It seems that almost EVERY time I tell someone I do CrossFit their first response is “That’s like a cult, right?” Or “It’s becoming quite the cult, isn’t it?” Let me ask you something. If you told me you loved something or had a passion for something and my first response was to call it a cult, how would you respond?
“You just came back from Yoga? Yikes. That’s becoming such a cult! I mean yoga studios are popping up everywhere! All those crazy poses. You must get really hurt.”
It’s ridiculous in that context, just as it’s ridiculous in the CrossFit context. And yes, from the description above, Cult can be defined as an object of devotion, but mostly we treat the word cult as extremely negative and typically implying you’re controlled by someone and not able to think on your own accord. So when did cult become a synonym for popular? Right, it didn’t.
Do you think it’s respectful to say that about something I enjoy? What is it about CrossFit that evokes the cult response? No one called Spinning a cult when it become popular. Or Zumba. Or Pilates. Why don’t we say, “Oh, CrossFit. That’s becoming really popular”? Fear perhaps, or ignorance. We as a society tend to label things we don’t understand, or perhaps don’t approve of with a negative connotation. If we can’t do it, or it scares us, well then it certainly must be a cult or worse. I mean no one in their right mind would subject themselves to those grueling workouts, right? No sane person would push their body to the limit to see what it’s capable of? Surely those people must be brainwashed and held captive.
Stop taking away my passion and joy. This makes me happy. Be appreciative. Be thankful. Hell, be jealous. But don’t be a hater. You don’t have to like it, understand it or want to try it, but you do need to be supportive. Because if there’s one thing about the CrossFit community that’s in stark contrast to those cult-labelers, it’s this: SUPPORT. We have each other’s backs.
We’re there for each other in the box and out. We push each other, console each other and compete with each other. We fuel each other’s passions. Many of which — shocker — have nothing to do with CrossFit. Because that’s what a community does. That’s what friends do.
So the next time someone shares their passion with you, don’t label it. Just be happy for them. And then go find your own happy. You deserve it, too.