Thursday, May 29, 2014
Check Your Inferiority Complex At The Door, Please
(I promised a friend that would be my opener.)
But in half-seriousness (because fuck all y'all for taking yourselves too seriously), social media has been abuzz of late with some severely anti-CrossFit articles, one most notably from Erin Simmons, who was picked up by HuffPo - the world's most reputable news source. The CrossFit community raged, with rebuttal post after rebuttal post, building the negative momentum. Then Mashable jumped on board, with an entertaining vignette of CrossFit fails.
I'm not going to waste words defending CrossFit, the community has taken care of that ad nauseam - Google it if you must. I'd simply like to request that everyone get over themselves. In the gym, an actual mantra of the overwhelming majority of CrossFitters is to "check your ego at the door." This simple philosophy actually helps prevent the image of piles of injured people crumbling into puddles of their own vomit that naysayers are tickled to paint for you. I'll say that some CrossFitters could stand to take this mentality into discourse and be more open to constructive, objective feedback about the new, still developing sport (That means "get over yourself" applies to you, too).
Speaking of getting over one's self, on a first read of Simmons blog (and of most similar visceral anti-CrossFit posts), my gut reaction was that she needed to "check her ego." After all, she opens with an anecdote about how she gazelled with her perfect machine of a body into a gym, pulled herself into a muscle-up and spent the next 20 minutes pointing and laughing at the other people attempting to do the same (that's how I imagine it, anyway).
Having thought on it some more, reading comments from her likeminded following, I've come to realize that they don't need to check their egos. They need to check their inferiority complexes. The ingroup/outgroup mentality that CrossFit fosters earns it the reputation of family and cult, respectively. As the contra-culture becomes more mainstream (because it's not actually a cult and is welcoming to anyone), the fear of the unknown is drumming up in traditional athletes.
Are Simmons and those interested in health and fitness right to question the risks and rewards of and form opinions about a new sport? Absolutely. But writing off all participants as inexperienced, brainwashed bafoons begging for rhabdo represents something entirely different. It represents current or washed-up athletes terrified of an emerging, accessible sport producing tens of thousands of athletes who threaten their confidence in their own fitness. It's our human nature to fear what we don't know. Plain and simple.
So to Erin Simmons and many others out there who have written mostly identical attacks on CrossFit. I invite you to check your inferiority complex (and ego) at the door. You don't have to drink the Kool-Aid, but if you're going to keep writing the same uninformed crap, consider drinking a big glass of "shut-the-hell-up."