The following is a piece I authored for a site I greatly respect within our vast community of amazing humans. 321 Go Project is legitamitly in it for the affiliates. For CrossFit. For CrossFitters. They are responsibly getting information to the world in such a way that we can’t help but thank them for it, and pay it forward.
The following was authored by me. It appeared here first.
CrossFit is a landscaper. CrossFitters are people farmers tilling soiling all over the world. Most seeds that we leave in our wake are cultivated and cared for like they are family. They grow and choke the surrounding weeds of dysfunction enveloping the world we live in. They root deep within the earth and flourish. Some seeds, however, hit only the thin top soil. They grow fast, and they leave a big hole when their rootless existence is torn asunder at the first strong wind.
“When I was your age I walked to school seven miles in the snow barefoot”. I am really not trying to sound like that guy, but whatever. When I, and many many others like me, opened our affiliates there was no ESPN, no CrossFit Reebok, no sponsors. Most importantly, there was no temptation. There was only Coach and functional movement performed at the utmost intensity every conceivable way.
Five years ago our phone never rang. Whenever I met Non-CrossFitters, it was thirty questions about, “what is CrossFit”, and “why the hell would I do that”. Today it’s “do you have room for me”, “where do I sign”. None of us deserve our phone to ever ring. We all earn that by believing in CrossFit. By believing in it’s creator. Today I still travel atop the shoulders of men better than I, never forgetting to give them credit all the way.
Games do not a community make
I was honored to be involved within the production of the 2012 CrossFit Games. I loved demanding that we get a camera on Chris Spealler. Not because he was leading the games, but because I am a fan first, everything else second. Like everyone else on planet CrossFit, I love Chris Spealler and I wanted to cheer. It was rewarding to hear Tony Budding instruct producer after producer of “What is CrossFit”. I wish everyone could hear the passion in his voice. And if you are capable of watching the fight which is Julie Foucher, and not tear up, your a stronger man than I.
Upon returning home after the games ended, it was clear more ground had been tilled, more seeds planted. Most of which will grow, some will rot.
Recently, while attending a local competition, a very worried affiliate owner caught up to me with a story. He had trained a local competitor who went on to the games. The athlete in question had performed very well.
A group of future affiliate hopefuls had been quick to get a word with the well performed games competitor. They intend to open a box of their own, and that they wanted nothing more than for him to train with them claiming, “his name alone would fill their doors,” and that they would pass that benefit on to him.
Now, I get it, I don’t have the entire story, but that being said, it still doesn’t take away from it’s plausibility, and thereof treachery.
The affiliate owner standing in front of me was nervous. He had owned and grown his affiliate over the years and was at a place where he thought, if he continued to put his time in, things would only go up. Suffice to say, he was surprised and disheartened until I asked, “did your competitor create your community, or did your community create your competitor?
He paused and thought about all the amazing people he had walk through his doors. The majority of his CrossFitting clan arrived long before the competitor he was now so concerned about. To him, it was an affront to his training and CrossFitting ability to lose “his athlete” to the newness and hype delivered by the crowd. Lost to the temptation. To him, others may see him as ineffective, or second best. Read that agin, “he” saw that, “they” did not.
After he had time to think through this little athlete recruitment strategy that seems more corporate than CrossFit he calmed and he understood. Our community built the games, the games did not build a community.
The sting of betrayal the affiliate owner felt considerably lessened. It didn’t quite leave because he cared for this athlete now being tempted from something very un-CrossFit, and that is the exact reason he is where he is. The affiliate owner in question is where he is because he cares for CrossFit and of course the games that enhance it, not create it.
The big bad wolf
The scenario above was front and center in my mind as I watched the “Health and Wealth” video below.
By now your well aware of the Anthos Capital wolf at the CrossFit door today. They are not the first, they won’t be the last. But rest assured, try as they might, they will never topple our house. Our house isn’t a location, it’s all of us.
We are not our buildings or those cute custom shoes we each have seven pairs of. We certainly are not the tip of an arrow competing at an arena in Carson, California. We are not a t-shirt, but as Coach said, “we will un-affiliate over a t-shirt.”
In the clip above Coach calls affiliation a “covenant”. We pledged to one another something that can never be bought. Something that Coach himself embodies as do we all. We don’t love him so much because he is so different, we love him so much because we are him. We identify with those we are like, and we signed on to this gig as owners and as CrossFitters to simply help tell the story that coach started. A story we have been telling our entire lives, Coach just gave it a name.
Go. Be ready. More wolves are coming. They will look like recruiters who “buy” athletes, and tempt the lost. They will fade into obscurity when we challenge their suspect motives with out endless passion.
Go. Be ready. What we have is no secret. What we have others want. Take comfort in knowing commitment cannot be faked.
Go. Be ready. The day may come where your walls need painted with another name. So buy paint. We are not a name, we are purpose.
Go. Be ready. You are a community that built a culture seeding the world. It doesn’t matter where you do it, or how you label it, or who tries to steal it. What matters is that today we are CrossFitters making a difference, and when tomorrow comes, even if we are not called CrossFitter, we can still make all the difference in the world.
AMRAP 3 Minutes
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