I’m sick and tired of this.

I get these comments almost daily, to the point where I’m about to turn off the words for “voice” & “change” on my Youtube and Instagram – and I’m absolutely fucking sick and tired of it. Not because these people are just ignorant (and also don’t have any true indication of what a female looks or sounds like when they are actually on testosterone) but because this is actually something extremely upsetting to me.

First of all, what ever happened to: “don’t point out something about someone that they can’t change in 10 seconds or less” ?!

Second, I’m going to address this for the final time in this blog post. So when people continue to comment this, I can go ahead and refer them to this post.

I started my social media when I was 19/20 years old. I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I used to elevate my voice a LOT to try to sound “cute”. Like, kind of Ariana Grande status just because I thought it would make me more attractive. A lot of females probably did that subconsciously too, but of course, their entire lives aren’t blasted on the internet for strangers to judge – so they would never know. As I got older, that got old too. I just stopped doing it. I still can elevate my voice to this level if I wanted to – but it’s just not me. I am almost 27 years old now, and apparently a lot of people don’t know this.. but YOUR VOCAL CORDS CHANGE AS YOU AGE. Just like taste buds, your body, your skin, etc. Things change as we get older. This is not a revolutionary concept. I’ve even had my speech language pathologist explain this ON my Instagram when I was working with her when we discovered that I likely had polyps/nodules. Her name is Kristie Knickerbocker for those who want to perhaps educate themselves.

Back in 2018, when I visited Iowa in the winter for the first time, I started developing a pretty bad cough. When I went to the doctor after getting back to Florida, my PC physician told me that it was likely just from the change in humidity/temperature since I had never gone from that hot to that cold in such a short time frame before. I wasn’t “sick”, so he told me to just wait it out and drink lots of water.

Fast forward to December 2018, I noticed the cough was still persisting. It got worse when I laughed, or when I would be coaching at the classes at the gym. My voice would kind of “give out” and it hurt to yell. I got bronchitis in January of 2019 after my trip to Florida – again another time I thought it was just the change of weather based on what my doctor said prior to the trip. However, once my cough STILL persisted after bronchitis, I made an appointment to my ENT down in Florida. At this point it had been 4-5 months of dealing with this weird dry cough, and I felt like there might be something wrong.

Those of you who ACTUALLY know me, know I love singing. It’s one of my absolute favorite things in the world, and was my true passion long before fitness/nutrition. I started noticing that I wasn’t able to hold notes for as long, and I was “running out of air” when I would sing more difficult songs. This was something that made me extremely upset, as singing was my one “outlet” that I still had from my childhood that genuinely made me so happy.

After seeing my ENT and getting a live video scope of my vocal cords, he told me that it appeared my false vocal cords were “banging” together due to being inflamed. He said it’s normal after bronchitis, or yelling a lot (crossfit coaching numerous classes per day) and just general use of my vocal cords. He said singers deal with this a lot, and I needed to rest my voice and it would likely go away on its own.

Obviously, I didn’t rest my voice completely as I should have, but it wouldn’t have mattered, because after another YEAR of dealing with this cough coming and going, I decided to seek out a speech language pathologist who specializes in vocal cord injuries.

I know that these people are insinuating steroid use with their comments, but let me just tell you a few things:

  1. These people have never truly seen what a female looks or sounds like when taking testosterone.
  2. I would never take anything SUCH AS TESTOSTERONE which could potentially ALTER MY VOICE solely because of how much I love singing. I’m not a fucking moron. I know that women who take testosterone for sports have those side effects such as loss of hair, horrible acne, voice deepening, etc.. none of which I have aside from the raspiness of my voice.

Let’s also just add that it’s not like I’m over here deadlifting 600lbs, or squatting 300lbs, running 7 min miles or adding 30lbs of muscle in one year lol.

If I LOOKED like a roided out crossfitter, okay sure, I could honestly understand where the comments were coming from. But for the love of God – I’m an AVERAGE crossfitter who has gained 25(ish) pounds in ALMOST 6 YEARS!!!!!! I STARTED CROSSFIT WHEN I WAS NOT EVEN 21 YEARS OLD. So yes, my body has changed, and I’VE WORKED HARD FOR THIS. What a concept.

Once I got working with Kristie (the SLP) she diagnosed that I likely had polyps or nodules after working with me for over a month and doing vocal exercises/breathing treatments. I had to be referred to Iowa State University for a full videostroboscopy by a vocal cord specialist.

The treatment for this? Surgery to remove the polyps. The cost? You don’t even want to know. And no, it’s not covered by my insurance because it’s not “medically necessary”.

So yeah. THAT’S why my voice sounds a little raspier or a little deeper. And YES, I’m fucking upset about it. I’m insecure about it as it is, not only because I feel like I sound like a smoker sometimes, but also because this has taken away one of my favorite things in the world – singing.

So before you go and comment something ignorant, rude, “just an observation” or INSINUATING that I’m taking steroids, remember that there’s someone on the other end of that screen. You have no idea what they’re going through, or what’s causing the issue that they MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO FIX.