NEWSFLASH! Despite your 800kg+ total across the squat, dead and bench, average Joe on the street probably thinks you are a bodybuilder. Top female Crossfitter? Too bulky; body builder. 105kg strongman, must be pretty handy on the rugby pitch. Olympic lifting? What even is that? Is that the one that you get Rhabdo and do burpees?
I know, it hurts. You spend hours, weeks, months, years; training in a sport that you live and breathe, that defines who you are, and ultimately the rest of the country has no idea what you do, or more frustrating still, thinks you compete in an entirely different sport.
Confusing right? I mean why wouldn’t the average aussie want to see someone carry 4 times their own bodyweight or DL 400kg in a competitive setting, instead of seeing the same guy whack a small red ball at the fence, over and over and over again, for 5 days? Apparently they don’t.
Then every 4 years the Olympics come around. Men and women who dedicate most of their adolescent and early adult life to moving insane weight overhead in one (or two in the case of C and J) smooth and graceful movement are over shadowed and nearly completely ignored, in place of a dude in speedos, paddling as fast as he can in pond.
The fact is, all of our training methodologies and sports are on the fringe. They are small time when compared with the juggernauts that are AFL, cricket, tennis, soccer (yeah, the one where a breathe of wind is enough to knock a grown man to the ground and hold his shin in agony long enough to draw a free kick from the umpire) netball, swimming, sailing (apparently), horse racing (apparently) and golf (probably the most confusing spectator sport to me of all).
But the long awaited point is; if the remaining 99.5% of our country doesn’t give a fuck about any of us, in equal amounts, then why are we still bickering about which sport is the best? Surely uniting under a single banner of ‘lifting steel off the ground’ is, even if still unlikely, the only way the rest of the world might take enough notice of any of us to actually learn the differences between our sports. Do you think anyone who knows nothing about strength sports is going to take an explanation seriously, when it is prefaced with ‘Crossfit is for fags, Im a bodybuilder/SM/powerlifter’? *Apologies for reproducing hate-speech, but I have seen these comments allllll too often. Do you really think ol’ mate on the street is going to respect the sport of SM because you tell him the sumo dead lifts aren’t even lifts? Or 270kg overhead is a ‘trick lift’ (split jerk) and isn’t as impressive as a big strict or push press? You’re forgetting that nobody gives a shit, and thinks you are all bodybuilders anyway!
This isn’t about which sport is best, it’s not even about trying other strength sports to see if their claims are valid. It’s about respecting our fellow lifters of all shapes and sizes enough to have reasonable conversations with the rest of the world, in the slim chance they might pry their eyes away from the guy in speedo’s (who is still paddling in the pond) long enough to learn what it is actually you do.