In April, however, an Instagram video of Watson competing in the first week of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open at 34 weeks pregnant would change her life.
US Weekly started the outbreak. After that, from Cosmopolitan, to the Today Show, to People, it seemed there was a new article or news segment every day. Almost instantly, her followers soared as other media platforms contacted her for interviews and articles.
Then, the negativity started. For all the amazed, inspired, and encouraging comments left on her posts, there were also nasty messages attacking Watson for her commitment to fitness.
“Seems like your body is way more important to you than your baby’s health. Thank you for showing the world how selfish someone can be,” one follower wrote.
As much as Watson wanted to, she decided never to respond to the internet shamers, knowing that it wouldn’t change the person’s negative mindset on her lifestyle. “At first it was hard, just being competitive and knowing that I was doing something positive... like any human, that kind of stuff hurts your feelings,” Watson shared. Instead of countering the hateful comments, she confided in her husband and close friends. After a while, she stopped paying attention to the comment section and simply lived her life in the way she (and her doctor) knew was healthy for both her and her baby.
"simply lived her life in the way she (and her doctor) knew was healthy for both her and her baby"
Each week, Watson continued to compete, sometimes modifying the movements to accommodate her growing bump. But why would she continue to publicize her training sessions in the face of so much criticism?
"Stay healthy—whatever healthy means to you—in all stages of life"
She had an important message for women of all ages: be comfortable with your body, love your body, and stay healthy—whatever healthy means to you—in all stages of life. Her continuing social media presence was aimed at destroying the entrenched stereotypes and ideas surrounding prenatal health. From a young age, women are bombarded with messages that their bodies will never be the same after having kids and that they will have to put their fitness goals on hold while pregnant.
Now, she has found herself in the position to be that inspiration to others around the world.
However, an afternoon spent with the women who train at Rising CrossFit Ballantyne will prove those ideas false. In fact, it was these strong women who helped Watson conquer her own fears surrounding pregnancy. Now, she has found herself in the position to be that inspiration to others around the world.
On May 16th 2016, Bly Rhunar Watson came into the world. In some ways, not much has changed. Watson still plans to compete in the 2017 CrossFit Games Open and hopes to make it back to the Games with her teammates.