Giving CrossFit a Bad Name?

Lisbeth Essays

I hear this phrase lately: “That’s giving CrossFit a bad name.” It’s always that video or that trainer or that affiliate in the next town.

It’s never “me.” You never hear “I’m giving CrossFit a bad name.”

But would that sometimes be more truthful?

In reality, the people spreading junk about CrossFit are often . . . wait for it . . . CrossFitters. We’re the first to post up something we think is horrendous, first to yell at our own, first to link to something that makes us look stupid. Sometimes it’s in fun, sometimes it’s in self-righteous indignation, sometimes it’s just because we love to shine the spotlight on anything that mentions CrossFit. It gives us a reason to talk about (or defend, or laugh at) this thing that has taken over so much of our lives. Most of us just really love CrossFit.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be the first to look at our own program, our own community, our own lifestyle. Of course we should. CrossFit was founded on the principles of open source. Anyone should be able to take on the program and improve upon it. In July 2008, I listened to Greg Glassman say this at Concept 2 HQ: “Give this thing another 5 years and the best programming will be coming out of our affiliates.” See, we were always expecting improvement to come from the community, as well as ourselves.

Still, I can’t help but be struck by the irony that often, in the CrossFit community, we are our own best friends and our own worst enemies.


(Image courtesy of Nicole Bedard Photography.)

Lisbeth Essays

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