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CrossFit – Games & Play 

I just had my first opportunity to attend the CrossFit Games, thanks to the decision to move them to Madison, Wisconsin.  It was a great, eye-opening experience I’m delighted I went, and I will definitely go next year.  I will, however, do things a little differently next time.

I’ve always had a bit of an issue with CrossFit as a competitive sport.  It starts with the fact that I’d lose a lot, which tends to put a damper on the competitive spirit.  But much more importantly, CrossFit is a fitness program that can and does improve health, wellness, and mental well-being.  That is what it is, and what it is for.  That it can be done competitively is at most icing on the cake.  The Games and the hype surrounding them has a tendency to cause us to lose that focus.  It also looks a little strange to non-CrossFitters:

New Girl’s Max Greenfield Is Obsessed with Watching People Do CrossFit

Fortunately, the creator of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, recognizes this and is working hard to remind us that the true purpose of CrossFit is to improve our health.  Glassman has established the CrossFit Sports and Health Sciences Institute, which held a “Health Conference” the day before the Games began to address issues of corruption in the health sciences and how to find trustworthy health information.  Efforts like these will help pull our focus back to our true purpose.

Related: What Do You DO at a CrossFit Box?

What I plan to do differently next time goes right along with this renewed focus on CrossFit for health and fitness: I plan to take part!  No, not as a Games competitor.  That’s a little more than a year out ;-P.  I only found out a few days before the Games that there is a “Fittest Fan” ‘competition’, for people like me – we love CrossFit, and want to keep working out during the Games, and need an avenue to do that.  Plus, it’s fun opportunity to try new things and do events we normally don’t have a chance to do, like the run-swim-run.  I decided to stick to the original plan to just go and experience the Games this year, but next year I’m on it!

Related: CrossFit? But I’m a (Bike Racer/Runner/Obstacle Course Racer/Triathlte/etc.)

After we arrived at the Games, I learned that there are seminars on CrossFit specialty areas like aerobic capacity, weightlifting, and the like.  There was also an area for affiliate owners to gather, socialize, and perhaps compare notes.  So next year, my time at the Games will focus on learning and growing my skills as a CrossFit trainer, and taking part in the community by working out with CrossFitters from around the globe.  There will be less time to watch the amazing athletes compete, but it’s easily worth the trade.  The Games will be in Madison for at least two more years, so I encourage you to go and take part!  Watch some, do some, maybe shop a little, and come home inspired to keep hitting it, and get better every day, like I did.

—John M Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer