Clearing up the CrossFit Cult Controversy
I wanted to write about this because it is a recent subject that is now personal. I am a CrossFit Woman (hear me roar!) so when I heard that there were certain people who believe CrossFit to be a cult I was shocked. Then I was like, “Oh, I get it.” Because the truth is when there is anything that is good and is gaining popularity there are always critics on the sidelines. I’ve experienced this in the religious arena too. Popularity or growth scares some people for whatever reason. But ultimately I always believe in researching things for yourself and examining the facts if there are concerns.
When the word cult is used it is typically intended to infer something negative and in many cases it is. But let’s pull out a dictionary and apply the definition before making any firm judgments or accusations. First let’s get a look at what CrossFit is.
Isaac Alameda, owner and trainer at FSU (Fit Strong United) says, “It’s the community and the different style of workouts that are involved. Most people who do CrossFit are very successful in their careers too. It’s for people who want or need that extra push. When it comes to the community everybody is there for the same reasons: To become healthier and fit.”
~Ray Bazan, owner and trainer at CrossFit 302 says, “Crossfit to me in one word: RAW. There is nothing out there like this. It is for you or it’s not. To me it brings people closer together. It’s also healthy for you. When you see the time on that clock you know it brings out the competitive side in you, and when you see your time finished you start thinking I can do better. Then your are hooked.
A cult a club or chapter of a local motorcycle group in the end we are there for one another to push for that next rep or personal record. We are family.”
Cult is defined below according to Websters:
- great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work
Let’s break that down. Part’s of that definition can apply.
Am I devoted to a person? Yes, I am finally devoted to myself, specifically my health.
Am I devoted to an idea? Yes, I’m devoted to the idea that building strength, health, endurance, and in the process gaining more self confidence is a GOOD thing.
If the movement is fitness – yes, I’m devoted to getting myself healthy and fit.
And work? CrossFitters are definitely devoted to the work it takes to get to their personal goals.
So based on that version of the definition anything that we devote or commit our time to is considered a cult.
I think we can all apply that to many areas of our lives that are not negative.
Next version of the definition of cult states:
- a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
Is CrossFit a ‘usually small group of people characterized by such devotion’? Well, it’s not a small group but there’s that word again – devotion! CrossFitters could definitely be characterized by devotion. Most definitely!
Look, if one feels the need to define CrossFit as a cult that’s fine. But with the negative inference it does not apply and is only a reaction to something that is not understood. I hope this has been enlightening for all. Now join your local CrossFit! Or don’t!