A lot is made of the “Cult of CrossFit”. Most of us cast aside these disparaging remarks or ignore them completely. But perhaps there is some truth to this joke, it is at least worth considering.

CrossFit, like a cult has a some what zany charismatic leader from California, devout followers across the globe, rituals and practices with names like “Fran” and “Murph”, there is even, dare I say it, a high holy week known as “The CrossFit Games”. Maybe a cult isn’t to far off?

The word cult however has such a negative connotation thanks to people like Charlie Manson and James Jones, I doubt Greg Glassman would appreciate the comparison.

For me Crossfit in many ways IS like a religion. Going to the gym each day at a given time has the cathartic sensation of going to church on Sunday, Temple on Saturday, the Mosque on Friday, or even daily mass. A class even has a similar structure to a worship service. The warm up, an invocation, preparing our bodies and minds for the workout we are about to engage in. Strength and skill, verses and hymns; making us all better and more knowledgeable, rounded athletes. Then finally the Sermon, our main WOD.

In a really good WOD like a good sermon, I tend to lose track of myself. I move naturally through movements like words through my mind. Whether it is being in “The Zone” or a moment of Zen, I don’t really know or, quite frankly, care. The result is the same. For those few minutes of excruciating exhaustion I am at peace with the universe and all the troubles of the world melt away. At the end of a class am exhausted in body but rejuvenated in both mind and spirit.

I doubt that my experience is wholly unique, and I’m sure everybody can relate to this phenomena in some way. There is a power in the communal suffering (albeit voluntary suffering) of a CrossFit class and at the end of the day that sensation and the sense of community forged therein is all that really matters.

So go ahead call CrossFit a cult if you want, just make sure you don’t drink the Kool-Aid, it’s not Paleo.

Delicious, but not Paleo.

Caution: delicious, but not Paleo.

Workout of the Day
Back Squat
Find your 1 rep max.