“Oh, so you do CrossFit?”
We may have the finest CrossFit facilities in London, we may have the most passionate and knowledgeable coaches in London, and we may have the friendliest and hardest working members in London. But defining our sport will never be easy. At face value, for a CrossFit muggle everyone who flocks to the gym day in, day out are seemingly crazy. The workouts are written in a language that only those with a PhD in Binary Code will understand, and even if you did understand them they were so difficult that no mere mortal would be able to undertake them.
But is this really the case? Short answer: No. But what should you say when a non-CrossFitter asks you what CrossFit is? I am a CrossFit nerd. I could probably list off a pretty complete breakdown of the open workouts for the last four years, but even I’m not nerdy enough to perfectly recite Coach Glassman’s definition of CrossFit when someone comes up to me and asks “what the hell is CrossFit?!?”
Imagine now, if you will, that you are a CrossFitter, (i.e. someone who regularly stops halfway through a workout to change from lifters to trainers, who wouldn’t bat an eyelid when seeing someone wearing knee sleeves around their elbows and who often blames mobility for their poor movement form), and you are in Starbucks picking up your pre-WOD boost. Imagine further that you also look a bit like the Reebok Black Friday online sale had a bit too much cake and as a result has ended up vomiting on you. Head to toe in Reebok CrossFit; nice Nanos… Hopefully, you have a good image in your mind of your typical CrossFit enthusiast, you may even be imagining someone from your own gym, but we digress. Anyway; as you and your Saturday morning WOD partner loudly discuss the tactical break-up of the 150 wall ball buy into this morning’s WOD a perplexed bystander ignorantly airs this question:
“What the hell is CrossFit?!”
Now, knowing that Richy Reebok and Crossfit Colin, queuing up for their almond milk, zero sugar cappuccinos are RX warriors their response will no doubt be the definition of CrossFit offered by Greg Glassman, (owner of the highly successful CrossFit brand). This definition, to all you CrossFitters out there is “Constantly varied, functional movement performed at relative high intensity”.
Now although I have absolutely no problem with this definition, often find myself loudly discussing Mat Fraser, wall balls and rowing splits in public, and am often found with knee sleeves around my elbows, I DO NOT think that this is how Crossfitters should explain CrossFit to non-Crossfitters. As a Crossfitter I am fully aware of the harsh criticism that our sport is put under, whether it be anything from poor form to substance abuse. And on top of this we often endure the hypocritical stigma associated with being a Crossfitter, you all know what I’m talking about.
So, the next time someone asks you what CrossFit is, just give them your own definition. Don’t try and melt their poor brain trying to explain what an AMRAP is, or what an EMOM is. You don’t even have to tell them who Grace and Fran are, or who DT and Murph are. One of the main beauties of our sport is the discovery. Discovery of new and perhaps hidden personal talents, but also the discovery of new concepts, new language and a whole new training methodology. And perhaps I do agree when people ridicule Crossfit and describe it as a cult. It is a cult, a “culture, a community, a family. A fitness community of hardworking individuals on the quest for self-improvement; whilst having a damn good time. Get fit for life and kick-ass. So perhaps the next time you try and insult CrossFit, insult my sport, insult my community, insult my family, you might just stop yourself and think for a second. Would you insult someone trying to make a positive change on their life? No! Then why insult CrossFit?
“CrossFit is everything; whatever you want it to be… Running, jumping, swimming, lifting, dragging, carrying, flipping, rowing, cycling, skiing, climbing, pushing, pulling, pressing, curling, handstanding, kicking, catching. It is the sport of everything. Don’t believe me, come try it!”
That’s my Starbucks definition anyway. My advice from this though is, please please please help yourselves, and don’t wear your knee sleeves on the tube…