That’s all it took to make her want to leave the box she’d been CrossFitting at for a year. Three, simple, CrossFit 101 cues.
She was just in for the day; visiting she called it. Box shopping was more like it.
I fidgeted with her elbows, adjusted her feet for cleans and behaved as any trainer would. After class she said that she’d never received so much instruction. I felt like I barely did anything.
Later, she emailed and asked to join our community while leaving hers behind forever. I said no.
After I hit send, my mind transplanted to three weeks earlier. I was shivering, doing 80-mph on the highway, ice plastered down each door making more igloo than truck . As the scenery blurred beside me, snow accumulating by the minute, the pastor on my radio got louder.
After I thawed enough to know what I was listening to, I reached out to change the station. But something stopped me. God or Jesus or the Holy spirit made me listen.
The pastor on my radio said the church doesn’t fail people, people fail their church.
He said today, in our society full of “have-it-your-ways,” no one has to pick one place to worship. They can pick several.
If they wake up and feel like they need an inspiring sermon that makes the walls cry with joy, the pastor continued, they can go to the black church. If they want choir and hymns — pentecostal. If they want to shake hands and be reprimanded for having instincts and looking at pretty women, why the baptist church of course. And if they just want to kneel and chant, there’s always catholic mass.
This is today’s church the pastor on the radio repeated. “This is today’s believer.”
I thought of CrossFit, well, because I always think of CrossFit.
Like churches lining every street corner, CrossFit affiliates are providing more options for athletes everyday.
“Churches cannot survive based on the moods of random followers,” the man on the radio said.
The pastor went on to say that whenever a pastor tells the hard truth, the kind about starving children and volunteering more and putting more in the collection plate, attendance drops. Christians become Catholics, Methodists become Seventh Day Adventists and so on (in fact, because I wrote about church at all, our readership will decline. It happens every time).
I thought of CrossFit again, clicked off the radio and sat silently for the next 45-minutes. The words “CrossFit Methodist” and “Catholic CrossFit” swirled like scavengers over the dead.
CrossFit communities are remarkably close to church communities and many of the same rules apply. The most important being; if you don’t like the way something is, you don’t run. You stick it out and make the change. You help your community grow, you show up everyday and every night and you offer a hand wherever you can. That’s church, that’s congregation, that’s CrossFit, that’s community.
“You should stay where you’re at, I wrote in the email back to our wanna be CrossFit box jumper. I’m not saying you’re right, I’m not saying you don’t have good points. I’m saying that nobody is perfect and it takes everyone to make amazing things happen. If you’ve really tried everything, honestly given your all, then we can chat again.”
If we jump ship after a few waves, or if one good cue changes your mind about a million ones that didn’t quite work, then we’re no better than a pissy Catholic who choked on a little red wine.
We don’t let box jumpers join Practice CrossFit without knowing the specifics. Even then, we most likely will recommend they stay where they are.
We call their coach, we talk several times, we have them in for a few classes. We interrogate them worse than a loan officer at a bank. If they sound like a church member looking for a new hymn, too bad. We are a lifetime commitment, not a moody sermon.
If it sounds like drama circles them like the moon revolving around the earth, forget it.
If it comes down to coaching and they really are being let down. I tell them to drop in more often, watch and learn, then take back everything you saw and inject your community … nicely.
Communities crumble even in CrossFit. If that’s the case, if you’ve tried everything, we’re here with open arms like every other affiliate should be. But before you jump, ask yourself; have I really done all I can do to make it better?
*Go all out on the last set, as many reps as possible.
10 minutes for perfection
*Try for linking reps and mastering the skill. Not for time. If you don’t have the skill, work a portion of a progression.
30-Power clean and jerks 120/185
20 Calorie row
AMRAP 15 minutes
Power clean+Front Squat+Jerk
*Work technique for 20 minutes.
30-Clean and jerks
5-Minute paleo chair
*Roll whichever area got the hottest.
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