Liz + Max WOD, and Thoughts on Question 3

JT Scott | 11/04/2018 | 8

Before I get into today’s WOD blog, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts on Question 3.

The election is this Tuesday, and on the back of your ballot is Question 3. Normally, I keep my politics out of this blog because the gym really is a place for everyone, regardless of how you generally vote for office. But Question 3 is different, because it goes to the heart of why CFSV exists. I want to tell you a bit of a story about why I started a gym in the first place, as it’s relevant to this ballot measure.

You see, back in 2009 we didn’t have protections under the law here in Massachusetts for trans people. That meant that for many people I knew, there was no safe place for them to work out. Without protections in public accommodations, trans people can be ejected from gyms just because their appearance – or anything about their gender presentation – caused some fool customer or employee alarm. They could be told to leave, they could be denied service. Literally, they could have the police called on them.

That’s crazy, but that’s the way the law was back in 2009. So I started a gym with gender neutral bathrooms. I started a gym and trained the coaches in gender issues, including trans issues. I started a gym that was explicitly welcoming of everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression. I started that gym because it didn’t exist anywhere in the state in 2009 – and I wanted to live in a world where it did.

I lobbied for change at the State House. I worked to get our current law passed through that big frustrating process. And as of 2016, it became the law in Massachusetts. Trans people have rights now. But that’s at risk, in Question 3. It’s a ballot measure to repeal those rights.

Some women have scars. Big scary scars. From all kinds of things, but sometimes including surgeries that they undertook to ensure that their bodies matched their gender identity in a way that eased their mental anguish. Sometimes those women aren’t ready for people to see those scars, to judge them, or to confront them.

Some women have artificial breasts. Maybe they haven’t undertaken top surgery yet or never plan to, and while they may like to present in a traditionally femme way while clothed they may not want to be outed when changing clothes at the gym.

Some women have genitalia that don’t look like what you might expect from someone assigned female at birth. They haven’t undergone bottom surgery yet or may never plan to, but they still identify as women and want to work out and shower in peace without having their gender identity questioned.

Some women know that simply existing – even in (or especially in) a women-only space like Healthworks – may not be safe for them when naked/changing clothes. Individual changing rooms makes it possible for them to be seen as they want to be seen, and safe from any more judgement than they have to endure every day and every hour in public. Trans rights in public accommodations ensures that they can use the facilities that match their gender identity without having to argue their right to exist.

This is real, and it’s why every gym I’ve ever built has individual bathrooms and changing rooms that are gender neutral – and only gender neutral. No one gets a pre-assigned gender role here. No one at CrossFit Somerville gets to know or see anything about your body that you don’t want to show them; that’s not the price of admission you have to pay in order to come to my gym and work out. And at my places, no one even gets to use where you go to change clothes or piss as a chance to second-guess your gender identity.

Now, I fought hard and lobbied the state legislature for years to ensure that transgender rights – including at public accommodations like bathrooms – are enshrined in law here in Massachusetts. And even with that, violations occur and have to be pursued legally. And even after years with protected trans rights, there’s a group here in Mass that has put a REPEAL of those rights onto the ballot for a vote this year.

That’s what Question 3 is. Saying YES on 3 is saying that all people have a right to exist, and have a right to use public facilities like gyms.**

No matter what the law says, CrossFit Somerville always has been and always will be a safe place for trans people – but not everyone can come to CFSV. Saying YES on 3 means they can work out anywhere. Voting No on 3 says that people we love – including members you work out alongside here at CFSV every day, who are trans – aren’t entitled to the same safety you take for granted.

Don’t be that person. Please vote YES on 3, and ask your friends to do the same. And quite frankly, if you are that person – if none of this matters to you more than your fears – please let me know. I’ll cancel your membership and encourage you to exercise elsewhere.


Today we’ll be working in a style that may feel like a bit more of a competitive environment. One of my favorite competition event styles involves combining two challenges right on top of each other in a way that forces you to move fast, and then demands a peak power output for one big rep.

For today’s workout, we’ll be attacking an old CrossFit Benchmark – “Liz”. (That’s Elizabeth, but with power cleans.) Then at the time cap, it’s time to turn it around and devote yourself to maxing out your Squat Clean. Both endeavors require your focus and big power output, but in very different ways. It’s a fun challenge to do them back-to-back, so enjoy!

Power Clean (135/95)
Ring Dips
– then –
At the 13:00 mark, begin:
Find 1RM Squat Clean
(11 mins to find max, end at 24:00 on running clock)


** Other public accommodations trans people can be blocked from entering or ejected from if “NO ON 3” wins: Hotels, inns, and motels; Restaurants, bars, and other establishments serving food or drink; Theaters, concert halls, sports stadiums, and other places of entertainment; Auditoriums, convention centers, lecture halls, and other places of public gathering; Sales and rental establishments, including stores, shopping centers, automobile rental agencies, and other retail establishments; Service establishments, including laundromats, dry-cleaners, banks, barber shops, travel agents, gas stations, funeral parlors, employment agencies, and providers of professional services such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, and insurance agents; Health care facilities, including dental and medical offices, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes; Transportation services; Museums, libraries, galleries, and other places of public display or collection; Parks, zoos, amusement parks, and other places of recreation; Child care centers, senior citizens centers, homeless shelters, food banks, and other social service establishments; Fitness clubs, health spas, bowling alleys, swimming pools, beaches, golf courses, and other places of exercises or recreation.

8 comments for “Liz + Max WOD, and Thoughts on Question 3

  1. Niki Brown says:

    ❤️Thank you JT.

  2. Hillary Holloway says:

    Yes to this and yes on 3.

  3. EB says:

    JT this is fucking awesome. It is 1 of 100 reasons why being a member of this gym and this community means so much. An inspirational message. Thank you!

  4. Camilla says:

    Thanks for writing this and making a difference, JT!

  5. Roger says:

    WOD: 8:10 @ 105#
    STR: 155#

  6. Eoin says:

    WOD: 6:57 @ 105#, banded ring dips
    STR: 175#

  7. Nadav says:

    WOD: 5:38 @ 95# and banded ring dips
    STR: 145# PR
    Such a fun workout (I love cleans), and such a fun place to come to almost daily. Thanks JT for your words as well as actions!

  8. Tom B says:

    #beamassholenotanasshole Go vote.

Comments are closed.