#787. CrossFit

Crossfit is becoming the dominant fitness regimen for wealthy (and white) areas of the country. Created at the beginning of the 21stcentury, Crossfit emphasizes relatively short, high intensity “WOD’s” (Workout of the Day) centered around functional movements including body weight exercises, compound lifts such as snatches and power cleans, and the use of varied equipment like climbing ropes, tires, and kettlebells.
Though it started as a trend, Crossfit has become “the sport of fitness” in its own right, with the “Crossfit Games” broadcast on ESPN. However, though Crossfit has earned a secure place in the culture, there are murmurs of discontent. For you see, Crossfit shares the same problem as NASCAR – it’s competitors are not “diverse.”
Crossfit “boxes” usually charge expensive membership fees and boast a mostly white clientele. A list of Crossfit Games champions and competitors reveals a veritable whitopia. In the past two years, the male and female champions have repeated. The male champion, the “world’s fittest man,” is a white Southerner that Django hasn’t gotten around to killing yet, who indulges his white privilege every day by reading that racist and homophobic book, the Bible
. The women’s champion is even worse, an Icelandic native whose surname refers to a Northern European pagan deity (ipso facto proof of Nazism).
Naturally, when whites build something, they use names and concepts familiar to them. Thus, all the regular WOD’s have stereotypically “white girl” names like Fran or Cindy. This is obviously racist, just like Sheila Jackson Lee complained about the similar white names of hurricanes. 
There are already the usual complaints of discrimination, with some even calling Crossfit a “racist cult.
” The few black crossfitters express frustration about the subculture and demand that it change to suit them. Even the few predominantly black crossfit “boxes” that exist have white members and coaches, but still brag of their “Afro brutality” and feature blog posts on black power.
What makes sensitive blacks angry about Crossfit? The cost could be one element, as the average net worth of black women isn’t enough to buy a typical post-workout protein shake, never mind a box membership. However, there are deeper reasons.

The first possible reason is biology. Crossfit emphasizes high intensity workouts, muscle confusion and complex movements with little rest that push the body to its limits. This can be taken too far and lead to a condition known as “rhabdomyolysis,” in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue can be released into the bloodstream and lead to kidney failure. Crossfitters humorously refer to the phenomenon as “Uncle Rhabado,” a name which will go down in bigotry next to Uncle Tom.

