the spaz of fitness has arrived

Why We CrossFit: Redemption

In General, Training on July 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

After my last post about the CrossFit 2012 Games commercial, I’d like to append a new one that restores my faith in the CrossFit world. Again Faster, an equipment supply company that caters specifically to CrossFit, has discovered an exponentially better advertising angle. At the 2012 Games, they had a photobooth where they asked people why they CrossFit. Sure there are some facetious answers like this, but also ones like this. I even enjoy shots like this one that involve people simply enjoying and celebrating their fitness. It shows such a fantastic range of athletes, from first-responders to wounded warriors  to kids. This series of images shows CrossFit not as the “hardcore” pursuit of the elite, nor another vanity-driven exercise fad. It’s a way to understand and enjoy our bodies; it’s accessible to people of all backgrounds and fitness levels, and it’s remarkably human.

As disappointed as I am with Reebok’s commercial, I’m glad the actual practitioners of CrossFit have not lost sight of why we do what we do.
Why do I CrossFit?

– After a lifetime with asthma, with IBS, with weight “issues” and general lack of athleticism, it’s allowed me to make peace with my body– to accept its weaknesses and adapt to them, fortify them accordingly. It’s helped me discover my strengths (the oddities that they are– burpees!) and embrace them.

– It’s meditative. Through CrossFit, I’ve come to understand much about my mentality. I’ve learned to recognize when I’m trying to take the easy way out, to analyze why, and to approach the problem from a new angle. I’ve learned the difference between something I can’t do and something I’m afraid to do and I’ve gained confidence in my ability to approach and conquer those fears.

– Through it, I’ve found such a beautiful, encouraging community. From firebreathers to introductory athletes, I’m continually inspired by those around me, and moved by the strength of their will.

– Did I mention burpees?

Anyway… I think my message is that Reebok definitely made a misstep with its commercial, but that doesn’t speak for the CrossFit community itself. And this sport is still doing wonders for its athletes; it’s still empowering individuals inside and outside the box, and hopefully a television ad devised in poor taste isn’t enough to debase all that we are.

  1. That ad really left a bitter taste in my mouth. ESPECIALLY since I recently authored a 24 page paper for my women’s studies class about how and why CrossFit is a feminist sport. Revolutionary in that It encourages women to defy social norms and be STRONG. Exercise that finally emphasizes what is really meaningful and good about physical exercise.

    As a female CrossFitter I felt both objectified by the ads, and that my intent in pursuing CrossFit was misrepresented.

    Thank you for your first and second posts on the issue.

    • I definitely felt both those exact same reactions. I’m glad there are other women out there contributing to scholarly discourse about CrossFit and its rhetorical practices. Thank you for reading, and for your comment.

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