Hey again! I've been doing a lot, and I mean, A LOT, of thinking about the future of CrossFit, and what we might see in the coming year, and years to come. I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you because to be honest, I only see good things down the road. So remember, when these things come to light, remember...you heard it here first! HA!
As some of you may know, CrossFit (the brand and corporation, or what we call HQ), was sold recently. Greg Glassman, who was the founder of CrossFit, sold it to Eric Roza. This is a welcomed change, and what I believe to be an enormous step for CrossFit, HQ and affiliates alike.
Eric Roza made his money in computer software, but also owns a CrossFit box and is a 52 year old CrossFit junkie. Aside from all his money, Eric and I actually have a ton in common. And I am super stoked about what I believe he is going to do for CrossFit.
To understand what I'm talking about, we need to go back a few years. CrossFit used to be much bigger than it is now. You couldn't turn on the tv without seeing a Reebok commercial, or an ESPN advertisement for the Games, or something that had to do with CrossFit. It was all over the media and social media markets. It wasn't new, but it had broken out of the "cult" status and had pretty much blown up all over the world. Many argue that it is bigger now, because of the amount of CrossFit gyms operating. However, if we are talking about exposure to the masses, trust me, it was bigger a few years ago.
Then owner, Greg Glassman, did not want people to associate CrossFit with the professional athletes competing at the games. His philosophy was that the average person sitting home on the couch, watching tv, would see these "freaks of nature" and be scared to death to go anywhere near a CrossFit gym. He figured people would either be too intimidated or think that levels of that athleticism is impossible to achieve by the average joe.
Glassman repeatedly talked about why he disbanded the HQ media team and rid the sport of Regional competitions. He wanted the focus to be taken off of the "sport" of CrossFit, and instead look towards the "health" of CrossFit (how healthy it can make a person).
Now, there is no doubt he is spot on regarding health. We all know that CF makes us healthier than just about any other sort of exercise program. But what about his other decisions? To move away from the sport of CrossFit. To fire the whole media team. Basically take it away from mainstream media and out of everyone's home. He then took it off of social media (for a little while), which meant that unless you were already into CF, it was pretty hard to come by it.
As an affiliate owner, you can imagine my frustration at the time. But even more so, I was crushed as just a crossfitter. I LOVE watching regionals. Hell, Natalie, my wife, has competed at Regionals. We have had many athletes compete at regionals, and if you don't know, Dr. Jaime Gold has been to the Games multiple times. Conquest represents the highest levels in the sport of CrossFit...we always have. I am the biggest fan of CrossFit. Like still after 13 years, multiple surgeries, rollercoaster economic years, competition years as an athlete and a coach, through Covid, through social injustice and unrest....I still bleed CrossFit and am proud to say so. Glassman took most of the fun out of CrossFit for those of us who had been doing it a long time.
Did it hurt the brand? It's hard to quantify, but yes, I believe it did. I cannot remember the last time someone came in and told me they wanted to join because they want to go to the games. I think the last time that happened.....well....his name is Brandon True. And guess what, his goal hasn't changed. I admire that more than he might know. Is that normal? Of course not. Most people want to be fit and healthy. My point is, media drove him to my box. Televised events of the highest levels of athleticism in CF made him walk into Conquest. So yes, taking that away certainly had a negative impact on us affiliates, and a huge negative impact on us as fans.
But let's go back and look at Glassman's point regarding the disconnect between the person on the couch, and the freak on tv doing 20 muscle ups unbroken. GLASSMAN IS WRONG! There IS a connection. And there should be. If you take away the highest levels of CF, you take away the dream of many people. Just think about the stories of top athletes in every sport. Most were kids who dreamed of being just like Michael Jordan, Sugar Ray, Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Tom Brady....the list goes on and on. How could Glassman take that dream away from kids. Basically assuming that it's impossible for the average person to reach the games. That is defeatist, and it pisses me off.
There is a direct connection to the newbie on the very first day of CF, and the winner of the games. We all start at the same place. Being brave to walk in that door and put our fitness and health into the hands of a CF coach. I love it and it gives me chills. I will say it again, Glassman is wrong. And guess what...Eric Roza, the new owner of CFHQ, is going to prove it.
He has made comments and hints about media coming back, televised events, productions for streaming, and the 2021 games absolutely being on TV. Dave Castro has made comments of the open being moved back to February where it belongs, and also the return of a regional type competition. There are simply too many "unsanctioned" events that allow you to get to the games. It's silly, and Castro is going to fix it.
So, what is coming for CrossFit? Oh man, I am predicting ALL OF IT AND MORE! More media coverage than before. Televised events, cool biographies we can stream, regional events, more awareness of health and fitness in general, affiliate reps in every state, etc. It is my belief that CF will be bigger than it ever was. That it will become the leader in health and fitness, as well as sport. I am pumped up about the future. More so than I can put into words.
CrossFit is NOT about going to the games. Just like basketball is not about winning an NBA championship. However, the path to the very top should be open and accessible to all of those who want it. And what happens to the mere mortals like myself? We get into the best shape of our lives and live to 100! Hey, that's not a bad deal if you ask me.
So cheers to the future. Cheers to you. For making the decision to walk in our door. I realize it is probably scarier than a blind date. But the payoff is probably way better! LOL.
Till next time, do a search in Netflix for CrossFit, and watch ANY of the documentaries. You will want to come straight to Conquest after, trust m