Victims, Villains and Heroes: Why Abuse Victims Should Crossfit


Not to build muscle.

Not to ‘feel’ better about how you look.

Not to improve self-esteem.

Not to have the ability to kick ass, if necessary.

Victims of abuse, whether it was sexual, physical or emotional, should Crossfit because, if you have a great coach and a great environment, your mindset will begin to change. And any change that’s going to happen in a person’s life MUST begin in their own mind.

The perpetrator could be hauled off to jail, die from a drug overdose, step entirely from the pages of your history or, worse yet for some, unexpectedly reappear to haunt you. But whatever scenario applies, the victim needs more than anything to transition from the victim mentality to the hero mentality.

I’m not villanizing the victim here, but we’ve all seen cases of perpetual victimness. The 50 year-old putting up with behavior that is borderline illegal simply because that’s what she’s been trained to do. She reacts without thinking, and quite often, she believes that without her, the guy would be completely lost. She WANTS to be needed–and that can be a source of power for her, no matter how twisted it is.

Switch gears to Crossfit. The victim now only NEEDS to find power within herself. By training daily, she seeks and finds that strength. Because her desire for power is being met in a healthy way, she’ll start to see the unhealthy behaviors for what they are–and she’ll have the courage to change it.

I’m no psychologist, but here’s why I think Crossfit helps the victim:

  • She is in a positive, supportive environment where people are only beasts when it comes to the WOD
  • If she’s been sexually abused, the Crossfit environment allows her to see the body for the incredibly complex and beautiful thing that it is, rather than something to be ashamed about
  • The mental focus it takes to lift heavy shit translates into her personal life, and she’ll start to think, “If I can swing THAT kettle bell without setting it down, then I can handle [FILL IN THE BLANK.]
  • She won’t be isolated anymore
  • When she began, she couldn’t do ten wall balls, and now she can do 150–and seeing that kind of progress will show she DOES have the power to change–if she perseveres
  • She’ll have a seriously strong Crossfit family to support her
  • She’ll stop seeking out villains and become her own hero

I’m not saying Crossfit is a cure-all for deep psychological/emotional trauma–if it’s that serious, please, get some help. What I AM saying is that Crossfit changes lives for the better.

I’d encourage anyone who’s been abused to seek both counseling and a kick-ass box.

About Keri

Writer, widow, life story coach, expat, Mom of 4, madly in love with Crossfit and Krav Maga--my life is stranger than fiction View all posts by Keri

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