My buddy Shahan and I working out at the rec center shortly after it all began in 2007. No where to go but hang your rings on the punching bag rig. So much for hanging with your arms straight and feet not touching the ground!
Call me old school but I’m one of the guys that sticks to the way it all began. Things are different these days. I started CrossFit in 2006 and there wasn’t an affiliate in site. Not one in the state, now Utah is full of them and it’s only growing more by the month. I got in trouble for dropping weights, taking too many bars for workouts, and doing pull ups on the cable crossover machine when there was nowhere else to go. People made medicine balls out of deflated basketballs, sand, and glue, the occasional duct tape helped as well. I know my fair share of people that made rings in their ovens at home because you couldn’t buy them online. Bumper plates were a rarity and when we got to use them it was a treat. We used sprinkler boxes for box jumps and built pull up bars out of plumbing pipe. The first time I walked into an actual CrossFit box it was like a playground that I couldn’t get enough of.
My buddy Eric and I wore our running shoes for every single workout and even thinking of an olympic lifting or minimalist shoe was unheard of. Compression gear didn’t exist, wrist wraps… what are those. Knee wraps, weight belts, colored tape, and tricked out headbands with your gym logo didn’t exist. There wasn’t some fancy variation of CrossFit programming and people claiming they are elite coaches or athletes. We followed CrossFit.com everyday for years and found huge gains. We were a community of people at the beginning of a movement that supported one another and competed with each other by looking at the times we posted on under the comments section on .com. Garage gyms were the coolest thing you could ever create and your buddies came to throw down with you.
The advantage of an affiliate is tremendous. It’s invaluable the education you can get from a good “box” in getting started, learning the movements, nutritional advice, programming, scaling… the list goes on and on. As CrossFit grows boxes will get more elaborate and offer more options, but when it boils down to it it’s a community of people working out together, supporting one another. You just have all the fun toys, the trainers to help guide you along the way… and maybe even rocks in your sink to get a “spa” feel. If you ever lose the community, the accessibility that CrossFit offers to everyone that walks through the doors regardless of their fitness level, and just throwing down with your friends, you may have lost CrossFit. I will be keeping it grass roots… if everything went under at the box, we would have a lot of stuff for one smokin garage gym to workout with and support one another. It’s why we do it everyday anyway.