Failing to vilify CrossFit

Apr 17, 2014

JoeAlright. I don’t do Facebook rants. So I’ll keep my composure...and write in logical composed thoughts. But inside I’m having a throw down, foot stomping, give me a break tantrum.

I recently read a post by a “friend” who stated outright that “CrossFit is the most dangerous workout that you could ever do.” He then went on about all it’s liabilities and the idiots who own and run CF gyms. I know, people have been lobbing these grenades for some time now. But this was...well...the straw upon which my back has been broken! Enough! This is my letter to those who are for some reason angry and/or bitter about CF.

1) Don’t be hyperbolic and generalizing. It’s unattractive...as well as unfair. I had a carpenter build me a deck one time, and it was horrible. But I don't tell people that all carpenters are horrible. I just need to do my research next time and find a better one. Trust me, there are things about CrossFit and the leadership that I bristle about big time and don't like (i.e. the dangers of 14.3). But there’s also some really really good gyms out there. As time passes, more and more people get educated on proper training, and they seek better and better gyms with good coaching, proper programming, and mature and intelligent training philosophy. The cream rises to the top.

2) Where is your data? Show me. At my gym, no one has ever died, no one has ever gone to the hospital, no one has even broken a bone or had an injury that kept them from training long term. Yeah, I know...your chiropractor friend has told you that he/she sees tons of CrossFitters in his office. And….. Cool! That’s good! It means people are finally seeing their bodies as something to be maintained and tuned. We have a great network of kinesio professionals that we utilize...on purpose. What I do know is that at 8th Day...we do more fixin’ than breakin’. I can’t tell you how many people have come through our doors with injuries and inhibitions that have restricted their lives. Often from running. Within a few months they’re back on track and feeling “healed”. We do this by making the human body in motion...our business! A business I’m passionate about.

3) Dangerous? If you currently, or have ever put your kids in youth or pee-wee football...we have nothing more to discuss. Seriously. Have some perspective. There’s a new business here in town that is based on having fun with trampolines. I have personally heard a half dozen stories of people I know sustaining bad injuries there. Broken ankles, wrists, dislocated knees. One of the employees just told one of my coaches “I’ve seen terrible, terrible things here.” Where’s the public outcry? There isn’t one. I’m not picketing either, because it’s people’s choice to engage in these activities. It’s fun, and there are risks. You will not ever see me bouncing on a trampoline. My kids however, have been there multiple times, and I support the business.

So what’s the deal? What’s the problem? I think it’s because the face of fitness in America is changing. Good, bad, or indifferent, CrossFit is influencing the approach to health and wellness for the general public. And that’s scary for some people. Threatening even. Emotions which might cause some to villainize the movement...or lash out publicly without the facts. If you’ve never set foot in a CrossFit gym, it’s hard to form an accurate opinion. So be quiet. If you’ve been to a box and had a bad experience, then you can say that gym needs improvement, but only that gym. You still know nothing of mine. And if you do come visit me and spend some time in our facility...you’ll see there’s a lot to be encouraged by. People are being challenged to learn and grow and test their limits. Along the way, lives are being impacted and changed in very positive ways. So if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to it...because it’s also an enormous amount of FUN and my friends are waiting for me!!


~Joe Cebulski, Owner of 8th Day Gym