If you watched Monday's episode of The Titan Games, then you witnessed Courtney Roselle displaying insane skills while defending her place in the competition. The athlete became Titan of the East, earning herself a spot in the Titan Games finale.
Recap: Roselle faced off against Hannah Teter, an Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding who was chosen by host Dwayne Johnson to compete on the show. Roselle took hold of the lead by the end of their first obstacle and never sacrificed it to Teter. While carrying a 100-pound pillar up an incline, speed crawling through a slanted cage, and dragging a 200-pound ball and chain, Roselle made the entire thing look almost effortless. Go ahead and see for yourself (and then proceed to collect your jaw from the floor).
So how did Roselle get here? When she’s not showing her skills on The Titan Games, Roselle is a trainer and competitive CrossFit athlete and coach. Hailing from New Jersey, she also models and started a personal training business called Iron Grace.
Like so many athletic women, Roselle has received criticism about her body. In an Instagram video, Roselle detailed her experience with body shaming. “Bullying has constantly been happening to me throughout the years,” she shared. “People attack my body.”
The insults aren’t limited to social media comments, but also text messages, prank calls, and letters to her house, she continued in the video. Sometimes it even comes from other members of the fitness community, said Roselle. “I got a message the other night at 2:45 a.m. from a woman in the fitness community saying that they don’t want to look at my ‘butch ass face’ ever again. They’re glad the gym is closed for it,” she recalled. “Which is hard to even say out loud.”
In sharing her experiences, Roselle said that she wanted to offer her perspective to other people who are being bullied. "This butch body—I don't even know what those words mean—can also deadlift 405 pounds, and clean 225, and back squat 325," she shared. "I never hate this body, and I grow from this body, not only physically but mentally, more than anybody can ever imagine." (
She’s also faced rejection from the modeling industry, sharing on her website that she’d initially been deemed “too muscular” and “too tall” for a career in fitness modeling.
But those early rejections didn’t stop Roselle from continuing to pursue her dreams. In 2018, her mom helped her land her first gig—at Vogue (NBD, right?). Roselle’s mom had met someone from the publication who was looking for a model who was “muscular enough” to look like a fighter, Roselle explained in an Instagram post.
“Out of hundreds of rejections, IT TOOK ONLY ONE,” Roselle wrote in her caption. “It took ONE person to believe in me, ONE person to see ‘all my flaws’ as something beautiful, and ONE photoshoot to suddenly have all my dreams become reality.”
In a video that Johnson posted on Instagram, she further reflected on how the experience affected her outlook. “That just made me feel proud to be who I am,” she said. “I define femininity. Nobody else defines it for me.” (
Clearly Roselle hasn’t let anyone’s comments about her body slow her down. During next week’s Titan Games finale, you can watch her face off against fellow Regional Titans Dani Speegle and Margaux Alvarez, and potentially walk away $100k richer. Prepare to watch her tackle a new round of physical feats—another reminder of why muscles should be celebrated.