CrossFitter generally have a lot of money…unless you CrossFit for a living

If you can spend $20 on something that is supposed to keep your hands from getting calluses while doing pullups, your bank account is doing OK.

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.

mmmm…peanut butter….

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Walk around your average local CrossFit competition and look at the cars. A lot of nice cars in that parking lot, I bet.
  4. Look at the shoes of the members of your CrossFit box. A lot of brand new Nike and Reebok shoes, I bet.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

Peanut butter.

My pick for the Games

Whew, what a few weekends that was. Regionals were awesome and there were plenty of upsets (no Julie Foucher or Josh Bridges), a few “duh”‘s (NorCal CrossFit, Camille LeBlanc Bazinet) and a few “wow!”‘s (Foucher again and OPEX Red emphatic win in event 7).

Here are all the individual winners and how they have fared in past Games (only back to 2012 for most as that’s how far back the Games website goes). I know athletes like Voigt and Smith have been to several (Voigt has been to eight!) Games and I think Briggs took 2nd in 2012 or 2011. Other than that, I think the stats below encompass most athletes Games experiences.

Men Games finishes Women Games finishes
Ohlsen  8th (’14) Bridgers  6th (’14)
Hanna Briggs  1st (’13)
Muhammad Tunnicliffe  9th (’13), 22nd (’14)
Smith  11th (’12), 3rd (’13), 7th (’14) Lance  29th (’13), 9th (’14)
Bramblett Gelin
 Bailey  6th (’12), 8th (’13), 10th (’14)  Ence
 Maddox  20th (’12), 9th (’13), 15th (’14)  Valenzuela  2nd (’13)
 Pera  23rd (’12)  Cho  15th (’14)
 Alcaraz  Pichelli  4th (’13), 23rd (’14)
 Melton  Voigt  10th (’12), 11th (’13), 24th (’14)
 Panchik  4th (’12), 4th (’13), 5th (’14)  Wells
 Heppner  18th (’14)  Holcomb  32nd (’14)
 Anderson  Tovar  12th (’12), 20th (’14)
 Urankar  Akinwale  7th (’12), 10th (’13), 14th (’14)
 Holmberg  1st (’10), 10th (’12), 14th (’13)  Barber  28th (’13)
 Fraser  2nd (’14)  Letendre  24th (’12), 13th (’13), 4th (’14)
 Vigneault  Horan  18th (’13), 18th (’14)
 Tyminski  14th (’12), 34th (’13)  Pearce
 Hendel  13th (’12)  Thibault
 Malleolo  8th (’12), 41st (’13)  Jackson  27th (’14)
 Koski  32md (’14)  Sigmundsdottir
 Guomundsson  26th (’14)  Davidsdottir  30th (’12), 24th (’13)
 Fawcett  Thorisdottir  1st (’11), 1st (’12), 2nd (’14)
 Hogberg  23rd (’14)  Holte  16th (’14)
 Hesketh  Helgadottir
 Porter  27th (’14)  Webb  19th (’12), 12th (’13), 31st (’14)
 Forte  35th (’12), 33rd (’13), 12th (’14)  Boon
 Mackay  9th (’12), 11th (’13)  Toomey
 Manuel  Brown  17th (’14)
 Garard  Wood
 Gamboa  22nd (’13)  Bazinet  6th (’12), 16th (’13), 1st (’14)
 Williams  Alvarez  26th (’13), 34th (’14)
 Cook  36th (’14)  Goodman  35th (’13), 20th (’14)
 Conway  Jones  28th (’12), 6th (’13), 10th (’14)
 Cole  Myers
 Parker 15th (’12), 19th (’13), 34th (’14)  Abbot  35th (’14)
 Sager  17th (’14)  Mathews
 Simons  Core
 Takasaki  23rd (’13), 37th (’14)  Huckaby  30th (’14)
 Scali  Parker

So, I think it sort of jumps out who should be favorites in 2015.

Men: Smith has been to several Games and been on the podium, he is a favorite. Fraser finished 2nd last year and demolished his region this year, he is a favorite. In three previous Games Panchik has never finished outside of the top five, he is a favorite. Bailey is experienced and looked stronger than ever at his region, he is a favorite. And an outside shot is Forte who will be competing at his fourth Games and has improved his finish each year, he is a favorite.

With those five names I pick Fraser for first place, Panchik in second and Smith in third. All safe picks and no reaches.

I know Ohlsen won his region and had a strong showing last year, but I need a bit more from him before picking him to win it all.

Women: Thorisdottir has won the Games twice and finished 2nd last year, she is a favorite. Briggs won two years ago and has the best engine among all the women, she is a favorite. Bazinet won last year and destroyed her region, she is a favorite. Letendre has improved her finish at the Games in each of the last three years and finished 4th last year, she is a favorite. Webb was well ahead after several events at last years Games and she destroyed her region, she is a favorite.

With those five names I pick Webb for first place Briggs for second and Thorisdottir for third.

I know Bridgers has had a heck of a year and she did win her region….but I wonder if she would have won her region if Briggs didn’t have a broken foot? (A minor crack but a bad foot none the less.)

As for teams, I feel like I need to hold off on predicting because there is one team that could be a HUGE wild card: Invictus. They did qualify for the Games and finished fourth in the California region, but there were two BIG name athletes from Invictus who did not make it to the Games as individuals: Lauren Fisher and her boyfriend Rasmus Wisbech Andersen. If those two decide (or are invited) to be part of the Invictus team, watch out. Fisher didn’t qualify as an individual because she severely twisted her ankle just two weeks before her region. Give her another six weeks and she will be strong.

If those two do NOT join Invictus then I got to take NorCal to win the Affiliate Cup. I think the biggest threat to NorCal assuming Invictus doesn’t change members is Hack’s Pack and OPEX Red, not Mayhem. I think Mayhem looked like they have a major weak link in their 40+ female athlete on their team. That weakness will be exposed a lot more in Carson then it was at Regionals.

Only about six more weeks until we get to watch!