It’s amazing that in a country populated by only 330,000 people, Iceland has won four Olympic medals since it first competed in 1908, and yet has Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir, who have each won the Reebok CrossFit Games twice, in its 10 years of existence.
“In Iceland we have such strong female role models, I remember seeing Annie win the CrossFit games and realizing that’s what I want to do. With a role model like her, you can see it’s actually possible,” says Katrin.
Davidsdottir and Thorisdottir, who work out in the same gym, developed a common bond in CrossFit. With background in gymnastics, Davidsdottir recalls feeling overwhelmed at her first CrossFit class, as the workout on the board looked like an entirely foreign language. But with Thorisdottir, Davidsdottir found the inspiration to be strong rather than perfect in learning the new sport.
“When you train with other women, you quickly find it’s not really about the running, or the training, or getting faster or getting better. What it is about is the sense of community and friendship,” says Kathrin Switzer.
Switzer, is better known as the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry in 1967. She lists her role models as Elizabeth I, Gloria Steinem and Angela Merkel – “women who have taken on the impossible and proved it can be done,” she says – believes running is a conduit for reaching and establishing a greater community.
On the other hand, UFC’s favourite girl, Ronda Rousey believes her friends keep her grounded in a world shaped by the artificial constructions of social media.
“Your perception of reality is really controlled by the people that are immediately around you, and they’re always reflecting it back to you. I keep my circle very small, and I try to keep myself as socially healthy as possible,” says the fighter in Reebok’s “#PerfectNever” campaign, focused on female empowerment and self acceptance.
Rousey’s honesty with herself and her friends is an inspiration for women who can be bombarded by pressures to adhere to unattainably high standards.
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