I believe that a few other people have had their say, and expressed their opinions about CrossFit’s recent issues on these pages. As someone who enjoyed CrossFit when I first founded Breaking Muscle, and as someone who believes that you should be open to all training modalities, remaining curious about all disciplines and not trying to find supremacy in any one, I think I need to give my perspective.
First, Breaking Muscle has never been, nor should it ever be, about any one training format. Therefore, we are not going to get around talking about CrossFit. I can understand that some of the conversations around CrossFit are tied into the brand and the business of CrossFit, but unfortunately, there is not other way of referring to what CrossFitters do other than to call it CrossFit.
The expression CrossFit, independent of what happens to the people who run the company CrossFit, Inc. will not disappear. There are too many people who are devoted to the training, the competitions, and the sense of belonging that they feel to the workouts.
What is CrossFit? That’s going to be up to the CrossFit community. I don’t want to speculate, and I don’t want to speak for them. I believe that most affiliates face enough challenges coming out of the recent lockdowns and, now, they face an existential threat to their core beliefs as a result of the actions of CrossFit, the business.
What I can say is that there are many good coaches and trainers who found their voice and raised their profiles because of CrossFit. My family is very close to Mike Tromello at Precision CrossFit, and have known Mike since he was a strength and conditioning coach, and before he became a successful affiliate owner.
Mike is probably one of the biggest fans of CrossFit we know. We are sorry that he has been in the position of having to deal with the repercussions of recent events. For all the hard work and years of advocacy that Mike has placed in CrossFit, he shouldn’t have been put in this position.
And, Mike is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches that we have had on Breaking Muscle. It wasn’t that he taught CrossFit. It was his strength and conditioning expertise.
There are many other people like Mike out there, affiliate owners with the same passion for CrossFit, who are also fitness professionals that are good at their jobs, who would thrive as strength and conditioning coaches in any environment, all having to wrestle with problems that are not of their doing and for which there is no easy answer.
We cannot write these coaches and trainers off. And we cannot realistically expect all of them to de-affiliate.
There are also, many great coaches who have risen out of the CrossFit world, Coach Rut and James Fitzgerald, to name two who we have seen evolve over the years.
There are others, who may not want to be named, who were rushed out of CrossFit for not being as deferential as they could have been.
There are lots of war stories about CrossFit; read all of Pat McCarty’s articles and you’ll get a history lesson on the way the corporation dealt with criticism. It seems as if the bad stories will come out more because the opportunity to be heard is there, and there are, no doubt, good ones that will get lost in the noise.
However, the issues with CrossFit are business issues. The societal fight against racism in its present form may only be heating up and most people are going to be on the right side of that fight because most people can be trusted to do the right thing.
They want to do the right thing. I believe most affiliates will struggle with what that means for them.
However they choose to move forward, CrossFit will still be CrossFit, it’s just going to be difficult to say what that really means for CrossFit the business in six months time.