Alec Smith can squat 440 pounds and deadlift 505, but no lift was as hard as recording the four-minute video he released today where he came out as gay.
“Took a DNA test, turns out I’m gay.” Smith posted on Instagram.
In a halting voice and at times on the verge of tears, Smith, 26, told his 311,000 followers that he has struggled with his sexuality since he was 12.
“I’m gay and I’m at the point in my life now where I’m OK with that. I’ve accepted it and I’m happy with who I am.
“It’s been a struggle, it really has. My whole life I’ve known that I was different. ...
“I hated myself for being attracted to guys.”
Smith is an accomplished CrossFit athlete who won a silver medal at this year’s CrossFit Games in the team competition. He plans to compete in the next CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Open takes place Oct. 10 through Nov. 11.
In the video, he traced an arc familiar to most LGBTQ people — denial, then fear, then acceptance. He threw himself into sports to distract himself from dealing with his sexuality, but slowly came out to people and became happier.
While saying, “I still don’t know who I am,” he added that “this past year I’ve never been happier.”
He advised others struggling with the same issues to not feel pressure and come out on their own terms.
CrossFit has become very popular among a segment of the LGBTQ community, so to have a top athlete like Smith come out is important.
His post has more than 6,000 comments and other CrossFit athletes have weighed in to show their support.
Smith closed his video by saying, “When you’re finally able to be yourself, your life will change and it will change for the better. ... love you guys.”