You see, “ rhabdomyolysis” is racist. Those who possess the trait for sickle cell (mainly blacks and Hispanics) are more vulnerable to the condition. An analysis from the the United States military shows that blacks suffer rhabdomyolysis at a dramatically higher rate than other groups, though the disparity is not widely discussed in the Crossfit community.
That said, the main reasons Crossfit remains mostly white are cultural. Crossfit has a strong conservative bias as reflected on the main site, which often include commentaries and links to right leaning websites that contain criticism of Barack Obama. Blacks hate Republicans and white people who don’t vote for Obama so already there is an “unwelcoming” environment for diversity.
There’s also a deeper anti-liberalism. Crossfit’s obsessive focus on times and competition is decidedly anti-egalitarian. Participants are expected to constantly compete (if only against themselves) every time they go in the gym. Grunts, chalk, and plenty of sweat are all tolerated, if not encouraged. Crossfit coaches operate like drill instructors, “motivating” people to finish strong instead of offering pizza, candy, a non-judgmental environment like at Planet Fitness.
 Though it’s impossible to get firm numbers, in the author’s experience a large number of Crossfitters at boxes around the country are ex-military (especially Marines), law enforcement, or in the Guard or Reserve. It’s natural that those whites on the political Right would gravitate towards such an environment, which would automatically make black uncomfortable.
Perhaps more importantly, Crossfit is strongly Eurocentric. Quotations and musical selections featured on the site mostly come from white sources, even occasionally such manifestations of pure evil as classical music. Crossfit promotions refer to the legacy of “Greece and Rome” and Asian civilizations, but ignore ancient African civilizations (probably because they didn’t really exist.) Crossfit also incorporates insights on human biology and evolution that do not necessarily apply to the entire human population, at least culturally. Chief among them is the “paleo” diet, which has also received criticism
as Eurocentric.
One of the strongest reasons Crossfit maintains a certain reputation as a “white people” and “conservative” thing because of its constant tributes to the American military. The main page says that “terrorist hunters” love to do these workouts and it is filled with paeans to those in uniform, especially those wounded in action or who have fallen. The Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton hosted part of the 2012 Crossfit Games. Boxes around the country perform especially difficult “Hero WOD’s” to honor fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on patriotic holidays.
As we all know, “Real American Heroes” are just another one of those things that black people, well, just don’t like. Blacks disproportionately serve in service and administration specialties in the military while whites are represented well beyond their demographics in combat arms. America’s elite warriors, such as fighter pilots or the legendary Navy SEAL’s, are almost entirely white. Though the government is doing its best to lower standards in pursuit of diversity and drive conservative white males out of the military, the evil whites the system hates are still the people who fight its wars
.
Crossfit salutes these unfashionable heroes, instead of, say, honoring the victims of “racism” or “homophobia.” Therefore, they might as well be complicit in “hate.”
Though Crossfit boxes throughout the country are run independently, there’s a remarkable uniformity of outlook and demographics wherever you are (except, I suppose, in Crossfit Harlem.) It’s not that Crossfit is consciously racist – many whites would rather die than be thought even mildly disapproving of Black Run America. It’s simply a result of what liberals call “white privilege,” some scholars call “implicit whiteness,” and what normal people call “freedom.”
Black privilege refers to the government preferences, income transfers, media bias, political power, academic propaganda, and overt violence that helps blacks at the expense of whites. White privilege refers to the fact that when simply left alone, white people build thriving subcultures and communities, until their rulers tell them it is evil. Whites then apologize, diversity moves in to destroy it, and whites move away or create something new, all the while pretending it’s about something other than race. Crossfit is just the latest example. Eventually it will be diversified, and most likely, there will be a simultaneous and strange new phenomenon of wealthy urban whites getting into a new fitness craze.
However, Crossfit’s “implictly white” nature is not just the fault of whites. Blacks’ own behavior has a lot to do with it. Blacks have a love-hate relationship with fitness. Sports is one of the ways Black Run America can produce positive black role models (with the others being entertainment and politicians assuming they are Democrats). Athletic accomplishment is highly prized, far more than academics. Thus, many black males enjoy putting on muscle and showing it off, especially rappers who like to perform shirtless like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, and DMX. On the other hand, though the media enjoys promoting images of “fat white males,” obesity is actually far more prominent among blacks. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blacks had
51% higher obesity rates when compared to whites. Blacks also have higher rates of diabetes, blood pressure problems, and other health risks associated with being in poor shape.
The problem is especially bad among black women, with a shocking four out of five black women characterized as obese. Forty percent of black women blame their inability to exercise on something else they hate, their own hair. Of course, racist facts of biology also play a role, as regular exercise does not give black women the same kinds of benefits as white women. Sir Mix-A-Lot may have liked girls with “back,” but he didn’t have much of a choice. As the typically outrageous Uncle Ruckus put it on The Boondocks, “A white woman’s body is a temple. A black woman’s body is a temple of doom.”
The common thread is that black conceptions of physicality are closely associated with showmanship and display rather than health and practical use. The condition of black physical athletes tends to collapse after the end of their athletic careers, much like their financial security.
 Non professional black males who put on muscle mostly do it for show. Obese blacks still devote significant amount of resources to aspects of their physical appearance that involve showing off. Thus, even obese black women feel no shame in spending large amounts of money on outlandish nail styles and hair weaves. Meanwhile, every time an expensive new sneaker premieres, black men kill each other.
In contrast to the cult of size and show, crossfit values practicality, versatility, and an organic approach to fitness including diet, lifestyle, and cross-training. The average Crossfit practitioner may not have the highest bench press or the widest chest, but they can deadlift and bench respectable amounts of weight as well as climb a rope, competently execute compound lifts, quickly run through dozens of “double unders,” and run several miles at a good pace. While some Crossfitters may supplement their workouts to gain size or strength, the average participant sees it as simply a way to stay in shape and maintain good health.
Cost and culture are important factors in the maintenance of Crossfit’s “racism,” but the biggest reason is the content of its program itself. Crossfit is a workout program built for utility and competition, targeted at whites who want to associate with “warriors” and a more old fashioned attitude in nutrition, fitness, and perhaps politics and culture. Black people want to do athletic activities that will let them show off. For that reason, we include Crossfit as the newest entry in Stuff Black People Don’t Like.

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