Greg Glassman has said it often in various talks, and I believe it. Participants are moving better than ever at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course. It seems as though the population has learned a great number of critical lessons. CrossFitters are squatting, deadlifting, pressing and cleaning better than we were 10 years ago.
Not only has this population of CrossFitters improved immensely, but it has grown exponentially. The growth that we have enjoyed has brought us to a new frontier that will include a new, previously unforeseen lesson for the CrossFit population, even for those of us who have been in this for years.
Ten years ago, the biggest hurdle was educating people on what CrossFit is. Now that a considerable population knows what it is, CrossFit HQ and its legal team are addressing an issue that will be a cornerstone to the CrossFit brand indefinitely, which is managing proper use of the name.
Early on, these efforts felt like CrossFit v. the Opposition. The general scenario was that some outsider was ripping off CrossFit and justice had to be served. Sure, that’s still an issue today, but now the newest iteration of this issue will be educating the community’s own proud members, affiliates and coaches on how they are to use the CrossFit name.
You see, CrossFit is a registered trademark, as it should be. CrossFit Inc. will need to defend its name aggressively in order to maintain the value of the entity, which means not only are outsiders who latch on to the CrossFit name a liability, but even we authentic members inside the community can be a liability with our own mishandling of the name.
In my experience, some of the most original members of this movement are the ones who have the most difficulty understanding this, and though I empathize with that, this is, in fact, a critical part in preserving the future of CrossFit. Currently, CrossFit licenses the name to affiliates to use the term “CrossFit” to market their services, and outside of the use of the term by official sponsors of the CrossFit Games, like Reebok and Rogue Fitness, there are not many other legal ways to use the term “CrossFit.”
This includes competitions and throwdowns. Even registered affiliates hosting these events cannot call them CrossFit competitions, for example. The head of CrossFit’s legal counsel actually recently put together a very succinct explanation of this. On one hand, as a member of the community, you may think, “Wow! That’s a little rough.” But, think further down the road, unsanctioned competitions freely using the term “CrossFit” can have damaging effects on what CrossFit is and stands for.
I am in no way a subject-matter expert on CrossFit Legal. But I, too, am learning my lessons in how to support the community that has been such a huge part of my life and my work without compromising this trademark issue. The more we talk about this as a community, the better we can navigate this correctly and perpetuate our ability to do what we do best, which is getting people fit.
— Logan Gelbrich