I’d like to introduce a good friend of mine, Elisabeth Akinwale. Yes, assholes, I have friends. A few, anyway. Elisabeth is a former D1 gymnast, placed 13th in the 2011 CrossFit Games and recently competed at the 2011 American Open Championships. A year ago at this time, she had never lifted a barbell over her head. And oh yeah, she’s black.
Here’s what we’ve been messaging about while we pretend to work our day jobs:
Drywall: So when the fuck are you going to blog about race? You said that was happening back when you wrote that post about dicks. I realized I get easy material if I take your posts and make them way more profane, like when I took your post about crazy bitches and I mocked the fuck out of them. Besides, I’m a white dude, I can bust on the CrossFit Games for identifying the fittest white person with disposable income on Earth; aside from that I really don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. And how the hell did you qualify for the American Open after three months of training? Are you people naturally good at exercise? By “you people” I mean gymnasts. That’s a joke. I mean black people.
EAkinwale: That’s the cool part, I don’t work for anything. Being black it’s a 50/50 thing. You’re either morbidly obese and diabetic or you’re a fucking thoroughbred.
Drywall: Did you just call yourself a thoroughbred? Don’t lose that confidence.
EAkinwale: I’m not a thoroughbred? You can draw your own conclusions between the two black people options.
Drywall: Damn, you out-clevered me. You ever feel you’re treated differently at the gym or in CrossFit social circles?
EAkinwale: I have no idea if it’s my skin color, the fact that I stand above 5’3″, or the tattoos (it can’t be the tattoos), but since I started CrossFit I’ve repeatedly heard reference to my being intimidating.
Drywall: How many times has this come up? And how does one go about saying that?
EAkinwale: It’s usually presented as speculation that someone else is intimidated. Its not that infrequent. I also hear people say “she’ll kick your ass” type stuff a lot.
Drywall: Ok, in the last five minutes I think I got the race issue figured out. Take the CrossFit population that doesn’t care about getting strong but just likes doing crazy cardio routines (because they are “edgy”) with their clique of recently acquired friends while wearing $100 lululemon shorts and later meeting up at the trendy glitter bar for tequila shooters because they’re the only paleo thing on the menu. That crowd = total white thing.
EAkinwale: First of all, re-read your first sentence. Funniest shit you’ve ever written.
Second, you’re onto something. Black people are just generally too cool to do what we do at CrossFit. We don’t like doing shit that’s not cool, like repeatedly jumping on a box or double wall balls or anything that makes a person look ridiculous. Ever see a black man pose for a picture? Cool, cool, cool.
EAkinwale: Funny thing, pre-CrossFit I was training at the South Side YMCA, I shit you not.
Drywall: Paying more money for something trendy is definitely a white thing. Maybe a Westernized Asian thing.
EAkinwale: I guess that’s why we keep our asses on the Southside, we’re not going to pay for a trendy neighborhood either.
EAkinwale: Speaking of Lululemon, did I mentioned the time their staff followed me around the store?
Drywall: Hahaha you shopped at Lululemon, sucker!
EAkinwale: I’ve never spent a dime in Lululemon, but I have spent 15 minutes of my time walking through their store with a scrawny white woman following two paces behind me, never so much as offering a greeting.
Drywall: Not terribly surprising, they allegedly picked their name because Japanese people can’t pronounce all the L’s. At least you didn’t get brutally murdered.
EAkinwale: Check out this promo video. I really enjoyed it. Worldwide perspective on CrossFit. No black people.
Drywall: 1. I’m pretty sure the guy swinging the kettlebell at 1:56 is black.
2. How bad is it that I’m taking notes on people who “might be black” because I can’t really tell for sure?
3. You just mindfucked me into watching all 4 minutes of that shitty commercial. Congrats.
EAkinwale: Ok I’ll admit, I didn’t rewatch it for the “might be’s.” However, I sat in a room full of Games athletes and was subjected to this video, the entire time wondering where am I represented? This is the shit that pisses me off. Compile this over a lifetime, that shit is annoying.
Drywall: Perhaps it is just an accurate depiction and they filmed on your rest day?
Drywall: I think we should make a post by just copy and pasting our emails from the last couple weeks. For a title, I think simply “Talking Race Because No One Else Wants To” would be a good one. Thoughts?
EAkinwale: Love it all, I even like the title, although that in itself makes me laugh because it’s only white people who don’t wanna talk about it. I like it though, that resistance to talking about it transcends CrossFit.
“Nervous laughter is the shit.”
Elite photo services by Epic.