RAW x Fitness: Beauty in Strength

the perry book crossfit

I started this journey into crossfit with Crossfit District Six two months ago. I was weak, emotionally and physically. Daymmm son, I could barely lift the empty 15kg bar and my self-esteem was somewhat at its lowest. In my mind, I was no longer beautiful, instead fragile and merely drifting on with little purpose this year besides instant gratifications.  I desperately needed a change in my life. I needed to let go and realise that a failed relationship could not dictate my personal success, and well,  I needed to stop asking myself all those questions, “what could I have done better, was I too much of a free spirit, was I overbearing etc”. It was after months of licking my wounds, where I realised,


Often we as women are in-denial that we are hurting and engulf ourselves in the hurt, despite telling ourselves that we are okay and everything is fan-f#cking-tastic. Like death, we need to mourn the hurdles in life and move on…the start of crossfit was me consciously moving on. It marked the beginning of a new challenge that only I could determine the success of.

It is in crossfit that I have learnt about the idea of beauty in strength. Strength, not only in the obvious physical strength I have gained, but battling through the mental challenges it presents at each session. Who would have thought, lifting weights, bopping around like a kid in an adult playground, being shouted at by our incredibly trainers would bring me closer to discovering myself again. Sure, some of my clothes still don’t fit, my legs still have cellulite and uncomfortably rub together, where, for the very first time I realise why fat people have worn cycling shorts under their gym shorts all these years.  However, through strength I have found beauty, beauty within myself again and a happiness to my life which for a long time was missing.

Every day I am changing physically, I am deadlifting 155lbs+ comfortably, I can climb a knotted rope and perform far beyond my expectations. The changes are incredible and I am confident the results will only snowball from here.

Looking in the mirror has become a thrill,  noticing small changes every morning when I stand in the mirror stark naked, poking at my ass that won’t stop growing, thighs so big they could strangle a small wild animal, all those body imperfections and taking mental notes of every inch of my body which I wish were better. The truth, a skinny body is not what is going to make me happy anymore, I have been skinny and look, life still violently spat me out. Instead, for the first time I feel beautiful that my mind and body have finally decided to “marry” and lead me into my next chapter as I celebrate my 22nd birthday next week.

I am healing and beautiful through strength…besides, who wouldn’t want to look like a bad-ass lifting in the gym.

Much love to the crossfit family at Crossfit District Six, you guys have taught me the only rule needed in life, “DON’T BE SHIT”.



Photography: Eben Photography

by Zahrah Perry

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