The CrossFit Games


The CrossFit Games, to be exact.

The 2012 Games are July 13-15. And as they near each year, I get more excited than the last. But I also worry more and more, almost cringing in anticipation of what might we might see pop up in the workouts or skill segments. (Softball, anyone?)

See, there's a history here. Things weren't always as they are now. Most of you already know this. CrossFit has grown, arguably both for the better and for the worse. And in remembering the first Games and then really seeing it take off with the second and third annual competitions, I stay enthralled with what will happen each summer. Ever seen "Every Second Counts" or YouTube footage of The Ranch in Aromas? Great stuff. But each year I find myself desperately wanting CrossFit to stay true to its roots... basically, I'm worried about us jumping the shark. (Or is it too late?)

We are hitting the 6th year of competition. It's been an interesting last two years, with ESPN airing Games footage and Reebok picking up sponsorship, both plugging the sport of fitness. The terms "Fittest on Earth" and "World Record" come with an asterisk. Don't they? I mean, a snatch world record??  It has me wondering if it's too elitist to get a Prebok shirt.

Nonetheless, as much as we can laugh at the ridiculousness that can happen when any business or brand grows with success, I will be glued to the TV and computer as much as I can be this weekend (and as video updates get released in the weeks to follow). I'm a proud supporter of CrossFit, and will defend it through the ups and downs as long as it continues to make sense.

For instance:

2011 Excitement It was fantastic. Amidst the calls of selling out, last summer we saw incredible athletes doing incredibly grueling workouts. In my mind, easily the best thus far in terms of testing wide-ranging fitness components and time domains.

The 2012 Open Remember? It was the "all-call" this spring for any and all athletes across the world to attempt to qualify. You and me, we were there. How'd you do? Despite the burpee fiasco of 12.1, the top athletes seemed to make it through. That's the goal.

2012 Regionals The Open of course led to the Regionals, where we saw some more amazing performances and finally have consistent workouts across all regions. There were issues: athletes in the final regionals had a significant, yet equal, advantage of practicing the workouts for longer. The range of motion standards needed a close eye. (Looking your way "Diane.") Even with this and world records* being shoved down our throats (read: littering our Facebook feed), the workouts/programming were LEGIT.

So who's gonna win? Will we see these two dethroned in a week's time? Will the big names shine, or will a relatively unknown champion be deemed the "Fittest on Earth?" Rich in 2012: Annie in 2012:


Some of the 2012 events have already been announced.

They look a little like last year combined with this year's Regionals. I'm not sure I understand the GHD Med Ball throw; this has already been beaten into the ground by critics, even in the short time since being announced. But I do have to say, this event may win the annual Reebok CrossFit Games "Shark Award." (The trophy has Greg Glassman on water skies, riding a Reebok branded sharkfin through the waves. He may or may not be holding a softball proudly overhead. Prototype TBA.)

My true hopes for the weekend: We see something new. We see something old. We see something heavy. We see both short & long time domains. We see another cool swim WOD, some technical skills, and rings, ropes, sleds. Maybe even some tires or stones? But we don't leave the basics. If it makes sense, I'm a supporter.

A lot of this is already set. Good. We can all watch it unfold here: Now don't get tricky, Dave, and let's find the best athlete out there this year.

And for the record, I'll be rooting for Speal.

-Scott, 7.9.2012