Rich Froning AND Jason Khalipa?!

Call me what you will; CrossFit conspiracy theorist, nut job, guy-who-just-doesn’t-trust-Castro, whatever….but….

So we all know that Rich Froning has been saying 2014 was his last year competing as an individual. He has said he wants to spend time doing other things, like spending time with his new daughter. Maybe working out four or five times a day, seven days a week isn’t the most healthy thing? If he ever returns to competing individually in CrossFit, who knows.

But now Jason Khalipa is also retiring from competing as an individual? The guy who says he trains the way he does simply because he loves it. I haven’t read anywhere that his daughters would keep him from his garage for a late night WOD. His first daughter didn’t stop him, but now his second will? Or whatever his reasoning.

I applaud anyone who puts his or her family first. I can’t hate on either of these guys for that (if this is Khalipa’s reasoning). But I can’t help think that Dave Castro wants to do whatever he can to absolutely squash the National Pro Grid League (I can’t even type that without wondering what in the F a “grid league” is…and I know what it is – worst. name. ever.). The NPGL is team based and it is poaching highly recognizable CrossFit athletes. Valenzuela, Ben Smith, Sidelle, Hackenbruck, the list goes on and on.

Castro’s ego cost him relationships with Greg Everett and Robb Wolf and any guys who has to change t-shirts every time he makes an appearance, even if those appearances are just an hour apart, and seemingly puts entirely too much emphasis on his hair – rubs me the wrong way. His ego is very large and since the CrossFit community has glossed him “THE Dave Castro” he just cannot bear to lose any of his spotlight. Spotlight that may be stolen by the NPGL.

Enter Froning and Khalipa and possibly super-mega-CrossFit Games teams. I can’t recall where I saw it or read it, but someone asked Froning if he would invite some of the best female athletes in the world to workout at his box in Tennessee to get around the rules to form a super team for the CrossFit Games season – he said he would without a doubt.

Enter my conspiracy theory: Castro has asked both Froning and Khalipa to go team and form super teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one more big name athlete go team in 2015 and have a team with three, four or maybe even six individual Games athletes on it. Start publicizing that immediately. Along with the US vs Europe competition there will be other team based CrossFit competitions. Maybe not the same format as the NPGL has with their grid, but team based CrossFit competitions. The same team in each event. Khalipa has a West coast team, Froning is Central or East coast. Maybe Camille starts a Canadian team. These are all the biggest of big names in CrossFit who haven’t signed with the NPGL and they all happen to be buddies with Castro and CrossFit HQ.

Put together a few super CrossFit teams, put a few matches of some sort on the internet and try to squash the NPGL before it takes off. Just like how the UFC started putting out free fights the same night as Strikeforce had pay-per view events. Strikeforce was just starting to embark on UFC territory and the Dana White made sure that didn’t happen by offering free fights on Spike TV the same time Strikeforce had fights on PPV. And the UFC didn’t put up no-names, it put its biggest fighters on TV – for free! Will we see Team Froning vs Team Khalipa aired on the internet the same time the NPGL has matches?

I guess this conspiracy theorist thinks so.

My 2014 CrossFit Games Thoughts

Because I know the four people who have looked at my blog in the past month care what I think, here are my random thoughts about the CrossFit Games this year. (Not all are related to actual fitness.)

  • Seeing Dave Castro wearing a Miranda Oldroyd t-shirt/jersey when announcing the final events this year rubs me wrong. For a “sport” that says that it is unkown and unknowable this, to me, screams the possibility that some athletes may know what the workouts will be prior to everyone else. There are rumors on various sites that claim they have definitive evidence and/or knowledge that some athletes know what the Open, Regional or Games events will be prior to everyone else. That isn’t fair.
  • And speaking of this, some of the judges are Level 1 CrossFit instructors. What is wrong with that? Many of the athletes competing are also Level 1 CrossFit instructors. They spend weekends together, travel together and spend quite a bit of time together. Wouldn’t it seem somewhat plausible that these judges might look the other way or give the benefit of the doubt if they are judging someone they work with 10 or 12 (or more) weekends a year? Someone they know really well and like.
  • I don’t like the scoring. I think it needs a complete overhaul. Why is the scoring at the Games different than Regionals or the Open? Make it the same.
  • Continue reading

Not a fan of the NPFL or NPGL or whatever

This was posted on Drywall’s Facebook page yesterday:

A lot of people have been messaging me saying “Hey Drainpipe, Reebok is forcing WSOE exercisers to wear their shoes this year, pls comment, pls.”

