CrossFit: Forging elite fitness… at what cost?

In my last post, I talked about some of the concerns I had with the overall way CrossFit works, particularly the question of who is able to access and/or use the services it provides. Today, I want to talk about something that is much more personally troubling to me: the sexism that seems to be an undercurrent to much of the main CrossFit media. My letter is addressed to Greg Glassman, one of the founders, but I invite anyone who is a part of the CrossFit community and who comes across this post to consider whether they are contributing to the issues I raise. For those who aren’t part of that community, I invite you to read along and come to your own decision about what is going on here.

Dear Coach,

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Crossfit: Forging elite fitness… for whom?

About a month ago, Weetabix over at Elastic Waist posted about Crossfit, a fitness program based around the completion of daily workouts designed with the explicit goal of wiping out elite athletes. I went to the site, checked it out a bit, watched a whole bunch of videos, and decided to give it a shot. I’ve been doing a very, very scaled down version, mind you, but still following the general concept of constantly varied functional movements. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and I’m feeling good, although I wouldn’t say I’m 100% convinced yet.

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Claude

Claude is the Streetwise vendor who is often found outside of J’s workplace. He is one of the most compassionate, heartfelt men I have ever met. Every time I see him, it brings a smile to my face, because he has a beautiful sort of faith I’ve found in few other people. He knows what’s going on in J’s life and mine, and he prays for us in our struggles. How many other complete strangers have you met who will do that for you?

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Why we need feminist men, reason #258

I’ve never been particularly involved in politics. Really, the most involved I’ve ever been is participating in the 2004 Iowa (Democratic) Caucus, and that was as much a whim as anything else. So paying attention to the candidates in the current cycle and seeing all of that mess is a bit of a new thing for me. I wanted to talk a bit about what it’s meant for me to be an uninformed voter, and why having the opportunity for everybody to learn about the candidates is an important part of democracy.

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A Christian Sex Site – The Ugly

Sorry for the long break in posts; I took a short trip to NYC and as soon as I got home I was knocked out by a cold for a few days. I’m feeling a bit better now, so hopefully I’ll be able to post a bit more often.

In the final part of the three-part series I’ve been doing about this site (parts one and two), today I’m going to address the parts of this site that are truly ugly. Some of them are not particularly the fault of the site’s authors, except insofar as they don’t really question the ugliness of the cultural norms that they’re repeating. Others are just disturbing.

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A Christian Sex Site – The Bad

In my previous post, I looked at The Marriage Bed and pointed out some of the parts that can be helpful to many people, regardless of whether or not they believe in the basic tenets of conservative Christianity and/or biblical literalism. Today I want to take a more critical look at this site and see what parts of it are potentially harmful or incomplete.

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A Christian Sex Site – The Good

I ran across The Marriage Bed the other day. It’s a pretty interesting site, and worth taking a look at if you can get past and/or accept its assumptions about marriage and interpretation of the Bible. They attempt to offer “a safe place for married Christians to discuss sex”, and also offer some articles target to young/unmarried people about waiting until marriage for sex.

I should say to start with that I don’t agree with several of their claims about how marriage and sex should be, and I definitely don’t read the Bible as literally as they do. I also think that some of the ideas that result can be harmful; I’ll discuss those in a later post. Nonetheless, I think that even without accepting those assumptions there is a fair deal to be gained from any discussion of sexuality that treats its audience as responsible, thinking adults. This one does just that, showing a refreshing amount of critical thought from a group whose loudest voices are too busy shouting “NO!” to listen to any objections. Here’s a few of the insights that I think many people could find helpful.

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