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Entries in hq (15)

CFJ Feature: You're the vanguard

One of the things I've been a big fan of is the somewhat recent change-of-direction from CrossFit HQ to veer away from a CrossFit Games bias and lean towards the overall general health bias. Every day I look up on the main site and see a story about someone reversing their diabetes, heart disease, or cancer from the combination of CrossFit and good nutrition (primarily the good nutrition).

Another thing that's been under way is te all-doctor Level-1 Seminars. I'm trying to nudge Sabal to going - seeing as they're free - but most of them have been on the west coast so far. The hope is that by reaching one doctor at a time, a slow change can be made in the public health field. Here's a clip from Coach Glassman at a recent seminar.

Dumb CrossFit Propaganda from Glassman

In this episode of Dumb CrossFit Propaganda from Coach Glassman, he has the audacity to say that CrossFit is more than just the Games or sub 3-minute Frans, but the bigger picture is showing that it's saving lives, keeping people out of the hospital and doctor's office, exposing corruption, and helping develop a permanent healthy lifestyle by employing a few very simple rules:

1. Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar, then perform constantly varied functional movement at a high intensity.

2. Focus on doing this for one person at a time as best as humanly possible.

3. Keep the parties with conflicted interests out of the health space

And he swears too. What a jerk!

Pat Sherwood on his 10-Year CrossFit Anniversary

I have no idea how this one slipped through my attention, but I have been posting quite a bit of Pat Sherwood stuff on here recently and this one is from August 2015. His 10-year anniversary of his first CrossFit workout came up and he decided to write a short blog post with ten points he picked up along the way. Check it out:

Pat Sherwood: A Reflection on 10 Years of CrossFit

"7. The first time someone told me about CrossFit, I thought it sounded ridiculous. This was due to my ignorance of what CrossFit’s methodologies truly were. I was closed minded and thought I knew everything. If you encounter people like that (like I was), be patient. CrossFit is fun and effective; there is no denying that. Most of us thick-headed know-it-all types will eventually come around if you give us enough time and some sound information. (See No. 9.)"

CFJ Feature: Fitness, Luck and Health

Guys, it's Sunday. You have nothing to do. There is no school, no jobs (unless you are me), no NFL, and church should be done before breakfast.

Please take the time to watch this.

Yes, it's 43 minutes long. Yes, Coach Glassman swears and says some extreme things like, "The CrossFit stimulus will give you a pass on chronic disease." But listen to the rationale and you might find a great deal of understanding about how fortunate you all are for being involved in CrossFit. His new theory was so profound that people from the world-renown Mayo Clinic asked him to personally deliver the message in the format above.

If you are too lazy to watch the video, there was a summary posted a few days ago.

Fitness, Luck and Health

As he says, "The miracle of CrossFit is people are getting something they did now even know they wanted or needed.

Quote of the Week vol. 145

I just renewed my CrossFit Affiliation for the fifth consecutive year. Obviously, I believe in the methodology and principles at the core of their teaching. We also veer heavily towards the side of technique before intensity - which is something preached often at seminars, but not often reinforced by coaches.

Because of our attention to detail regarding technique, we got the attention of Jeff and Mikki Martin - founders of CrossFit Kids and owners of The Brand X Method (a gym in Ramona, CA that is no longer associated with CrossFit.) What's I've always found challenging is finding a happy medium between methods that are at odds with eachother. Here's two examples:

...........

"While CrossFit considers technique of utmost importance for developing strength and power, it is used as a tool to reach goals, not as the goal itself."

- Russell Greene, CrossFit HQ Staff Member in response to this message board post.

"We base our program around consistently reinforced foundational movements executed at appropriate intensity."

- Jeff Martin

While they sound contradictory, and people can always nitpick, I think we balance both pretty well.

Affiliate Owners on Nutrition in the Gym

Please watch and discuss. I would like to hear what you all have to say on this subject, because I have said for a while that Nutrition is the one area I find the most difficult to coach.

