife. If it’s Valentine’s Day, then she’ll throw something up about her, and I remember thinking, “That’s really cool. I hope one day I will have that.”

Jaime: What do you think about Greg Glassman’s announcement about the inclusion of Transgender athletes at the 2019 Games?

Meredith: Oh! I hadn’t heard that yet! It’s funny because someone messaged Alex and I the other day asking us how transgender athletes should be included and what we thought. It’s something that’s come up a couple of times in different sports, and it’s always a tricky scenario. So to hear that Crossft was being proactive is great. That puts Crossfit on a new level as far as addressing it. How it works out, we’ll see, but the fact that they’re willing to try it is awesome.

Alex: I hadn’t heard that either, but I’m excited. Truthfully, I don’t know enough about it to talk about the details of how it works. I am not ignorant to the issue, but I don’t know enough about the logistics. I do think it’s great that Crossfit is taking a step forward, because this is an issue that will become more and more popular.

Jamie: If you had one message or piece of advice to give athletes who may be nervous or scared to come out, what would it be?

Meredith: I would tell them that whatever fears they have about coming out, or being open about being gay, put them away. I think that people that are meant to be in your life will be in your life regardless. So if you’re worried about someone not accepting you for being who you are, or loving who you love, then they’re not mean to be in your life anyways. You only want people in your life who will accept you and love you no matter what.

Alex: I think if you’re scared, then it means you’ve obviously thought about doing it and what people might think. For me, I started with people I could trust; not even close friends necessarily, but someone who you know won’t judge you. You’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders just from being able to be open with one person. You’ll get more and more comfortable telling people. If you’re afraid of what certain people will think, then those people aren’t right for you. Be who you are, and let the chips fall where they may.

How CrossFit Changed My Life - Brian Nash

Hi, I'm Brad Nash. I'm a 30 year old homosexual, HIV+, recovering addict, and yes, a CrossFit trainer and athlete.

Oxymoron, right? I used to think I had every stereotypical taboo one could have, but these days I cherish every descriptive label I have placed on myself. In the blink of an eye the decade of my 20's flew by and I sit here typing this passage on myself and I realized that my Higher Power, Alcoholics Anonymous and CrossFit are the avenue's I use to let out the aggression's of my decisions and the platforms from which I am cohesively building a new platform to live from. I will direct my attention to CrossFit, for this is the reason I am writing this piece.

When I left college in 2010 (Go Gators!) I needed to find a physical activity that could drive my competitive spirit. I was freshly out of the closet, a college athlete and had no idea what I wanted to do for fitness. My sister at that time started this "thing" called CrossFit; quickly I was drinking the proverbial juice.

I joined Broward CrossFit in Dec 2010 which at the time was CrossFit Affliction. I quickly excelled; ironically Full Snatch became my favorite lift and Olympic Weightlifting became the first Certification I went out to receive. There was something about throwing almost twice my body weight up into the air and successfully catching it ass-to-grass while watching my heterosexual cohorts barely able to catch half the weight. I'm not saying this to boast, but I'm saying it to show how the sheer nature of CrossFit can make an individual feel extremely powerful, believe in themselves and do something that they probably never thought could be done. 

If I get so lucky, I would love to hopefully share more of my story with the world, one day. CrossFit has remained a constant in my life over the last 8 years, and has kept me going strong through multiple times of turmoil in my life. Believe in yourselves, love yourselves and leave it all out on the floor when you workout. Thank you for taking the time to learn about me, it was an Honor to share with you all.

Brad Nash