CrossFit and My Story
I wanted to take some time and express my thoughts about CrossFit and what has been going on in our CrossFit world in the last several weeks. We do not support the comments made by the former CrossFit CEO, Greg Glassman. Our community is facing a trying time right now and it is our job to address the issues at hand. One thing is certain: the only way to stop the spread of hate is with love. I believe that the community at my gym (now Rhapsody Fitness) and other ex-CrossFit gyms around the nation embody this statement.
I played a ton of sports as a kid. My life revolved around competition. I was fortunate enough to have a solid support system at home that was filled with family and friends that pushed me to become a better athlete and a fierce competitor. I owe them everything and they were the driving force that allowed me to play baseball for Wofford College. Baseball was my life and I loved every second of playing for the Terriers. After my collegiate career ended, I moved to Charleston and started the Physical Therapy program at MUSC. It was the first time I wasn't involved in sports or competition of any kind. I kept working out and trying to stay in shape, but I missed the camaraderie and training.
When I moved to Charleston, I had never tried CrossFit. I was a college athlete, a future PT, and a personal trainer. I hated the idea of someone else writing my workouts and not having an individualized program. To make matters worse, all CrossFit people do is talk about CrossFit. During my first 2 years of PT school, I had to sit in class and listen to Hannah Breal, and shortly after Rachel Digiacomo, talk constantly about Rhapsody and Crossfit and "kipping" and double unders. When the "Open" started in March 2019, their talks grew louder and this idea of competition, something that had been missing in my life for some time now, finally spurred me to try a CrossFit workout. My first official CrossFit workout was Open 19.4 and boy was it a rough one. I had to scale it completely and still felt dead afterwards. A very humbling experience to say the least... but I loved every second of it.
After that first Open workout in the spring of 2019, I knew that it was time to join. I finally found an outlet for competition. It has made me a significantly better athlete. It has made me a significantly better physical therapist. It has changed my outlook on movement and athletic performance. It's hard to be a physical therapist that doesn't push his patient to try a squat below parallel after watching Owen Bernstein snatch 300+ lbs or Lee Davis complete 16 unpartitioned Murphs in 24 hours. More importantly, it has given me some of my best friends who constantly build me up and challenge me every day.
Now, CrossFit and Greg Glassman have come under some intense scrutiny. And rightfully so… the comments made by Glassman are inappropriate and unacceptable. I fully stand behind the companies, gyms, and athletes that have left the brand of CrossFit. We support inclusiveness, love, and selflessness. While the brand of CrossFit may not be what we want it to be, the community that it fosters is unwavering and strong. It is my hope that this movement sparks change and inclusiveness. I want to spread the news that CrossFit is not just for crazy gymnasts or muscle men that throw barbells around. You won’t automatically get hurt doing CrossFit. It is a sport. And just like any other sport… sometimes you train, sometimes you compete, sometimes you push yourself past what you are capable of… and that is the point. However, the beauty of this sport of CrossFit is that if you don’t want to compete, you don’t have to. You can join and workout amongst friends and become an all-around better athlete. CrossFit is for anyone, no matter the age, sex, race, athleticism, or background.
Where do we stand now? I have turned my attention towards the community. I don’t want to ignore the fact that this CrossFit community has been a huge part of who I am today. What started as an outlet for competition has sparked into one of the best decisions I have ever made. Watching others learn new movements, become better athletes, and expand their limits physically so that they can do everything they want to do is exactly why I wanted to become a physical therapist. It motivates me to do the same because I want to be the most functional athlete I can be so that I can unlock that potential in others. Ultimately, it's about the people. It's the community. They push me and I push them. Any other way just doesn't make sense any more.
If you’d like to experience this community or strike up a conversation, we would love to talk. The easiest way to contact us is to visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.