For the record, the people in the video are Tyson Oldroyd, Patt Burke, Nicole Christensen, Dave Tittle, and the Chans. They are known as some of the best coaches and most successful affiliate owners in CrossFit.

You Are CrossFit - A Reminder

In 2007, the world of hip hop experienced an unprecedented culture shift. It can be encapsulated with one word. At least, I think it’s a word…

YOOOOUUUUUUUAAAAHHH!!!!

There were plenty of successful and popular rappers who came up from nothing to grind their way through the rap game, slowly gaining respect from their peers and making a living for themselves. Then out popped Soulja Boy; a kid my age from some place in the south where they horde hoodlums who would otherwise be a danger to society. He had no name, no mixtapes, no songs, and no record deal.

But he did have a YouTube Channel.

So he grabbed a piece of paper from an unused Algebra notebook, rounded up his boys, wrote the same four words over and over again, choreographed a dance, and uploaded his finished product to YouTube. It catapulted him to instant superstar status within a matter of weeks; solidifying outsiders’ worst fear that you did not have to be talented to be a rapper. Soon other people took note. Mims explained why he was hot and why you were not. Rich Boy made a song about spending his last few dollars on rims for his Cadillac. Lil’ Boosie was crowned by some as the next rap prodigy because he spelled his name. And worst of all the mass public found out that Plies was a real person who was breathing our oxygen.

It’s safe to say many “pure” hip hop fans were looking for the nearest cliff. And this was only May.

Fans were not the only ones complaining. See, Hip Hop is art in a literal sense; people making masterpieces out of minimal equipment. Naturally, respected rappers like Nas and Kanye West also voiced their concern about how their craft was getting tainted. They, and artists before them, worked so hard to bring Hip Hop to a place where it would be accepted by the mainstream. And now it was being ruined by these goobers who had no business putting music out. Common put it best on “The City” from his 2005 album, Be:

“I wonder if these whack n***** realize they’re whack / and they’re the reason why my people say they’re tired of rap”

Then on May 22, rap legends KRS One and Marley Marl released Hip Hop Lives. While the album was not great by any means, it set the precedent that it was the good rappers’ responsibility to keep the artistry side of Hip Hop shining. This prompted other rappers from older generations to establish their presence again and remind people what it really meant to be a Hip Hop artist. Masta Ace came back with a verse on “Nostalgia,” Pharaoh Monch released an album called Desire, UGK put out Underground Kingz, Atmosphere gave out two EP’s filled with good music for free, Common released Finding Forever as a tribute to J.Dilla, Little Brother reunited for Getback, Jay-Z un-retired for American Gangster, Talib Kweli made arguably the best album of his career in Eardrum, and Andre 3000 provided four guest verses that are revered like the Psalms still to this day. Even the Wu-Tang Clan came out with an album. With the veterans setting the tone, the three new stars gave Hip Hop the resurrection it so desperately needed.

On July 17, Blu & Exile released Below the Heavens. It is, without debate, the greatest independent album released in the last 20 years and single-handedly brought back the lyricism identity to the West Coast. Then Kanye West released Graduation on September 11 – outselling the sell-out 50 Cent, perfectly blending the lines between Hip Hop and Pop music, and elevating himself to the most recognizable musical artist on the globe. Finally, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool was released on December 18 and was hailed by some as the best rap album since Illmatic. It still stands as the compare-to for every “lyrical” album that comes out.

This one is a classic, kids.

The next year, Nas came out with an album and Eminem uneathed from relapse. When Hip Hop needed it most, the great ones stepped up. Sure, Soulja Boy and Gorilla Zoe still released singles that encouraged the likes of Hurricane Chris and the insufferably bad V.I.C. to follow suit, but the good people helped keep the good name of Hip Hop alive during a very vulnerable time.

Hip Hop is bigger than any one artist, yet Hip Hop is the artists. When Fetty Wap releases his next album, it is probably going to set Hip Hop back a few years. Whenever Kanye decides to release The Life of Pablo on a platform normal people can access, the art will advance. There have always been, are currently, and will always be good rappers and bad rappers. When more good stuff is released than bad stuff, Hip Hop looks good as a whole. The opposite is also true. Thankfully it’s totally up the artists.

