A few months ago, I posted “A public apology to my Mom”, in response to a conversation I had with a CrossFit trainer about the use of profanity. On November 25th, Lisbeth Darsh posed a similar question on the Affiliate blog. (I’m going to pretend like she got the idea from me, because that would be a really awesome compliment.) Lis asked, “Does CrossFit overexert itself on the sexual innuendo? Or the “F” bomb? Or are some people just too uptight? Do you encourage this edginess at your affiliate or do you stay out of it? Why?”
This entry received 84 responses – ten times more than the average post on the A-blog. I guess the subject hits close to home for many trainers and trainees alike. I posted my thoughts – that I’m a big fan of the f-bomb, but I plan to leave it out of my coaching program. Many agreed on the “keep it clean” approach for business, but just as many said to be yourself and if people don’t like it, too bad. Both points I understand, agree with to some degree, and respect. And then Spider Chick posted the following.
Now, I’m a Spider Chick fan. I think she’s a good role model for women. She’s strong, she’s tough, she’s confident and she moves weight. And I appreciate her sense of humor, and her commentary. Normally. But this kind of pissed me off. I’ve edited out some lines, but I assure you the message is intact. Read the whole thing here, if you prefer.
“Some gyms are for old ladies and kids. Some are for a tougher, wilder breed of man-beast. The question is: do you want to struggle out a brutal WOD with Green Berets, or do you want to spin to Celine and then do lunch with the Junior League? Are you inspired by competing against
That being said, there may be more money in selling a program that is marketed as “forging elite fitness”, and sorta looks like it’s a tough-guy friendly gym, but in actuality, it’s a mommy-and-me-too fitness playground with gluten-free hand chalk, a diaper changing station made of recycled material, and a verbally correct WOD that’s fun for the whole lactose intolerant, peanut allergic family.
I choose to eat meat, wear fur, workout in a bra, leave sweat angels on the floor, weave a foul mouthed tapestry of lyrical filth, and exercise until I occasionally vomit. And, I’m willing to pay for the privilege of doing so in a place where tough guys roam unfettered by those who sell
Huh. So my question to Spider Chick is this… Are those my ONLY two choices? I have to either grab my balls, drop the f-bomb at every clean and jerk and then vomit through my nose… or I have to take a spin class sponsored by the La Leche League and Celine Dion? Crap. I hate Celine, but I also hate to vomit through my nose. Those are some awful choices. I wish I had more options.
This is what I call the “CrossFit Enough” mentality. If you’re not swearing and spitting and falling down puking, if you don’t literally kick your clients in the ass, if you can’t train side-by-side with the Green Berets… then you’re not CrossFit Enough. If you’re not suffering at Gym Jones, killing it with Zach Even-Esh or getting yelled at by Coach Rip, then you’re not “forging elite fitness”
I call bullshit.
I’m not even going to get INTO this subject of “elite”. Not today, at least. But I will say that swearing, stripping and expelling bodily fluids does NOT make you “elite”. Training in the same gym as a
I can curse, spit, strip and bleed with the toughest of the tough guys. I can hold my own in any training environment. And I swear a lot in my private life. It’s often hard for me to keep my mouth in check in while training clients. But I’m making the effort because that’s how I want to run my program. Now, I’m not going to cringe if someone curses, Michael Bolton will never sponsor my tabatas and I refuse to allow a 4# kettlebell in my classes. But I’m ALSO not going to belittle someone who says “darn” when they miss a lift, or a trainer who insists on a family-friendly box, or a new Mom trying to lose the baby weight with scaled workouts. If Spider Chick wants to delineate “real” CrossFitters from the “less than CrossFitters”, then fine. She can go play with Sara Scholl, and they can have a Bad-Ass-CrossFit-Off full of swearing and bragging and bleeding and stripping and establish once and for all that they are the Most Ultimate Elite.
As for me, I’m going to quietly and determinedly get back to my ass-busting. Or butt-busting. Or CrossFitting. Or politically correct, lactose-intolerant Mommy-and-Me inspired training. Whatever you want to call it is fine with me, because it all ends with me pulling heavy deadlifts.
Comments welcome from ALL points of view. Let’s hear it.