CrossFit is real. This unique quality is both the lure that attracts CrossFit converts and the glue that holds CrossFitters together to our program and each other. What in the hell am I talking about? First, our program is real because it mimics the real world. We squat, lift, press, jump, throw, catch, run, and maneuver our bodies using balance, coordination, and strength. Why? Because we must do those things in the real world—every day. We constantly change our routine to match our constantly varied reality. We measure things like loads and times, because something inside us inherently knows that real results must be measurable and verifiable. You don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to know that. Numbers are real, and we can feel this.
Our health and fitness philosophy self-selects and attracts real people. Real people value other real people and can spot fakes a mile away. Real people are flawed and imperfect. They have both weaknesses and strengths. They are not always at the top of their game. They also accomplish great feats on occasion, and when they do they prize most the recognition they receive from other real people. Real people are OK with having their performance measured. They know you cannot hide your performance, and they don’t try. Real people are usually the most humble, because they know exactly where their performance falls, and they’re OK with that. They don’t feel the need to jockey for social position. They’re real, flaws and all, and they’re content being that way.
Because of its unique qualities, CrossFit attracts real people. Once you’ve met real people, the fakes start to make you throw up in your mouth. That’s not to say you have to be a CrossFitter to be real. No, no, no. But CrossFitters are inevitably drawn from society’s pool of real people. Shared suffering in the pursuit of a goal also creates strong social bonds. This happens in many situations of prolonged physical training, and CrossFit is no exception. CrossFitters share suffering each day in their pursuit of excellence during the WOD. These factors create a culture that values camaraderie and transparency. We know that any experiences we share with our fellow CrossFitters are genuinely real, and this is something to be highly prized. Our world is filled with fakes of every manner, because being fake is easy and supports an ego. Being real is difficult, and necessarily keeps ego in check.
I’m continually stoked about all the real people I get to interact with every day at CrossFit Impulse, and I look forward to more shared suffering.