Monday, August 8, 2022

Looking into the 2022 CrossFit Games...

So the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games are done.

Order has been restored, if with a helluva fascinating competition. Moreso than the last years when the leaders seemed to dominate the field. CrossFit commentators say this “bodes well for the sport,” which has always struck me as an odd conclusion. Like CrossFit is only a business or a sport aiming for professionalization. CrossFit is and always will be a grassroots community building fitness community to me, which professionalization and specialization hinder. All that said, I’m clearly ‘caught’ in the hoopla now, with my favorite athletes and curiosities to see who’s “up and coming.”


CrossFit Reykjavik didn’t do as well as they had hoped, I’m sure, but it was still fun to cheer them on. Annie Thorisdottir will always be my favorite, particularly as she approached Rich Froning in the normal CF post-competition ‘hug.’ That took class. He hardly gave her the time of day, not even a smile, which bears poorly on him. Competition and rivalry are marvelous, as long as there is respect. She held her end, he did not.

 Tia-Clair Toomey’s journey through the Games surprised me with its impact felt within me. It literally pained me to see the cameras focus on her during the progression event where she missed the 75 unbroken singles. It actually felt mean to me, defensive of her (shaking my head). I’m an egghead, after all, with little to no emotional investment in anything athletic. Yet I was relieved when her fitness clearly 'held up' over the 13 events.


Ricky Garard’s return was also complicated but interesting. How does redemption and/or forgiveness function in our world today, in a strong-knit community like CrossFit? He erred, got caught, and “paid his penalty” of four years.

I was morally supportive of his return to the Games. And then I found his attitude/voice in interviews irritating. I was glad that the podium landed as it did. I love that Justin Medeiros won the competition without ever winning a single event.


This is the first Games I’ve paid such close attention to the Teams competition, given Annie’s involvement. I find the road to success curious, as it involves much more team-building, communication, and communal strategizing than the straight-forward individuals’ competition(s). At the same time, it’s clear (at least in Mayhem Freedom) that the team-division is/was simply another vehicle for Rich Froning iconography. The other team-members’ names are not media-focused nor therefore memorable after any particular year. I was startled to hear that no Mayhem Freedom team has ever been the same, except Froning.


Annie’s move to create her own team from elite athletes around the world couldn’t give much time for the team-building, intuitive-perceptive movement of the parts as one whole. Particularly with such strong-willed folks that elite athletes would have to be. 

Seeing these two next to one another, I can see two familiar styles in contrast. One, a pretty old-school “train with the master in the toga” philosophy, surrendered to his charisma and will. Two, a convergence of expertise or elites that has less skill at the team-building, development of communal intuition & cohesion. Unless done over time, though I’d doubt CrossFit Reykjavik will be reconvening to train another year.

Though I didn’t enjoy the event itself as much, my favorite moment(s) happened in the Sand Bag Ladder. I loved seeing the community of elite athletes look with awe at Dani Speegle and the 250lb bag. At the 240# bag, one of the commentators gave voice to the community: “Okay…we’re clearly competing for second place here.” Loved that.

All in all, a good run through the Games, I thought. Even without Dave Castro at the helm. So the community evolves, grows, changes. As we all must. FUN.

I think my husband is glad the Games are over though. :) Now we can go on vacation together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

How Are You CrossFit?

How are you liking your membership at Bombers CrossFit? I received in my Inbox yesterday. Indeed, how am I on my CrossFit journey these days…?


As ever, I’m thoroughly enjoying my CrossFit life, practice, rhythms. I recognize these rhythms are changing, which feels healthy and responsive to what I’ve been experiencing (however I might describe or interpret the experience). Easing into this transition gently has placed me between two “boxes,” for now, which can lead to a comparative/contrast frame of mind. Or not, simply appreciating the gifts I get to experience with each, both, right now.  

One gift is that I have multiple options each day to move and flex my work, need for a workout, need for a community-social space while I workout. As my job is so solitary—higher education, much of it online now—the social needs not getting met at my original box pushed me into considering other options to meet this need. Bomber’s has begun to meet that need, for which I am grateful. The challenge, of course, is honoring the rest-day that my body needs in its rhythms. So I listen for that too, recognizing that I will always choose a playful WOD (adult recess) whenever I physically can. I’m slowly learning coaches’ names and recognizing fellow CrossFitters’ names with faces.

I’m also receiving a whole lot more coaching in my CF movements, skill development, which is fabulous. With so many different coaches I now have access to, I’m re-invigorated in learning to refine skills I wouldn’t even attempt in my original box. I did a tempo-negative-handstand-pushup for the first time this week, for instance! Did the handstand kick-up, slowly lowered myself to my head (on top of two abmats), more conscious of my hand-placement and direction of my elbows, thanks to diverse coaching. I stood up, delighted and surprised that I’d done it!


This broader expanse of CF community has also made it easier to dip into my old 8 a.m. class without the anger or frustration in someone being rude to me. Don’t care. Don’t engage much there anymore. This is neither here nor there, because my rhythms are already clearly shifting toward the sabbatical patterns to come: first thing in the morning writing-reading, midday WOD, then return to work/administration in the afternoon.

 I will guess that dropping into Community Workouts, perhaps an afternoon WOD/week at my old box, will allow me the continuity and sense of community I’ve loved but also had to grieve with CFDedication. And the deepening of my own CF practice and skills will be fed by Bomber’s CrossFit. For now, my family and I are fine to expend financially for the gentle transitioning my relational heart needs.


Eventually that will become unnecessary, and I’ll be at the Box I need to be at. It's a gift not to have to choose at the moment…