Whatever happened to “respect”?

I’m still relatively new to the CrossFit world so my opinions may not matter much, but this is just my two-cents worth (or a rant) of what I feel about “CrossFit-bashing”.

I always believe that it is important to respect other sports. Whether you are in soccer, hockey, bodybuilding or baseball. I would even say that as an athlete, respect comes before skills. Without respect, you can be the greatest athlete in the world and still be hated. In other context, it is the same as respecting someone’s race or religion.

I have never and will never bash other sports without even trying or attempting them. I may dislike running, but I will never slam the sport of running. If you have ever attempted to run or compete in running, you will know how hard it is. It is not a walk in the park.

That is why I don’t understand how some people paint CrossFit as a “kidney-wrecking machine” with articles like this. This is a scaremongering article and feels more like a rant, rather than an insightful article from a physical therapist. I feel it’s a flawed article because the author fails to address a few questions. Firstly, what did the woman do for recovery after training? Secondly, did she hydrate during her workouts? Thirdly, was she scaling her workouts or using the weights she shouldn’t be using?

Yes, while rhabdo is real, it’s preventable if you listen to your body and leave your ego at the door. I have seen ridiculous stuff like “CrossFit causes rhabdo because it’s so high-intentsity”. Oh please, rhabdo existed long before CrossFit. Heck, I could be training for an Ironman and still get rhabdo.

As this article rebutted, it’s a personal responsibility, not something that should be fully blamed on CrossFit. I sprained my ankle once after landing awkwardly while doing handstand push-ups. Did I blamed my coach for not catching my leg when I was coming down from that position? No, it’s my fault because I didn’t come down with the correct technique.

Another accusation I keep hearing is that CrossFit is a “cult”. Just because we do Team WODs, organise cookouts and plan farewell dinners? The last time I checked, “family” is still inside the dictionary. I have said this before but I will say it again. The community in CrossFit is what made me fall in love with this sport. Not the need to be better than someone else. I have days when I had a bad WOD or a good WOD and the same people are always there to cheer me up or celebrate with me. These people are ex-bodybuilders, ex-special forces, housewives and school kids. Their humbleness, care and concern goes beyond fitness and training to be strong.

CrossFit is not without it’s faults and the same goes for other sports. There is no perfect sport and there is no right or wrong in fitness. At the end of the day, it boils down to one thing: Respect. Don’t like CrossFit because it’s too intense but you enjoy running/tennis/bodybuilding? Good for you, go do what you love. But till you step in to a box and experience CrossFit for yourself, please don’t give me a laundry list of why CrossFit is bad for me, the same way I won’t tell you why you shouldn’t be playing tennis.

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