Yesterday I found myself in the middle of a pretty interesting discussion regarding CrossFit HQ and the purpose or intent of the CrossFit Games 2011. If you're not in the know...check out the letter that prompted it all and the response by My Ignition.
I guess the big question that's being tackled is "Is CrossFit for everyone?"
Now before you get all up in arms about this, let me clarify. Everybody who's been around CrossFit knows that anybody can do it. As Glassman puts it, CrossFit is scalable to all levels of fitness and that's what makes it a great program for everyone. So I am not asking if using CrossFit as a training method is for everybody.....we all agree that it is. I'm asking if CrossFit competitions, the Open Sectionals, Regionals, the CrossFit Games is for everyone. So in that respect I have to disagree with My Ignition and say that YES the CrossFit Open, in fact all CrossFit competitions are for everyone (even your grandma!) who has that fire in their belly and wants to push themselves to new levels. I think many of the CrossFit Community members who fancy themselves as Firebreathers forget that most of us have no real aspirations of winning! But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to play the game. One example I have is from my own gym CrossFit Katy. One of our team members is doing the Open for two reasons....She wants to support her daughter (who is also doing the Open) and she loves CrossFit and pushing herself. She wants to see how she measures up AND have fun doing it. She's 53 years old and has absolutely no aspirations of making it to Regionals, even in the Masters division. She is just using this opportunity to challenge herself and, as The False Start puts it, shatter those false limitations that we all put on ourselves. When the first WOD was announced, she had never completed a double under in a workout in her life, but you know what...on competition day, she completed 47 double unders!!! That's what it's all about. Did she give a crap that she still had the lowest score in the gym...HELL NO! She was damn proud of herself as she should be. That's what it's all about. Why should breakthrough moments like that be limited to daily WOD's at your local affiliate? Most people need that little something extra, like the Open, to push themselves to shatter those obstacles.
Now, this doesn't mean that I think it's HQ's job to make sure that everyone, even your grandma, competes in the Open. As My Ignition puts it, it's not HQ's job to market the Games to make it seem like a picnic, because he's right, it's no picnic! And I really don't think that HQ shouldn't have the spotlight on the Elite Athletes. It is the purpose of the Games to find the fittest man and fittest woman on Earth. I think that's where we come in as trainers, affiliates and a community. It's OUR job to encourage our athletes to compete. To push themselves to new levels. The online format of the Open this year means that the Games is more accessible then it's ever been before and we should be taking advantage of it by promoting it within our own gyms and communities. We have to let people know that there is more to the Games then simply winning and losing. The spirit of CrossFit runs much deeper than that. I know I will continue to encourage and push all of my clients, Firebreather or not, to compete whether it be in the Open or in the next local competition. CrossFit is a sport and we should all be allowed to play!