I was recently visiting home and was chatting with a friend about what I’ve been up to. She told me of her friend that had just competed in a local CrossFit competition, and how a few of her other friends went to cheer her on. She also told me about a joke another friend made about the fact that CrossFit competitions are basically just watching people work out.
Ha. Good one.
Having spent time as a meteorologist, I am accustomed to hearing the same one-liners over and over again, with every person thinking they’re telling me that joke for the first time. Yes, forecasting is the best job in the world because you can be wrong half the time and still keep your job. Yes, we can control the weather. And yes, absolutely, preempting your favorite TV show is the reason we all go into the business. (And no, none of those responses are true.)
I’m not a CrossFit apologist. There are some real jerks that participate in it. I make that admission up front. I haven’t been doing CrossFit that long, but it’s fascinating how polarizing it is. It’s different, it’s controversial, it’s lots of things.
CrossFit is just working out. So is running, and people show up to support others at 5Ks. So are bike races, but people come out in droves to ring cowbells. So are triathlons, but people come out to cheer for those silly enough to want to do three things in a row.
I can’t believe they televise the CrossFit Games. You know what else is televised? Bowling. Golf. Curling. Fly fishing. Besides – it’s not football season, it’s still early in baseball and soccer season, it’s not hockey season, college sports haven’t started yet – is there something in particular you’re missing out on because of it? Do you also whine about every home remodeling show on HGTV? Change the channel. I’m sure a “real” sport is on ESPN 8.
It’s prone to injury. I know more people who have injured themselves running than doing CrossFit. Anecdotal? Sure, but just making the point that when done wrong, almost anything is “prone to injury.” I danced competitively for years growing up, and one of the routines involved chairs. A girl fell off of it during one of the moves and broke her arm. Does that make dancing dangerous?
CrossFitters can’t do anything besides CrossFit. Show me a marathoner that can just pick up and do an IronMan. Show me a cyclist who can win every tennis match. Show me a golfer who can swim a :30 50m. Just because it doesn’t translate directly into some other sport doesn’t mean it’s worthless.
The people who do it just won’t shut up about it. Yeah, and I can’t remember the last time someone posted about how far they ran that day. Or their new max bench press weight. Or how far they rode their bike. You’re right, posting to social media is totally unique to CrossFitters.
I just don’t understand the animosity. Is it a giant retail machine? Not any moreso than any other popular athletic activity. Are people who do it elitist? Depends on the person, just like every other aspect of life. Do people go a little overboard and become obsessive over it? Absolutely – and have you heard people talk about fantasy football lately?
I obviously don’t speak for the CrossFit community at large, or even for my own gym, but joining a CrossFit gym has introduced me to some really amazing people in my city. I’ve dropped in at other CrossFit gyms in Virginia and Michigan and it’s been incredibly welcoming and a nice way to get a workout in while on the road. I don’t see it any differently than joining a running club or a knitting group or a cycling team. I don’t even talk about it that often, but just like when people would find out I was a meteorologist, it turns into open season on jokes and making fun.
How about instead we all direct our energy toward doing what we enjoy and to each their own?
And fair warning – the CrossFit Games are coming up, so you may want to block that channel on your TV for the next couple weeks.