Being a woman in CrossFit is powerful
From flamenco dancer to top CrossFit latina
My name is Camila González from Venezuela. I am among the top 30 Latina CrossFitters today, and it has been the most amazing journey.
My career as a CrossFit athlete began in 2012 in San José, Costa Rica. Initially, it was a hobby—but three months later, I found myself in my first competition as an amateur. CrossFit took South America by storm in that time, and I was in the midst of it. Five intense years of competitions, achievements, and hard work followed.
I remember that when I was little, I did not have much love for sports. I loved flamenco and was an active dancer for 15 years. I left this passion behind when I left my home country behind. Only after I had moved with my husband to Costa Rica, my discovery of fitness and sport came to be.
The passion for the sport quickly took over my life. I prepared myself professionally and tried to learn as much as I could about fitness and health. I wanted to help my community to improve their health through CrossFit. In 2013, just a little more than one year after having started training myself, my husband and I founded our first venture, a CrossFit gym.
Women are great fighters
Interestingly, this came about only two years after my daughter Mia was born in 2016. When I returned to competition, I somehow felt better than ever before. I had more strength and more discipline.
I qualified to compete in the CrossFit Latin American Regionals in Rio de Janeiro, 2018. This became my biggest sporting achievement: I ranked among thousands of women throughout Latin America and earned a rank among the top 30 Latina CrossFitters.
It was an experience that I will never forget. I saw how strong and persevering women are and what great fighters. It was unbelievable to see the number of dedicated and disciplined female athletes who have accomplished great things despite the many adversities that we face as Latinas.
I never let go of my dreamsMy biggest challenge is and has always been living outside my country. I was an immigrant in Costa Rica, and now for the second time in Spain. Each time, I had to learn how to reinvent myself, adapt to a new society and culture, and grow in a new environment, all the while taking responsibility for my family. But I always stayed focused on my dreams. I did not let go of them, and they have not changed. The only thing that changed is the physical place where I am achieving my dreams.
I saw life happening in our CrossFit gym…
Well, it has been one of my biggest learnings. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. But I saw all these people wandering through the gym looking for help with their health and fitness. I saw young clients grow. I saw clients fall in love in our gym. I saw clients become parents, I saw clients demonstrate their trust and support for us and each other. Having owned a CrossFit gym showed me that we are a strong pillar for people. We support them in their training and fitness to be better and better. Eventually, they become very successful in their lives—professionally and on a personal level.
I feel good about my muscles
Being a woman in CrossFit feels very powerful. The women who practice this sport demonstrate to all of us that we are incredibly strong and that every single one of us has the perseverance and mental discipline that is needed to succeed.
I must say, and I am very proud of that: women are highly respected by men in CrossFit. Sometimes, I see equality despite the fact that men can handle higher loads because we perform as fast and are just as agile as men in other aspects.
Women have for decades, or rather centuries, been raised to see ourselves in a certain way—thin, delicate, and with very few muscles. I believe CrossFit has contributed to change this. We women in the sport feel good about our muscles. They increase our self-esteem. We fall in love when we see ourselves in the mirror, and we always want to be stronger and healthier. This is not about having more or fewer muscles than men. It is about us.
I have recently leaned towards intellectual fitness preparation and coaching, but I keep seeing this effect of the sport. And I want as many women as possible to experience this.
Being a mom makes me push more
This is really challenging. I think I have not been able to achieve a perfect balance, but I am also not looking for it. So, I put aside the competition often because, as a mom, it is important that my body recovers completely. I just want to be part of Mia’s growth at all times. In competition, you need you to be 100% focused, and give yourself the necessary time to rest and recover after events.
Still, being a mom means that I push more and have a pain tolerance that I did not have before. I definitely feel more powerful than prior to giving birth. I also have that need to show her that I can. I want her to see that her mom is strong. And if she wants to achieve great things, she can because her mom did.
You an always overcome adversity
I want to leave a mark. I want to contribute to a better world. It motivates me to be an example to follow and help other women to trust themselves. Just as I want to be an example for my daughter, I want other women to identify with my history and achievements. I want them to see that they can be an entrepreneur, a mom, and an athlete. There are no limits, and we must keep dreaming. We can always continue to set new goals and find ways to overcome adversity.
I am inspired by action, not people
Honestly, I am not feeling inspired by any person. I am inspired by actions, by seeing what women achieve with their projects, actions, sporting achievements, and their individual stories.
What is the path for female athletes who want to compete in CrossFit?
Well, there are a lot of things. However, the first thing would be not to rush. First, create that base of strength in your body and learn all the skills. Only thereafter think about competing, if that is what you want. This will protect your body from injuries and allow you to stay ahead of your game. Secondly, find a good coach who unconditionally supports you and who is knowledgeable and skilled at the programming level.
Any final thoughts?
I just want to tell you that it is so important that you keep driving initiatives like ShePower Sport. I know that women need this type of support. We need always to keep motivating and inspire each other. That keeps us strong.