Perhaps it is just my box, but I think it is CrossFit and the CrossFit mindset that is alienating people who just want to be healthier. Programming for the WODs each week are supposed to, in an ideal world, have some meaning, not just be a series of pounding “awesomeness” that lead to injury.

For example, this week at my box there has been a WOD calling for lateral over the box jumps (24/20) for a total of 30 jumps split into rounds of ten (along with other crap). What better way to blow out your knee that putting that type of cross stress on the joint. I may at some time in my life be called upon to jump over something. But if that happens, I sure as shit am not going to turn sideways to do it because that would be monumentally stupid. (I did step overs on a shorter box because my knees were already damaged from Monday’s WOD.)

Today, there were burpee deadlifts. Is that even really a thing? What sort of idiot would think that instead of jumping for the burpee, one should pick up even a lighter deadlift weight (185/133)? This was in an AMRAP, and the reps were set at 10 per round. I’m wondering how many people actually set up right for the lift each time instead of powering through and trying to get the next one done. This is a great way to injure oneself.

And this is what CrossFit has become. A great way to not be awesome, but hurt. The CrossFit Games tried to kill the fit of the fittest this summer. Tremendously strong and healthy athletes were injured because of shit programming. What has happened to the CrossFit goals of functional fitness?

A burpee deadlift is never, ever going to be functional. This doesn’t really happen to people. Sure, I have to carry all the groceries into the house, but not by doing burpees along with that.

I love that I have gotten stronger and I love pushing to see how much farther this old body can take me. But by creating punitive workouts and acting like all this risky nonsense is helping is just posturing. And it isn’t helping the boxes grow. New people come in and trust the box to have a safe way for them to work out and then are expected to do dangerous things. So they try. And then they are hurt and think that CrossFit wasn’t for them.

It could be, if the programming were better. The WODs tear us down. It is the rest that rebuilds and makes us stronger. To have day after day of long, punitive WODs leads to overuse injuries. On Wednesday, the people who actually showed up (fewer than on Monday) were all beat up before they were to do lateral over the box jumps.

One of the tenets of CrossFit is to leave your ego at the door. I would like to ask the person or persons programming for me, what is their ego telling them. It isn’t a systematic and incremental improvement plan. It is a “we are a bunch of fucking maniacs who can do awesome and stupid shit” sort of mindset. This isn’t helpful even for the best of athletes.

I am and have been the oldest member at my gym since I began. The likelihood of other people my age or older even trying this is nil. People my age aren’t usually this stupid. It shouldn’t be like this. People my age would benefit greatly from this – I have. I’m more flexible, have greater balance, am stronger, and do many awesome things that were only a dream before I began this journey. But the daily punitive WODs are grinding me down. I’ve been hurting too much of late.

I think an army of old women doing reasonable and scaled CrossFit would be freaking awesome. I would encourage my friends to join me, if I could depend on some constraint from the programmer(s). When the powers that be think that Dirty 30 or Filthy 50 is a good WOD, you know you are dealing with egos and not trainers. A laundry list of bullshit doesn’t speak to long-term goals of growth. It is just a way to beat your body to a pulp and hope you survive. This isn’t something I can recommend to other non-athletes who are hoping to get healthy.

I don’t believe walking is enough. I don’t believe running is enough. I believe in weight resistance, mostly because I have seen incredible results from it. But with ego-based, warrior programming, I can’t ask my old friends to join me. It is lunacy.