Libby DiBiase
1969 - Present

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Part Five Pregnancy, CrossFit, and School

Libby continued to attend UNO throughout her pregnancy, though it was a struggle. “I had a lot of setbacks and…I just found out I couldn’t juggle school and a sport like that. I just can’t. I’m not a naturally gifted person academically” (L. DiBiase). Pregnancy didn’t make it easier. “I was pretty pregnant and I couldn’t even fit in the desk” (L. DiBiase). This led to some attempts at online coursework, and some breaks from school, but eventually, Libby returned to UNO to complete her degree. Although she felt unprepared to have a child at 21, she managed the emotional stress through doing what she loved—CrossFit. “I was doing it before. I knew what to do, Joe helped me a lot, and I didn’t do anything nuts.  It definitely helped, I think, for the delivery, too” (L. DiBiase).

Within most CrossFit communities, it is not considered abnormal for women to continue to do workouts throughout pregnancy. It is also fairly common to see new moms back in the gym soon after delivery. Libby was one of the first, doing CrossFit workouts up until the day before she delivered Cruz. Only eight weeks after Cruz was born, she competed and placed 10th in the regional qualifier for the 2010 CrossFit Games. Her amazing achievement was not enough to earn her an individual spot at the Games, which by 2010 had grown from an easygoing, one day competition held on Dave Castro’s farm, to a large, weekend long event held at the Home Depot Sports Center in Carson, CA, with large cash prizes and various big name sponsors. However, it did give her a spot on CrossFit Omaha’s affiliate team.

In July of 2010, five months after the birth of her son, Libby competed in her third CrossFit Games as a member of a six-person team. Libby’s hard work to get back in the game so soon after having Cruz was a major contribution to the empowerment of females in the CrossFit community. “I think that the fact that she continued to compete at a relatively high level right after having a kid—to train through the pregnancy and then…was at 2010 right away on the team, because it was so early in competition it kind of showed you can do both. It doesn’t have to be one or the other” (Kahrs). Libby’s choice to do what she knew her body was capable of set a precedent that other women could look to when making similar choices for themselves.

Video of Libby at the 2010 CrossFit Games – Affiliate Cup

Libby’s performance at the 2010 Games helped the CFO team finish third in the field of 69 teams. Of competing on the team, Libby said, “I went team because I didn’t make it, but you know what? I love team.” Libby’s teammates echo her mother and her high school track coach when they discuss having her as a member of their team. “I believe Libby to be the consummate team player. She was willing to do what the team needed. She trained hard all the time during the off-season and was meticulous about her nutrition. Very dedicated to CrossFit and her teammates. I just don’t want people to think that things came easily to her. She was always working hard toward her goals” (Frausto). Libby’s dedication helped her team in both the 2010 and 2011 CrossFit Games, and more recently, at Regionals in 2012, 2013, and 2014 (Kahrs). This characteristic determination also helped Libby to come back to UNO and continue working toward her degree, even though she was extremely busy training, taking care of her son, and traveling to make appearances as a sponsor for various companies.

During the July 2010 affiliate cup competition, this image, which has since become iconic in the world of CrossFit, was captured. Libby is carrying her coach and teammate, Frausto.  This was a mere five months post-partum. Libby’s performance at the Games proved to the world (at least the CrossFit world), that women could work out safely throughout pregnancy, and doing so would allow them to recover their strength and fitness more quickly.

 

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Part Six Endorsements and Fashion Trends

It was more than her performance turning heads. Libby’s beauty and fashion choices were starting a buzz, and she was on the verge of gaining a much larger audience. The 2010 Games were attended by thousands of spectators, and Reebok took notice.  In September of 2010, Reebok became the official sponsor of the CrossFit Games. Reebok must have noticed Libby’s potential as a trendsetter as well, because in early 2011, Libby became an endorsed and sponsored Reebok athlete (Kratochwill). Other endorsements with Gaspari Nutrition, Atlas Power Wraps, and various other companies followed (Hinds). When asked about Libby’s impact on the CrossFit community, Addi Kahrs, a CrossFit Omaha coach and teammate, credited Libby’s attire at those early games to impacting the current fashion choices of women in CrossFit boxes around the world; “Of course in 2008, sports bra and booty shorts,