Figure’s Core — Hard As Rocks, Yet Gentle

Chrissy Burton, just one of many in the industry whose positive endeavors outside of figure -- she’s a personal trainer and registered nurse -- make you appreciate her more when she takes the stage.

Chrissy Burton, just one of many in the industry whose positive endeavors outside of figure make you appreciate her more when she takes the stage.

Looking at the gallery of Chrissy Burton reminded me of the story from her local paper detailing how the New Hampshire figure girl — who doubles as a personal trainer and nurse on a hospital post-surgical floor back home — showed such winning compassion helping an older client struggling with health problems to feel at ease working out.

Almost guardian angel like, she’d even sometimes check in on the client outside of the gym to make sure he was eating the right foods. Chrissy shows the same kind of philanthropic spirit on her website, sending a portion of donations she receives from sponsors to the American Cancer Society.

Chrissy’s beautifully sculpted muscles — check her out posing by the rocks in Las Vegas during the recent USAs — are a clear indication of the hard work that goes into competing. But the aforementioned glimpse into her everyday life — a moving look at the beauty that lies inside the muscle — has a way of revealing the softer side of the sport’s personality.

* * *

It made me think, sure there are many ways to change figure competitions, but some may only spark confusion when there should be clarity. Add gimmicks like open-handed posing and you tread closer to bodybuilding; put in strength moves and you evoke fitness. Either way, you run the risk of obfuscating figure’s delicate grace and eloquence. Keeping it simple compels fans to contemplate the woman as well as the physique.

Something to ponder if you think the shows are little more than ornate costumes, smiles and quarter-turns, lacking excitement. Indeed, maybe the essence of figure lies in its subtler side — its capacity to strike a tricky balance between aesthetics, femininity and athleticism.

-Dean

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~ by Dean Sucich on September 13, 2008.

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