In 2006 when i stumbled across Crossfit.com and started doing workouts, everything was online, and it was great. We were doing something atypical and it hurt, but it worked, and we loved it.
Who were we?
Names on the computer?
We didn’t personally know the people that we were interacting with, but we knew them, and how fit they were.
It was simpler.
There were a few CrossFit gyms around the nation, most close to Santa Cruz.
I was one of 4 in Ohio in May of 2007 when a few us met at Rogue Fitness on saw horses, and a guy (Bill Henniger) I’d never met before said he was thinking of making equipment. Fast forward 13 years, he has a company, Rogue Fitness, that as of this moment is making PPE equipment for the Coronavirus pandemic.
For years now, there has been a murmur in the CrossFit community of returning to its roots. At its core, nothing has changed in the training methodology of CrossFit. CrossFit HQ still posts workouts which are effective and painful, we still sweat and we wonder why we do this to ourselves.
What has changed though in the expectations of the people.
We have large gyms with all the equipment we need, class times to fit our schedule, recovery drinks, proteins, movies, the CrossFit Games, and icons that we follow and adore(albeit too much) on social media.
It’s now March 2020, and CrossFit Legacy along with every other gym in Ohio has been shut down by the state government with zero indication of when we will be allowed back reopen in the name of Public Health because of the Coronavirus pandemic. We no longer have the face to face interaction of our local community and friends that we rely on for motivation, accountability, and friendship.
It feels foreign and different, but is it really?
We are forced back to 2007, and 99% of our interactions are now online or via social media.
Our workouts are still programmed by our local Crossfit Gym, much like we used to look to crossfit.com for our workouts in 2007.
But, something is missing.
At least it feels that way.
We, as humans, are designed to live in community, and that community functions best when it is face to face. That is one of the reasons the online community of crossfit.com slowly began to fade as more gyms began to open up. The interaction became personal, face to face, and that was real, and significantly deeper than what initially started in the virtual world. Yet, we find ourselves driven back to interacting in the digital world, working out at home, or in our garage. It doesn’t feel right, but it’s where we(early adaptors) started, and what we grew out of.
My hope is that like in 2007 and beyond, we will grow out of the digital interaction and one day soon be allowed to workout with our friends and laugh and rib one another in the morning or evening. We will once more be allowed to look at the coach and give them the ugly eye when they are describing time domains of the workout, and once more, I will be able to give the “dad look’’ when someone kicks the chalk bucket over or drops a barbell from too high. I am looking forward to that, and the face to face smiles of my friends and fellow crossfitters that I have grown to depend on and look forward to each day.