Health knowledge made personal
When Reebok inserted itself into the CrossFit world, participants worried that it was the end of the loosely structured, more organic growth of the sport (similar to ultrarunning’s worry about Lifetime Fitness purchasing well-known ultramarathon races). Reading the chapter on what’s transpired so far was really interesting, especially how much the company has pushed its own employees to participate more fully in improving personal fitness. Though not mandatory, Reebok has pushed CrossFit specifically, because of the community aspect. “One of Reebok’s goals in creating a community of fitness was to foster the relationship between male and female coworkers.” While CrossFit isn’t alone in blending the sexes during workouts, it does so more than others I’ve seen. From other bloggers’ visit, the Reebok headquarters is an amazing place to visit, after reading this, I’m even more excited about one day visiting.
A couple of months in and I have to say, the community is there, to the extent that you want it. There are still quieter folks that come in, do their workouts, and leave, with minimal interaction. Others clearly have relationships outside of the box as well. I’m cautiously finding my way as well. My natural inclination is that of a loner – for years now I’ve trained on my own, so interacting with others doesn’t come totally naturally.
Dr. Allison Wenglin Belger’s book The Power of Community: CrossFit and the Force of Human Connection
(Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing, 2012) is an interesting look into communities, using CrossFit as a loose framework. It reads like academic writing, with some detachment, plenty of research, and many examples from the world of fitness. Examples run the gamut from wounded veterans, support for illness or family tragedy, to the power to improve marginal communities.