Two weeks ago, DP and I took our niece and nephew to Six Flags New England amusement park in Massachusetts. We spent the majority of the day in the water park. We couldn’t help but notice that the vast majority of people did not appear healthy (I am not referring to looking fit; but just not unhealthy). I challenged DP to spy a minimal of five individuals who appeared to be healthy…he only found two.
I spent six days last week at the CrossFit Games in Carson California. 40 teams of 6, 46 men, 43 women, and 200 master’s athletes competed in an attempt to prove who is the fittest on earth. One might assume that, as is the case in other sports, only these 529 athletes would appear as Greek gods and goddesses on the field, while the spectators would resemble lesser fit beings, quite like those I saw at Six Flags the week prior.
There was a large sign hanging on the back of the bleachers of the tennis stadium which read:
“These athletes and spectators wear the look of enormous work capacity. What we are creating is a new definition of beautiful”.
And boy, this could not have been truer. One seriously couldn’t count ten people out of the 24,000 present that looked unhealthy.
This small microcosm of society that we call CrossFit is changing the world…at least it’s changing our world.
You see, CrossFit isn’t only about the elite athletes that we can watch on ESPN. It’s the only sport where the spectators are also athletes who understand the pain and enormous amount of heart that is in involved with competing. The spectators LIVE this sport.
As someone who had attended the CrossFit Games since 2009 when it was held at a dusty ranch in Aromas, California with no seats, no globo-tron, and no professional announcers, it was absolutely ASTOUNDING to witness the growth of this sport.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of this astronomical growth is that it somehow still has that “homey” feel; that sense that everyone present is your comrade. It’s impossible to remain a CrossFit athlete with an over-enlarged ego, and a lack of desire for self-betterment, and a lack of tenacity. This “barrier”, so to speak, is what keeps CrossFit, CrossFit.
As most of you know, Shoreline CrossFit’s John Lynch placed second in the Master’s division 40-44. This grandiose achievement did not come easily. I believe that all present, and all of our community watching unfailingly at home, were inspired by Big John’s unfaltering inability to back down. John is accustomed to being one of the best athletes at Shoreline CrossFit, but when thrown into this “big pond”, he could easily have found himself disheartened…NOT BIG JOHN. He had some shining moments, and some not-so-shining, but he never allowed the latter to affect his next workout. He always appeared confident, proud, and focused when entering the stadium to perform his next workout. I think I can speak on behalf of all of Shoreline CrossFit when I say that we are proud to call Big John ours.
I’d also like to congratulate a few Northeast athletes who represented: First, Kaleena Ladeairous on THREE first place finishes in Game’s events (also to her coach Jason Leydon of CrossFit Milford). Next, congratulations to BK Athletics’ (Fairfield, CT) Amanda Goodman on the top weight in the clean and jerk ladder (she cleaned 235 pounds!). Also, to two of the Northeast’s teams, CrossFit New England (Natick, MA) and CrossFit Dynamix (Astoria Queens, NY) for placing 2nd and 5th in the team competition.
All of your coaches present at the CrossFit Games hope to bring some of this energy back to you. On to the 2014 Games season!
For a closer look for how our sport has evolved, watch the video below:
and now this: