Call CrossFit a Church, I Dare You

IF you tell me that CrossFit is more dangerous than other forms of exercise, I’ll ask you to show me verified data. And not that conflicted and falsified data driven by big business. I’ll also invite you to see the multiple ways we can get you up to speed to ensure your safety while still being effective.   I may chide you by having you remember  who’s feeding you that BS and seeing if you can’t see their personal conflict of interest for stating it.FountainOfYouth

IF you tell me you can get just as good a workout at your local fitness gym without a trainer and by yourself, I’ll ask you to show me your short and long term goals and the names of the people that are helping keep you accountable. Please provide at least 5, b/c our members can. Also, I will ask you if you are happy with your current results and how long your fitness regimen has been in place to get them.

IF you tell me that it’s too expensive or that you don’t have time,  I could likely point out others with more responsibilities and less money that value their health and their future time with their growing families as an active part of it, rather than stuck on the couch or worse. I may also question all the meals out, all the drinks ordered, your daily Starbucks addiction, and all the cable watched while sitting on your comfortable sofa.  Cutting any one of them out or down may fully pay for your monthly membership.

IF you tell me CrossFit is a fad, I’ll remind you that CrossFit has been going strong for fifteen years.  Fads don’t last that long.  Think pet rocks, mood rings, today’s top knot, or Abba.  Oh, and we’re still growing.  CrossFit is a movement, an efficient application of exercise for busy people.  Not a fad.

IF you have the guts to tell me to my face that CrossFit is a cult, I’ll likely smile, shrug, and perhaps think “Bless Your Heart” b/c I was raised in the South. Not b/c a cult is a bad thing, but b/c of the negative connotations that communes like Jamestown bring to mind.

So, when I initially caught wind that CrossFit was being connected to religiosity and being called a church, I was just going to shake my head and get ready for the new onslaught.  However, when you think about it, especially here in the South, college football is a religion.  Recovering alcoholics see AA as a church of sorts.  Trekkies, for gosh sakes.  So, when Harvard Divinity School researchers were studying spaces other than churches that function as spiritual communities, CrossFit met the criteria:

  • It brings us together in crowds,
  • We have our special days/seasons (The Open, The Games, Memorial Day Murph)
  • We’re open to be of service and help others, whatever their needs may be

“We’re saving lives, and saving a lot of them,” Mr. Glassman said. “Three hundred fifty thousand Americans are going to die next year from sitting on the couch. That’s dangerous. The TV is dangerous. Squatting isn’t.”

Now, I’m not going to draw a ridiculous conclusion that we will somehow save your soul.  That’s not our job.  “…the CrossFit experience [is] an intimate, supportive one, in which cheering for one another to meet fitness goals [is] expected. It is a culture that can produce effects more often associated with church.” ~ Ali Huberlie, member of CrossFit Boston and student at the Harvard Business School

IF you’re looking to add a renewed interest in some fundamentally sound concepts such as community, character, courage, integrity, added self-confidence/esteem and want to surround yourself with positive-minded people, you might want to think twice before pushing CrossFit aside without trying it for yourself.

IF you tell me that CrossFit is a church, there won’t be a shaking of the head or a “Bless Your Heart” on my lips.  I’ll simply say:   “Thank you.”

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