Although there certainly are issues with female CrossFitters being scrutinized for their muscles, Libby is one of the women whose participation in the CrossFit movement is slowly working to shift female body ideals away from thigh-gap skinny, toward strong and healthy. While some would say this is still problematic, as any body ideal will be unattainable for many, it is most importantly changing and broadening perceptions of what it means to be a woman and of what women are capable of. Libby’s presence in advertising is pushing the boundaries of the ideal female body type. Libby along with other high-profile CrossFit women, is helping to redefine what it means to be a female athlete and challenging gender roles. “Women can be strong but . . . feminine” (L. DiBiase).
Libby’s physique is a product of hard work at the gym as well as being conscientious about nutrition. Libby became an endorsed athlete on Team Gaspari, representing Gaspari Nutrition, a company selling supplements for athletes, after she asked if she could use the outlet in their booth to charge her phone at a 2012 trade show. Donna Cornwell, Senior Director of Marketing for the brand, says, “Libby is a perfect representation of our brand. It is not simply Libby’s physique that sets her apart, but it is her passion, drive, and unwavering dedication to her CrossFit practice that makes her a standout athlete and an ideal representative of our brand.”
Although Libby was the only CrossFit athlete representing Gaspari as of 2015, alongside athletes from bodybuilding, figure fitness, and mixed martial arts fighting, she does have a solid understanding of the bodybuilding and figure fitness world. In 2008, she competed in the Natural Iowa & Central Midwest Championships, placing second, but chose to pursue CrossFit rather than figure competitions (“Libby DiBiase”). “It was fun to say I did it. I applaud anyone who does that all the time” (L. DiBiase). Her sponsors at Gaspari Nutrition are more interested in Libby’s character than the sport she chooses to focus on. Cornwall cites Libby’s discipline, focus, consistency, and competitive edge as characteristics that make her a perfect fit for Gaspari. She also believes that it is Libby’s love of CrossFit that defines her as an athlete in the rapidly growing and changing sport. “Libby lives and breathes CrossFit” (Cornwell).
Even with all of her success, Libby expresses some regret about missed opportunities: “I messed up some big things that I could have done with track, but you know what? I guess you live and you learn. Other opportunities came to me later.” And so they did. Libby DiBiase has made a name for herself in the CrossFit community, earned a spot on the Reebok and Gaspari teams among other sponsorships, and continued to excel as a CrossFit athlete, but her goals have shifted since she first started competing. At the 2015 Reebok Athlete Summit in the Bahamas, the athletes were given t-shirts. On the back, they said “Goals 2015” and below, listed that person’s specific goals for the year. Libby DiBiase’s shirt read, “Spend more time with my son and graduate in May.” After her May 9, 2015 graduation,