...........

When I read posts like Why Not CrossFit, it makes me a little bit frustrated. And it’s not just that one; there are plenty of similar posts of coaches trying to dissociate themselves from CrossFit – the first of which I can remember being the Greyskull one. It’s literally the same story over and over*: I’m good, there are crappy gyms around me, the Games are getting too much coverage, I’m over this, the end.

*Brand X gets a pass. Sounds like a weird situation. I just close my eyes and pretend it’s not happening

Imagine if Nas said, “rap sucks, I’m moving to country”; we might never have gotten Cherry Wine. Imagine if Lupe had that mindset; we might never have gotten Tetsuo & Youth. Imagine if Pharrell had that mindset; there might have never been Despicable Me 2.

If the CrossFit OGs don’t like the way things are being portrayed, do something about it. Promote your stuff. Send it to HQ to publish. I’ve been rejected by the CrossFit Journal on six separate occasions (probably seven assuming this one gets rejected). My solution: write better. From my perspective, complainers are not seeing things as they really are; they are seeing things the way they think they should be. There is a big difference.

In reality, the CrossFit Games is huge at this time. It should be. Why? Because it’s unique. Because it brings a lot of popularity and press. Because it truly tests the fittest on earth. Because it provides a lot of people the opportunity to compete in something. Because humans who can do inhuman physical feats should be celebrated. Because it makes CrossFit as a whole better.

In reality, there should be so many affiliates at this time. Why? Because there are. Because it helps spread the word of CrossFit. Because it means more people are participating in exercise. Because it means Olympic lifting, gymnastics, and powerlifting are becoming relevant to normal people. Because Coach Glassman and crew don’t believe they should set too many barriers for new, enthusiastic coaches to follow their dreams. Because if they did, you probably wouldn’t be here now. I know I wouldn’t. I sucked when I started. Now Carl, Kelly, and the Martins think we’re good.

These things might change tomorrow. Or next year. Or under the next regime. But today, at this moment in time, the Games get the most popularity and affiliates can open wherever they want. It should be that way, at this time. If we want to change that, I don’t think disassociating from CrossFit is going to help. In the past, it took coaches like Pat Sherwood, Boz, EC, Carl, Spealler, and Kelly to create a culture shift. They put out consistent videos and articles that introduced concepts we all don’t feel is emphasized enough today. Now those guys are all probably busy up to their necks in things we have no idea about, and don’t have time to produce material like before. In order for that shift to come back, either these coaches need to abandon the important work they are doing now, or new people need to replace their void. If you are that good, prove it. If not, then get better. I don’t know Shana personally or the financial situation of her gym. I also don’t know her business goals and, therefore, don’t have a place to give her advice. But if she is as good of a coach as I’ve heard, then I would surely love to have her back on my side.

...........

To me, it’s a pride thing. When I started CrossFit, I knew I was a part of something much bigger than me. Everyone knew me in high school as “that kid who does upside-down push-ups.” I felt like I had to represent CrossFit every time I stepped on the court, field, or track. When I applied for affiliation, I knew what was at the core of the teaching – the Virtuosity, the Professional Training. I wanted to represent that and help bring that part to light. It is still something I think about every time a session starts. I have pride not only in our gym, but for the program that brings out gym together. For the name CrossFit.

Coach Glassman said it before: “You Are CrossFit.” What I do represents CrossFit. If I got discouraged by 2014’s decline in members, or rejected Journal articles, or HQ’s emphasis on the one area of CrossFit we don’t participate in, then every outsider who knows me as “that CrossFit coach” would see me as a quitter – and therefore assume other CrossFitters and coaches are quitters.  I owe it to my athletes (current, former, and future), I owe it to Jarrod Bell, I owe it to Brian Hassler, and I owe it to every other affiliate owner to showcase the best expression of CrossFit I am capable of.

Or I could blame things that are out of my control.

I believe if there is a lack of quality, or a change in culture, it is our responsibility, not HQ’s. A true CrossFitter accepts that burden.