I’m going to be honest here for a second; more and more I find myself not giving a good god damn how many Thrusters and Pullups I can do in 3 minutes. I’m not saying the novelty of Cross Training has worn off or that I’m done with CrossFit and coaching. I do wonder sometimes though what the point of all this is? What’s it prove? In this world we’re all trying to survive does it really matter who the best exerciser is or who can perform a workout the fastest or with the heaviest weights. It’s thrilling to watch, especially in person, but then again so are football, basketball, and other sports that I generally have no respect for. It’s hard to idolize people who get paid to play children’s games and workout as a full time profession. I’m not saying they’re not tough and resilient but heroes and role models; I guess that depends on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. In the end I don’t hate CrossFit or dislike it, but I’m starting to think at my age chasing this game might be a waste of time, and needless torture on a body all ready beat up from years of hard living and training.
For the past several weeks we’ve been going back and forth about the decision to affiliate our training facility. There are all kinds of benefits to doing it, exposure, built in client base, ready-made business models, just to name a few. I don’t know if I want to hitch my wagon to the CrossFit horse any longer. I question where it’s going as a sport and business. I question the ethics of its founder, and the priorities of the games. I question the quality of its programming lately. I question the obscenely growing cost of equipment and training gear that just 5 years ago was dirt cheap and available anywhere. I have a lot of questions about what it would mean for my goals and training ethos to become a CrossFit box. While I know that as an affiliated owner you are in reality, free to run your gym and business as you see fit and even determine your own programming. But sometimes I wonder if getting caught under the shadow of Crossfit the fitness giant is a smart move. If that giant should fall will it crush us all under its own weight? I know CrossFit says it’s just getting going but isn’t that what everyone says…right before the crash? Whether or not its still going strong in 5 years I think there’s no arguing that CrossFit has changed the fitness business forever and its effects will be felt for decades to come.
I believe the next two years are going to be critical for this brand. If they are to become a viable institution many things will need to be addressed least of which is the constant and very public drama between owner and founder Gregg Glassman and main sponsor Reebok. I think the growing disparity in heavy weights versus bodyweight events at the games and the near impossibility of home grown athletes having a realistic shot at cracking the podium needs to be rethought as well. Not long ago this movement was about the common man and those who train for real world capability but as most things go it has become a sport dedicated to branding, profits, and high visibility mega athletes. I think we will soon see the end of “real guys” like Chris Spealler and Josh Bridges ever having a shot at the title. The weights are going up, the reliance on equipment and gadgets are going up, and the yearly cost and effort that athletes must expend just to make it to the games will prohibit anyone but full time sponsored athletes from seriously competing.