Breaking body image boundaries through Crossfit


The key to building mental, physical and spiritual strength requires dedication. Former Georgia State students find their passion in Crossfit, and work hard to break negative boundaries against female athletes.

Crossfit is a sport that combines various high intensity movements such as running, weightlifting, gymnastics and more into a cumulative routine designed to push the body’s physical limits. Athletes that participate in the sport, sometimes train, in order to be able to play in local or national games with other Crossfit enthusiast.

Two female athletes and Crossfit competitors share their passion for the sport, and how it helped improve life skills, health and confidence.

Katherine Myers

Taking a Free Class

Recent Georgia State graduate Katherine Myers has been an athlete her entire life, participating in various sports such as swimming, gymnastics and volleyball. After Myers’ freshman year of college, the athlete wanted to try a new activity that could challenge her competitive appetite.

“I like the fact that it combines a lot of [movements] together,” Myers said. “You’re doing everything combined and it makes you [a] well rounded athlete.”

Myers started her Crossfit journey nearly four years ago when she decided to take a free intro class at Crossfit Kennesaw. The first class was intense and it had the athlete ready to try more. After that class, Myers started attending the gym daily.

“I liked [the class], it kicked my butt the first day,” Myers said. “I had no idea what I was doing, I’ve done those types of movements before, but not in that setting.”

After a year of being involved in Crossfit, Myers gained new relationship with other people who were also interested in the high intensity sport. Myers appreciated meeting new people, who support her competitive nature.

“Crossfit’s literally about the friends you make, and it’s given [me] a competitive outlook,” Myers said.

Body Image and Misconceptions

One issue that Myers still encounters comes from people who are not used to seeing a muscular women. Even at work, Myers would experience negative comments about her body.

“There are people who make comments all the time like ‘Oh, you’re so muscular’ or ‘that’s gross,’” Myers said. “People are not very nice when they see a girl a little more muscular than average.”

Combating negative stereotypes requires mental strength and confidence. The athlete suggests that most women fear getting bulky or hurt, which might cause them stray away from sports like Crossfit. However, by allowing hard work to translate into dedication is the key to blocking negative stereotypes associated with women and sports.

“There’s still a lot of women that think that women should not be strong, muscular, powerful, going to the gym or doing this kind of stuff,” Myers said. “I think it’s cliche, there is no reason why you should want to take care of your body and be the healthiest or strongest person that you can be.”

Over the years, Myers’ new hobby allowed her to gain a greater appreciation for her physical and spiritual strength. Being apart of Crossfit creates close-knit connections that’s shared among people who have fun doing something they love.

“I want to be able to stay healthy, and stay fit physically mentally and spritely,” Myers said. “It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you keep moving, and just enjoy what you’re doing, that’s all that matters.”

Myers current goal is to continue training and pushing her body to higher levels. The athlete’s vision is to one day compete in CrossFit Regions with a team of motivated people who enjoy the sport as much as she does.

Breona Evans

Humble Experience

For some people waking up early in the morning can be a struggle, especially with a morning routine that require a two hour training session at 5 a.m., before clocking into a nine-hour work load and then finishing the evening with a light workout.

Breona Evans is a full-time accountant, part-time coach at Crossfit Identity, a former cheerleader and Georgia State Alumni. It was Evans’ competitive nature that lured her towards trying Crossfit.

When Evans first started taking Crossfit classes, she participated in a workshop where majority of the participants were stay-at-home mothers. With an extensive athletic background, the new crossfitter accepted the challenge, and later discovered that the true intensity of the sport.

“I was doing a workout with a bunch of stay-at-home moms, and I was like ‘there is no way they’re going to beat me. I’m in college, and they crushed me,’” Evans said. “[At that moment] I knew I was hooked, and I knew that I wanted to start competing.”


Evans is currently training 20 hours a week for the Crossfit Regional. For nearly four years, the coach has been competing in an annual competition and working hard towards qualifying in the games each year.

The Crossfit Regionals is an athletic event for men and women that combines various fitness routines into games designed to showcase each region’s strongest competitors. This year, Evans was one step closer to reaching her goal by placing seventh in the Southeast Regional competition.

“It’s always amazing to put in a lot of hard work and to see it actually pays off, and there is really no feeling like that,” Evans said. “[Being] surrounded by so many women that love what I love and work as hard as I do is really cool.”

Throughout the week, Evans maintains a structured schedule, but she does allow herself cheat days on weekends or after competitions. The coach’s goal is to place high in regionals so that she can succeed to the next level, which is the Crossfit Games, national competitions were elite athletes from around the world challenge their bodies for the title and prize money.

“The most important thing is that it builds a lot of confidence for me,” Evans said. “It’s very satisfying to have a goal, working towards that goal and seeing results.”

Adjusting to Change

Working hard is a concept that translates into all intersections of Evans’ life. Evans mentioned overcoming insecurities when her body initially started changing when training, and how competing at the annual games gave her a boost of confidence.

“Once I got heavily involved, my body started to change, and I had a lot more muscle than I had before,” Evans said. “Of course, I was uncomfortable with it at first, sometimes insecure, but going to competitions and seeing other women that were confident, I loved being surrounded by women like that.”

For Evans, accepting the body changes that come from being an athlete, shows dedication. Crossfit is a sport that requires dedication, so once Evans got involved she challenged herself to break new limits.

“I think a lot of women are scared of how their body might change, but it just shows your dedication, determination and sacrifices,” Evans said. “People can appreciate someone that works that hard to stay in shape.”

Evans challenges other women to be open-minded towards trying something new. The coach talked passionately about how curiosity allowed her to fall in love with Crossfit, and learning more about herself.

“Women need to be more aggressive about putting themselves out there and trying a new activity,” Evans said. “You never know, you can completely fall in love with it and learn things about yourself.”


The Crossfit Games

Each year, an athletic Crossfit competition, known as the Crossfit Games, is held on a regional and nation wide level. The purpose of the games is to showcase some of the most elite athletes around the world.

Before making it to the Crossfit Games, competitors participate in the Open, which is the first stage of the competition. During the Open, athletes check the games website for workout challenges that are posted every week on Thursday for five weeks.

Once an athlete completes that challenge they have until the following monday to post their scores online, according to Crossfit Games. After succeeding past the Open, competitors move on to regionals, and the athletes with the highest scores will compete in the final qualifying stage at the Crossfit Games.