Get ready for a blog post FULL of generalizations. These are some of the things I have seen. These are not facts that can be peanut butter spread across all people associated with CrossFit.
In my relatively short CrossFitting life (about 4 years? 5?) I have been to quite a few local competitions, seen a lot of newbies in brand new shoes after a week or two of CrossFit and read more articles and watched more videos that relate to CrossFit than I care to admit. Here are some things I have noticed:
- CrossFitters are predominantly white and middle class. If you are paying $100 a month for a gym membership you are probably middle class. I’m not sure why it seems like most CrossFitters are white, but it sure feels that way. Just watch the CrossFit Games this year and see for yourself. Akinwale and EZ are the only two athletes who are not white that I can think of off of the top of my head.
- Who else can spend $100 to compete in a competition on the weekend? If you run a 5k you best not spend more than $30, if you ask me. Run a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race? Now you are talking $50-$100 (or more), but weekend CrossFit competitions are held nearly every weekend here in Colorado and they are full of (mostly) white people spending $100 to workout three to five times with others. That’s really what these competitions are, right?
- Walk around your average local CrossFit competition and look at the cars. A lot of nice cars in that parking lot, I bet.
- Look at the shoes of the members of your CrossFit box. A lot of brand new Nike and Reebok shoes, I bet.
- Who else spends money on wrist straps, jump ropes, hand protectors, a pair of shoes for lifting, running, walking and general “WOD’ing” and shirts that they take off after 10 minutes? People who have extra cash to spend, that’s who.
- Let me list businesses that have thrived (or were just started) because of CrossFit: Rogue (any gym equipment manufacturer), USAW, Jump’N’Rope, wrist wrap makers, anyone that puts “Paleo” on anything, gymnastic rings, stall matting, bumper plates, empty industrial space, countless “experts” and athletes that now give seminars at CrossFit gyms (Ager, Abbot, etc), so many clothing manufactures, Reebok was dead until CrossFit and the list could go on and on.
The point to all of that? There is money in CrossFit. Lots of people doing CrossFit have money.
But if you do CrossFit “professionally” you more than likely do NOT have money.
Sure, Rich Froning and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet have money, but they are the exception, not the rule. Much like golf used to be – the top one or two percent of golfers made millions of dollars while the rest struggled with personal expenses (travel, room, clothing, etc) to make ends meet. Now golf is flush with a lot more money thanks to the likes of Tiger Woods, but CrossFit is still in this same mode. There might be a few CrossFitters that do nothing more than CrossFit that make a lot of money, but the vast majority do not.
Nick Urankar is selling t-shirts to help pay for his trip to Carson for the CrossFit Games. And he is also a “professional” GRID athlete. I can’t imagine they make more than a few hundred bucks per match…
I have seen two Go Fund Me’s for athletes trying to pay their way to the Games. I wonder how many athletes quit their job to train full time in hopes of going to Carson only to come up short?
To keep with my analogy earlier, I guess this is like the guys/gals in golf playing on the mini tours. Working hard to make ends meet in hopes of making it to the big leagues sometime in the future.
To be young again…
I am pretty new to the Instagram thing (within the past half year, maybe?), but I know on Twitter last year there was a bit of a rise when all these “professional” athletes that quit their job so they could workout full time had to beg, barrow and steal to pay for their trip to Carson…if they qualified.
If you pay close enough attention to Instagram you will see many pictures of old Honda Civics, apartment buildings and crappy old dishes and silverware. Sure, you will see a nice restaurant every now and again, but for the most part the “professional” CrossFit athlete is broke. They are fit as hell, but their bank accounts are not.
While it would be nice to play all day, it comes at a cost.
Get it? At a cost?