Over the last few years with the CrossFit Games blowing up in popularity, CrossFit’s methodology has been overshadowed. You can look anywhere and see the Rich Fronings, Tia-Clair Toomeys, and Sara Sigmundottirs of the world. I myself am looking to get a pair of those new shoes Rich has partnered up with Reebok to release. I don’t want to take away anything from those athletes who have accomplished amazing feats at the CrossFit Games, but we need to circle back to why we do this in the first place. Please don’t mistake me; it’s impressive to watch these amazing athletes perform these ridiculous workouts. However when I watch a blind girl do box jumps and shed tears of joy, it makes me feel some kind of way. The kind of way you feel when Rudy takes the field in Notre Dame’s stadium after all the hard work and determination.
The local box is where your everyday individual comes to better themselves. We need to start branding ourselves back to what Greg Glassman originally designed CrossFit around. The changes to the CrossFit Games in 2019 are reflective to a reprioritization back to an emphasis on health. CrossFit’s core design is written in black and white on CrossFit.com. “While CrossFIt challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience.” CrossFit is for everyone, not just those who can do “RX.”
The phrase “RX” originated from a symbol used by the medical community during medieval times. The way it’s written makes it appear as a combination of the two letters R and X. The symbol actually means recipe and it’s derived from “to receive.” It would actually read like a command, as in “take this.” The doctor’s orders would be the prescription given. CrossFit is a lifestyle and our daily workouts are the preventative medicine. When you complete a workout as it is written on the whiteboard you are completing it as prescribed, or RX.
Due to the CrossFit Games’ huge appeal, there is this stigma slowly creeping into boxes across the world. Members are starting to feel that they’re not good enough until they can RX workouts consistently. Many people have said to me that they’re not going to do CrossFit because they’re not in the right shape to do what we do, or they’re afraid they will get hurt. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We exist to provide a service to better humanity one whiteboard brief at a time. My passion as a coach is to see those around me improving. There are countless stories of people’s lives being changed in boxes around the globe. From the elderly being able to run and squat to someone with cerebral palsy cleaning 150lbs. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can scale a workout to their abilities. CrossFit has a whole course on adaptive training where coaches “learn how to train athletes with a wide range of impairments, from non-permanent (trauma, injury or illness) to permanent (congenital disorders, combat trauma, automobile accidents, etc.).” RX is not the end all be all.
Here is what I would say to those new to CrossFit or someone considering giving it a try. Do your best, so what if you cannot RX a workout. Who are you competing against? Every day you walk into that gym you are competing with who you were the day before, not the people next to you. I’m not saying it’s not okay to have a little friendly competition here and there, but at the end of the day it’s about personal progress. Everyone started out ignorant to what a snatch or muscle up was and how to complete it. They had to be taught and train to get there. Just show up and put in the work. Fitness requires you to pay rent and it is due every day. This is where Josh Bridge’s saying “pay the man” comes from. The payment for your health is either monetary with blood sweat and tears, or it is through medical bills and death. The choice is yours, RX or not, just make a point to be 1% better every day.
Written by Coach Adam