I have been a New England Patriots fan all of my life. I remember watching them in the seventies and eighties when they rarely had a winning season and they were nicknamed the “Patsies.” However, for the past twenty years I have been in heaven! Five Super Bowl victories out of eight appearances. The team hasn’t had a losing season since 2000. They find a way to be on top every year, and for that reason they have a large population who hate them.
I think it is just human nature to want to see those who reach the pinnacle of success fail and fall from grace. I feel this is why so many people criticize CrossFit. I believe much of the negative criticism is not properly earned. Yes, it has a tendency to be extreme and to push people to the brink, but that is why millions of people love it. Yes, it has a tendency to focus on quantity over quality, but that is based on the individual instructor and his or her ability to properly teach the primary movements. In this case, maybe you should kill the messenger?
The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, and I started out together in the same big box gym many years ago. I headed down 41st Avenue toward the ocean with all of the surfers. He went down the other end of 41st Avenue to the commercial warehouses. The rest is history.
I consider Greg a friend and colleague, and I am very proud of what he has been able to accomplish since beginning CrossFit in 2000. It single-handedly changed the entire fitness industry. His company has been able to take exercise and turn it into a competition. Tens of thousands of exercise communities have been created across the globe. Millions of people have been able to infuse exercise into their lives because of his vision. Companies specializing in exercise equipment used by CrossFit gyms have been born. Thousands of people found careers in helping others change their lives. I think Jack LaLanne would be proud.
Granted, the way CrossFit programs (WOD’s) are designed are not the way I would create them. But this is not a blog about what is wrong or missing in program design. That might be a topic for another day. Yes, people get injured when they participate in exercise programs, but they also get injured reaching for the dozen doughnuts in the back seat of their cars. If done with proper knowledge, guidance, and safety, any exercise program you choose can be done well with minimal risks. Just like legal or medical practices, you are going to find a wide spectrum of qualified and unqualified individuals offering services. You just need to choose wisely.
Being bred a New England sports fan (though I have become a Sharks and Earthquakes fan since moving to Santa Cruz) I have always loved to hate the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Lakers. That is where my “hater” mentality ends. I am glad that there are CrossFit gyms popping up everywhere I look. It keeps our business alert and encourages us to continue to hone our craft to be the best we can be. There is plenty of room for all of us. It really doesn’t matter where you find a place to move as long as you keep moving. That is what really matters.