This is sort of an update to the CrossFit series that I penned during February. Indeed, it’s that series that sends most of the traffic to my site. One of my non-CrossFit-related posts even got featured on the main site’s affiliate page last month, which gave me 10X the normal page views that week. So since a good amount of my readers are fellow CrossFitters, I thought I would pen some thoughts on the current CrossFit Open.
For those who don’t know, the CrossFit Open is a six-week, worldwide fitness competition. Every Tuesday evening a new workout is posted. You have until Sunday to do the workout, get your score validated, and post it to the online leader board. Scores can be validated either by performing the workout at an affiliate, or by videotaping yourself and posting it to be judged by the CrossFit community.
In this way, CrossFit HQ hopes to find the fittest man and woman in the world. The top 60 from each of the 17 regions advance to the next round, which will trim the field to the top 100, who will compete in the 2011 CrossFit Games.
Sounds epic doesn’t it? It is. A staggering 25,000 people all over the world are participating. (This kind of competition could only be made possible in the age of the Internet.)
Most of the 25,000 are better than me. At least the 10,000 men in my age group are. Right now I believe I’m ranked something like 8,000 out of the 10,000 worldwide, and 600 out of 800 in my region.
Still, there is something about posting a score that you think is pretty good, only to watch it get buried by thousands of people who are better, faster and stronger than you. Something about watching a 10 year old girl score 60 more repetitions than you. Something about being humbled by how far you have to go.
But I think the very idea of the Open showcases the tension that CrossFit tries to hold between inclusivism and elitism. By making participation open to all, it demonstrates inclusivism. By asking the participants to perform technical movements like the double-under, the snatch and the squat clean, it demonstrates elitism.
Real inclusivism doesn’t mean, come and do whatever you want. It means, come, and it doesn’t matter who you are. But once you get here, you don’t get to define things. You tune yourself to the standards. They are there for a reason, for your good. Our standards are tried and true. Doing whatever you want won’t get you anywhere worth going.
Come and do it this way.
I think it is the same way with the Christian faith. It is inclusive (“whosoever will may come”). But it is also elistist: we want to submit to the Truth, which means you don’t get to make things up as you go along. We are not trying to get reality to fit us; we are trying to tune ourselves to Reality.
Come and live this way.
It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone is welcome.
But if you come, who you are will begin to change.
Question: Anyone out there competing in the open? How are you doing?