The Cult That’s Shaping the World and Why You Need to Be Part of It

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by RAKESH PATEL

The Cult That's Shaping the World and Why You Need to Be Part of It
CrossFit has been growing at an astounding rate. When I first started coaching over three years ago, there weren’t many people who had heard of it. It felt like a secret underground club that was for the elite, hardcore athletes. Now CrossFit has become one of the biggest exercise programs and training programs used by every day folks to keep fit and by athletes to improve their performance.

People often cite CrossFit as a “cult” – for understandable reasons — and people have their views on its effectiveness; however, this cult is positively changing our communities from what you can observe at most CrossFit gyms. These are some of the things that YouTube videos, blog posts and comments don’t portray about what really happens at most CrossFit gyms.

Below is a summary of what positive changes I’ve seen in the community as Head Coach at CrossFit West Yorkshire in the UK over the past few years. These are things that you’ll see at the grass-roots level of CrossFit gyms and the CrossFit community.

Creating Friendly, Welcoming Communities of People

Creating Friendly, Welcoming Communities of People

I have found that in CrossFit gyms and competitions, most people support each other. They share each other’s victories and failures…
When you walk into a CrossFit gym, you share a common interest and that immediately brings people together (in most cases!). Even if you’re new to CrossFit, people will come and talk to you in the gym and make you feel welcome. There’s support, connection and a true sense of camaraderie. I’ve been to CrossFit competitions, boxing fights, cage fights, football matches, rugby matches and taekwondo events. In all but the CrossFit competitions there’s a sense of “us” versus “them”; the environment can be very hostile, fights often break out, and segregation between camps is obvious. People behave differently when there’s “winning” and “losing” involved. I have found that in CrossFit gyms and competitions, most people support each other. They share each other’s victories and failures, and this brings people together. Just think about how powerful this is in encouraging people to work together to be more supportive and to remove the “us” versus “them” thinking. Does this help reduce violence?

Attracting Other Sports

We’ve had athletes from other sports train at our gym because of the friendly, welcoming environment that we have here — and this is the same for many other CrossFit gyms. Does the performance of high-level athletes improve because of an environment that fosters athletic growth?

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