Church of Crossfit (8): Invisible, Universal, Online

By February 21, 2011No Comments

The center of the CrossFit world is invisible, yet it connects CrossFitters and CrossFit churches all over the world.  Today’s post will investigate the Mecca of the CrossFit movement, the CrossFit HQ main site: www.crossfit.com.

The focus of the site is a sort of Daily Office for fitness, the daily WODS (workout of the day).  The WOD is posted every day, along with times/loads of notable CrossFitters and instructional videos showing proper form.  Anyone with the necessary equipment can join in the workout, and then post the results to the comment section.  This allows people who live too far from a CrossFit gym to feel a sense of connectedness to the community.

This was how CrossFit began: Greg Glassman posting his workouts online.  Over ten years later, daily posting continues.  But now there are many other extras on the site.

There is a link to the CrossFit journal, an online Bible of CrossFit wisdom.  There are links to all of the CrossFit “churches” (affiliates) throughout the U.S. and beyond.  There are links to certification courses, through which serious CrossFitters can become ordained CrossFit trainers.  There is even Children’s Ministry (CrossFit Kids)!

One sidebar announces regional events and competitions, the chief of which is the annual CrossFit Games (now sponsored by Reebok!), the annual competition that crowns the “Fittest on Earth.”

CrossFit has enjoyed a warm reception by the Armed Forces, and so there is a strong military presence on the site: WODs named after fallen heroes, pictures of special forces doing CrossFit, and endorsements by servicemen worldwide.

Interestingly, there is also a daily link to something seemingly unrelated to fitness: an article from the Atlantic, a poem by John Milton, a violin Concerto by Brahms.

The fact that a site devoted to “forging elite fitness” has so much to offer beyond traditional fitness suggests that they have redefined “fitness” to include much more holistic concerns.

In other words, CrossFit HQ is forging a habitus, a way of living in this world.  And all over the world, despite geographic separation, thousands of people are logging in to participate in this way of life together.

There is something transcendent about knowing that a guy in India and I both did the same workout this morning. (There is a CrossFit affiliate at an orphanage outside of Haridwar, India.)

In the church world, the value of this kind of connection is inestimable.  The movement of Jesus isn’t about my individual church, but about the larger, worldwide body of Christ.  We have spiritual practices, particular ways of living in the world. These unite us.

There is something transcendent about knowing that a guy in India and I both woke up this morning and prayed to the One who makes us brothers.  There is something about knowing that at this moment, believers in Chicago and Chile are trying to live a life of faith, love and hope – in the face of unfaithfulness, lovelessness and despair.

We participate in His movement locally, but the movement is anything but provincial.

Every tribe, every language, every nation is invited and included.

And Jesus makes us one.

Question: When did you first realize the “bigness” of the Church?

Wednesday: Church of Crossfit (9): CrossFit Cult?

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