A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE
Well, Murph is fast approaching, and I’m gearing up for another humbling experience. After founding O2, I’ve discovered that the better my business is doing the worse my athletic performance gets. In 2013, right before our little oxygenated beverage got off the ground, I managed to complete the legendary WOD in under 40 minutes, weighted vest and all. Last year, I finally crossed the finish line after a grueling 52. I’m not complacent with this drop in performance, but I understand it. I’ve had to spend more and more time on the factory floor, rather than the gym floor, and that’s a trade-off I’ve been willing to make. But so help me, I’m not going to slip closer to an hour-long Murph. Last time, it was the pushups that had me gasping on my knees, so I’ve made myself drill them every day this year. Even if I improve my time by just a few minutes, I’ll be happy.
what all this means for the wider culture at boxes, I can speak to how this refocusing made last year’s Murph a blast for me, despite how long it took me to cross the finish line. I did the 2018 Murph as a guest of CrossFit Clintonville, a Columbus box that by all rights should be one of the most competitive affiliates in the country. The owner, Patrick, was captain of the Ohio State University track team, and his coaching staff is packed with former collegiate athletes from Big Ten schools. But the culture of CF Clintonville isn’t heavy on elite athleticism but rather on community support and authentic friendship. The way they approach the Murph speaks to this perfectly.
“Communal moments like this remind me of the real strength of CrossFit.”
Writing that feels strange for me. Back when I started CrossFit, I wouldn’t be happy until I finished in the top three at my box. I was all about competing with my fellow gym members and doing my
Murph is an out-and-out parade in Clintonville. The box gets permission to run right down High Street with a fire engine flying a huge American flag leading the way. This makes Murph a true community event, and family, friends, and interested onlookers cheer as members run down the main thoroughfare toward the box. The second leg of the journey took us back to a member’s house for a post-Murph party. As I crossed the finish line, you can bet I was disappointed to see my time. But those feelings were quickly washed away by the cheers and pats on the back I received from members and coaches alike. Communal moments like this remind me of the real strength of CrossFit. It’s not about being the best at your box; it’s about being a better, healthier you.
damnedest to put some points on the board. But as I’ve grown older, and hopefully a little wiser, I’ve come to care more about improving my health than trying to be the best athlete in the room. In a way, the change in my approach to working out mirrors the shifts we’re seeing in CrossFit.
A lot has already been said about Greg Glassman’s move toward a less competitive, more holistic CrossFit: The changes to the Games, the shifts in marketing, and the de-emphasis of elite athletes. But while others may speculate about
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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