There are two sides facing each other across the dancefloor, like they’re in an Eastwood western. Who is the Good? Who is the Bad? And though both sides strive for physical bests…exactly where does it get Ugly?
‘Crossfit bashing’ is one sport I never understood before tonight. But this is an engagement party hosted by a 30-something fitness instructor, who works for a “globo” (franchise gym) – yet trains in a “box” (Crossfit shed). So there are folks from both sides there…the globo boofheads, used to dominating, expect to play nice and welcome their fellow fitness freakaholics to the social fold for the evening.
It’s a naive expectation.
This is the first Crossfit club in town, and little do the long-established boofhead clan know, these ‘Crossfitters’ don’t fit into anyone’s circle. In fact, they don’t do circles of any kind: they train in their ‘box’, and they run in a pack. Yes, it’s a pack that drinks the bar tab in an hour…intimidates waitresses to get all the hot pastries (pastry is paleo, ok?) …and picks a fight with the skinniest, most overly-friendly drunk in the room (Oops, the globo martial arts instructor, it turns out). But six days a week they are there for each other, in a uniquely clan-ish, no-man-left-behind kind of way.
The remaining day of the week, they’re dry-humping the Ocean Bar’s decorative flamingoes. Right before the eyes of Great-Uncle Jim.
The Globo-Crossfit ‘party bus’ has already been bubbling trouble on the trip in. The globo manager (an earthy blond) has tried charming the hordes – “I don’t care where you train, as long as you train”. (He employed the Crossfit ‘box’ owner for years: they’re still on friendly terms). But when it comes to “forging elite fitness”, any globo boofhead is merely a lone Labrador compared to a Crossfit pack. These particular Crossfitters? They aren’t interested in the social niceties of mutual sniffing. They’re interested in restraining the canapé waitresses from leaving. It would almost be funny, if Uncle Jim wasn’t going hungry. And the catering girls weren’t cowering in their aprons.
Still, if those young ladies didn’t want to cower, then they should have worn stripey knee high socks instead of the apron. Pack behaviour is ‘you’re either with us or against us’: pick your team. Tonight’s match is 10 Crossfitters vs. Everybody Else. (Tip: If you’re not shouting “Suburb-land CrossFit!” at least twice per beer, chances are you’re in with Everybody Else. Sorry.)
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that the shattered swinger from the globo isn’t getting on everyone’s nerves. Or their laps. (She cleared a table of four people in five minutes). The fool who takes to pushups on the dancefloor (total: three) is a glamazon globo ‘group fitness instructor’ (an aerobics instructor, but ‘group fitness’ sounds more encouraging when promoting group classes to men. They think.).
But tonight it’s the CrossFit club chanting that has the manic party planner hovering, armed with cocktail umbrellas and coconuts. She’s concerned that in all this craziness, the wolf-pack could be inclined to use decorative beach-themed cords for a battle-rope.
So, I’m offering apologies to Great Uncle Jim (and his family, if they didn’t starve to death), on behalf of respectable boofheads (respectable Crossfitters included). An embarrassing situation for all. Whether or not globo ‘gorillas’ have better manners than a ‘box’ of packwolves…it’s all just ‘gym’ to Jim. And Jim now knows ‘Paleolithic diet’ means strolling by the cake table, and picking the bottom layer off somebody else’s slice. He also knows what kind of behaviour to expect from people involved in fitness. (WOD schmod… Does courtesy get a Workout Of the Day?)
Different exercise methods, different environments: those who can’t CrossFit, can go Globo to their heart’s content. Hey, as long as you’re doing something. Whatever your lifestyle choice, a little less emphasis on the ‘elite’ part keeps your focus in a healthy place (spell ‘narcissist’, kids). Most importantly – it means people like Jim have one less reason to avoid fitness!
[Oh, that particular skinny drunk I mentioned? ended up catching the party bus home. Seems all fitness freaks are the same, to a martial arts instructor. That is; muscles won’t save you from an ass kicking…you’ll just heal quicker.]