"Still I Rise"

This CrossFit Games season has been like none other for me. I’ve never encountered so many lows and so many roadblocks. I’ve certainly never considered quitting. Generally speaking, I try to listen to the signs around me. So this year when it seemed I was being continually confronted with obstacles- funding problems, coaching problems, and debilitating physical problems- I thought maybe it was simply time to move on to other endeavors.


This image kept popping into my head:


That image and the people near me that were able to help me make physical and mental changes were enough keep hanging on and eventually grow stronger. Around Easter time my son was preparing for a school performance and he came home singing the song, “Resurrection Power.” It got me thinking about the power within each of us to resurrect ourselves from whatever despair we’re feeling. I noticed that each obstacle I faced and overcame I felt increasingly fortified. Like a horror movie villain, the more hits I took I only got stronger. “Still I Rise” became a mantra.


“You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.”


This whole year has reminded me that whereyou are today doesn’t have to be where you end up.  Maya Angelou’s life is a sublime example of this.  Whether it’s athletics or ‘real life,’ your story isn’t finished being told.



“All my work, my life, everything I do is about survival, not just bare, awful, plodding survival, but survival with grace and faith. While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”  Maya Angelou


Syn Martinez of Afrobrutality helped me design a shirt that would represent this season and support the final step of my competitive year- competing in Carson at the CrossFit Games later this month.  The shirts are now available here.



Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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  • I’m a 60 year old African American woman who thanks to you has made peace with my thighs. AND I’m headed to Carson after trying three times. Hope to see you there! Still we rise!

  • Great blog Elisabeth! I feel you about the obstacles whether it’s trying to just take care of your family by making $$ on the job, pursuing the dream or simply to just live a simple life…When we know that we know we’re in the right place in our lives and doing what we are supposed to be doing at that present point in time, obstacles with bring doubt all the time. It’s my faith and perseverance that drives me to another level and success! So, keep your head up, stay on the plow and trust in your faith! NOW, if it’s time to move on, you’ll know…don’t fight it, yet embrace it and believe that the next chapter has it’s rewards with a great purpose as well. I’ve been told when experiencing something that our trials or obstacles are really not for us, but to go through them so we can make a difference in someone else’s life when our paths cross… You will be fine my friend!! 🙂

  • Are they sold out? The link loads a page with no products, and when I browse All Women, I can’t find any Akinwale tops