#Workoutoftheweek: Collective Liberty WOD

Guest post by: Meghan C. of Collective Liberty

3. 2. 1. GO!

I’ve decided to test what will become the Collective Liberty WOD and I’m in the last 2 minutes of a 12-minute AMRAP. “Just hold on,” I think. The next minute starts and I desperately try to settle my breathing and shake out my hands as I walk up to the bar. I snatch it up, barely locking out my arms and getting the bar overhead. As I bend over to grab a kettlebell part of me wonders “Why am I doing this?” And then I remember….

I train day in and day out because I want to be stronger, fitter, faster. But the truth is all of us who find ourselves in a CrossFit gym – or grinding out a WOD - push ourselves as hard as we can because we love it. We love getting up, setting new tests for ourselves and our bodies and because we have full autonomy and choice.

Over 40 million people in the world are being trafficked at any given time according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). 71% are women, 25% are children. Hundreds of thousands of those people are regularly trapped in trafficking – a modern-day form of slavery – every day right here in the United States. While youth are recruited and exploited by traffickers into sex and trafficking from our own suburbs, big and rural cities, traffickers exploit immense vulnerabilities in LGBTQ and immigrant populations. At the heart of human trafficking is traffickers stripping people of choice.

Many of us have worked less than ideal jobs, sometimes in office settings, other times in retail, food service, or just odd jobs. But we all knew that if things truly got bad we could leave. We may have encountered poorly behaved customers or bosses that might have been less than understanding. But it is unlikely we were made to work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, and then hand over most or all of our money to the people we were working for. 50% of people trafficked are working to pay off a debt, according to the ILO. Those trafficked into the sex trade - both men, women, and LGBTQ folks are sex trafficked - report having many aspects of their life controlled by their traffickers, from how much toilet paper they’re allowed to use, to where they go, and even if they’re allowed to shower.

The first step to ending human trafficking is to learn about it, be aware of how we see and interact with trafficking. To that end, follow CollectiveLibertyNGO on Facebook and Instagram to learn more. Their website will offer various opportunities throughout the year for you to take action, either supporting specific non-profits that support survivors, to joining us in advocating for better laws and better treatment of survivors.

Since one of the founding board members (@cartonmeghan @collectiveliberty) has been a CrossFitter for the past three years it was only natural to create a WOD specifically designed for Collective Liberty and its mission – to eradicate human trafficking.

This WOD has a mission – one more barbell. Each minute you will be required to plant your feet, set your body, breathe deep, and snatch heavy. Your lungs will burn. You will wonder “why am I doing this.” But we ask you to fight. Fight because you have the strength and perseverance, can do so of your own free will. You can come and push yourself to physical and mental limits and then go home (or to the office or brunch). But for those locking in trafficking – there is no trust that there will be an end to suffering. Each day is just trying to survive.

Join us in this workout to honor the incredible strength of survivors of human trafficking. To stand in solidarity with law enforcement, service providers, and other partners who dedicate their lives to revive choice and healing to survivors. Fight for one more barbell. Fight for a better tomorrow. Fight to ensure freedom is a reality for all.

How Can You Join the Fight?

Show us your WOD! Post pictures or videos and tag @CollectiveLiberty

  • Watch our CEO Rochelle Keyhan talk about the 25+ types of trafficking in the US, and give you easy ways to get started.

  • Join our listserv to stay updated on what’s happening and you can help.

  • Donate and help us increase our support to partners

    Share the word and the WOD! Like our Facebook page and share news. The more we spread truth the more we can all raise our voices together. For more information, drop us a comment down below, or contact Meghan and Collective Liberty at: www.collectiveliberty.org