We have a love-hate relationship with CrossFit. We love how they've popularized intense weight training and have managed to get a barbell into the hands of so many more people. The culture is contagious and it's great to see people rallying around fitness.
Yet it seems CrossFit takes everything to the extreme, even against the advice of experts in the fitness industry. For example, the strength and conditioning community is largely phasing out Sit-Ups, but CrossFit incorporates the GHD Sit-Up, which is a more intense and dangerous version of the exercise. Or they indignantly perform rebound Box Jumps despite the severe risk of an Achilles tendon injury.
So it's not terribly surprising that CrossFit is giving out handguns at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. Dave Castro, director of the CrossFit Games, announced on his Instagram that the top male and female athletes, and every member of the winning team, will receive a Glock Pistol.
As you can imagine, the reaction has been mixed and controversial. Some folks are commenting in support, while others vehemently disagree with the decision. Here are two social media comments highlighted by the L.A. Times:
"Half of the U.S. and most of the rest of the world do NOT agree with the American gun culture, and are disgusted that you are forcing people who do Crossfit to be associated with it. . . . Whatever you believe in, show some respect, and stop ignoring that Crossfit is an international sport."
"As if our country doesn't glorify guns enough already. Fitness not firearms, please. This sponsorship and Dave Castro's personal choices to showcase guns saddens me as someone who does Crossfit."
If you browse through Castro's Instagram, you'll see several images of weapons or of him firing a weapon.
Clearly, Castro has a passion for guns. To each his own. But we have to call into question the mixing of a fitness competition and guns. Yes, CrossFit goes out of its way to appear as badass as possible, but this seems over the top—especially given the abundance of gun violence in our world at the moment.
CrossFit and extremes go hand in hand. Maybe if they toned it down a notch, there wouldn't be as much need to criticize. And hopefully a culture shift would make your CrossFit friends less annoying.
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