Form letter response:

I should fucking hope so. Putting millions of dollars into a fringe event so has-beens can pretend they didn’t already wash out of their real sports and compete at exercise for money? Wear your free fucking shoes and say thank you.

First, if you don’t follow Drywall, you should. He’s funny. If you can’t laugh at yourself you live a miserable life. I know he hates on CrossFit a lot, but he is funny.

Second, he hits the nail on the head pretty often and this is one of those cases.

I love watching the CrossFit Games, Regionals and watching any/all videos related to the Open. My brother and his family will be in town the week of the CrossFit Games and I am already trying to figure out how I can spend time with my family and watch the Games.

I know many think that football players or track athletes or basketball players or whatever are more fit than the CrossFit Games athletes, and I disagree. Sure, all of those athletes are superfit, but they are also specialized. Football players are conditioned to put out a ton of energy in five or nine second bursts, then rest. Track athletes are specialized in their single event. Maybe the decathletes have a claim, but how strong are they? You can go on and on for every sport – they are specialized. What I like about CrossFit athletes is that they can not only run for long distances in respectable times, but they can also lift heavy weights. CrossFit athletes can perform gymnastic moves like the muscle-up and snatch large loads. They can deadlift 405 pounds and turn around and walk on their hands. They are not specialized, but they can do a lot of things very well.

The CrossFit Games tests endurance and power. This makes it unique, in my eyes. This isn’t to say that if Ray Rice decided to ditch football and do nothing but train in a CrossFit gym for a year or two that he wouldn’t give the best of the best in CrossFit a run for their money, but if you put Ray Rice in the CrossFit Games right now he wouldn’t compete. This is what I like about the Games, it is different.

This is what I do NOT like about the NPFL, among other things. Continue reading

Is the CrossFit “fad” dying already? What’s killing it?

1stI regularly check to look at the courses they offer (along with the WOD). I would like to get my CrossFit Kids certification someday as I think it would be a lot of fun working with children and then the Mobility course would be cool if you got lucky and Starret was there…anyway, you can’t look at available courses without scrolling through the 50 or 100 CrossFit Level 1 courses offered first.

It has always amazed me that every weekend there are like 10 CrossFit Level 1 courses offered and all of them are sold out. I think in my Level 1 course there must have been at least 50 people. That means that every weekend like 500 people are getting their Level 1.

Now, however, not all of the courses are sold out. I noticed this last weekend for the first time. Last weekend there were several courses with space available just a few days before the course started. This weekend does not have any availability, but as you can see from the pictures there are a lot of classes coming in the near future with plenty of space available. When I registered for my Level 1 two years ago I had to wait every week and watch for when they posted the new courses a month or six weeks in advance and register. If you didn’t register for your Level 1 as soon as the date/location was announced you probably would miss out as they sold out so quickly. When I registered for mine it wasn’t unlikely that all of the Level 1 courses listed on mainsite were sold out – ALL of them.

Yesterday CrossFit announced that its 10,000th affiliate opened its doors. When I first got my Level 1 there were two CrossFit gyms in Aurora (a rather big city with more than 330,000 citizens and a suburb of Denver which, even at that time, had CrossFit gyms located blocks from each other) and now there are six in Aurora with at least 10 additional CrossFit gyms right on the city boundaries. Sooner or later the market gets saturated. That is a law, or something. Sooner or later the supply is going to exceed the demand. That is definitely a law. And sooner or later the demand will be so high that the value of a CrossFit membership will plummet. Another law.

To that last point: enter Groupon. Continue reading