Matt and I have been athletes most of our lives. I started running in summer track back in 2nd grade in the 70’s. Then we added summer swim team to the track schedule and rode our bikes from point A to point B and all over town. That all kept up until Jr. High when swimming was dropped and basketball added. In high school it was only cross country and Daddy had me lifting weights at home in the garage. After high school I started lifting at a World Gym and dropped running. Once Matt and I met, we were lifting in Deware on campus at A&M, then Gold’s, then World’s and finally 24 Hr. We worked our way through most magazine programs, Big Beyond Belief and DC Training before Matt found CrossFit in martial arts forums on conditioning.
CrossFit has gotten beaten up pretty good in the last couple of years as its gotten popular. Yes, there are a million, gajillion affiliates now and yes the barrier to entry is crazy low. Back in the day that low barrier allowed you to develop your skills coaching people slowly and methodically. Now, as a coach, you’d better be prepared to hit the ground running at full speed. This difference is an entire other post that I don’t care to get into. Some bits and pieces in articles are starting to come out that maybe there is a place for what CrossFit does. There is even an article in TNation – A CrossFit Apology – that doesn’t hate on CrossFit too terribly. Interesting.
What I’ve found most interesting and most lacking in the criticisms of CrossFit is the maybe (?) intentional missing of Coach Glassman’s original concept. CrossFit is supposed to NOT specialize. The idea behind the program was to be generalists. To be well rounded physically and strong mentally so that one had a solid starting point from which to head off and go do a triathlon or 10k or co-ed soccer league or try mountain climbing or whatever your heart desired. CrossFit was originally a program for the Jack of All Trades, Master of None because in order to master something you have to give up something else. That’s what appealed to me. Being rock solid at life. Unload 60 bags of mulch and not hurt tomorrow? Sure. Join a friend for a charity 5k without need of a couch to 5k program? Yep! Feel like joining a group for a Tough Mudder? Cool!
The crazy food neurosis and clothes horse bit came along later. The specialists will never be ok with CrossFit. That’s cool.
Broad, general, inclusive fitness. That’s the best part!