The Sport of CrossFit

CrossFit is and always has been about fitness. CrossFit creates an exercise environment where athletes can work on challenging themselves as well as putting their numbers and results against others
By Jamie Toland, CF-L1 ,

CrossFit is and always has been about fitness.

CrossFit creates an exercise environment where athletes can work on challenging themselves as well as putting their numbers and results against others in a friendly but competitive way.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away (OK, it was the ranch in California in 2007), the practice of CrossFit and friendly competition went to the next level: the CrossFit Games. Much like CrossFit’s global appeal, the Games have been growing rapidly over the past seven years.

But a debate has been waging during this time: Is CrossFit a sport?

Some CrossFit “purists” would argue that it is (or in their opinions that it should be) absolutely one or the other. Many in the community and critics alike say that although it’s competitive and fun, it is not and never has been a sport. This all goes back to the classic debate of defining what is and is not a sport. I’m not proposing to offer ground-shaking, mind-shifting evidence here that one side is or is not completely justified in their argument. But I will say this: To me, it’s both, and I love both sides of it just the same. Most days in my journey, CrossFit is just about the training and exercise and bonding with my local community of friends. The “sport/not a sport” argument is more vocal at this time of year as the Games prepare to fire on all cylinders this week and continuing to evolve into a bigger and bigger production. More prize money, more endorsements and live coverage on ESPN are some of the new attractions to this year’s quest to find the “Fittest on Earth.”

Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc.

But at the heart of all the glitz, glamour and lights of the Games, it’s still about CrossFit competition, and more important, it’s still about the development of the competitive athletes. Masters divisions have grown and expanded. The teams are fitter and more prepared than ever before. Even the field of competitors is growing so much that former champs and a few of last year’s top women struggled to qualify or didn’t even qualify at all this year. It makes no difference how you approach your relationship to CrossFit. If you’re trying to lose weight, fight against heart disease later in life, work on your overall strength or just love being a part of your local community, CrossFit will help you in all your pursuits. On the sport side, whether you’re gearing up for a chance to make a run at Regionals or, if you’re like me and are just trying to compete in local competitions in the summer months, the sport side of CrossFit has so much to offer, too.

What do you think? Is CrossFit just a great way to get fit or is it a continually developing sport? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook or email me your thoughts at JTolgrinder@gmail.com.

Stay on the Grind.
Jamie Toland (JTol)
Twitter @JTolgrinder

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