Last weekend I had the chance to go to the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin. If you don’t know, the games are basically the Super Bowl of CrossFit. There, the top athletes from around the world compete in a four-day spectacle of WOD-inspired madness, completing 14 gritty, seemingly impossible-to-perform workouts. (If you want to see what I mean, there are a bunch of documentaries about past games on Netflix.) It was as I sat mesmerized by what these athletes were putting their bodies through in Madison that I thought about all of the reasons why every fan of CrossFit should make it to the games at least once.
Here’s my case for snagging tickets for 2018:
You’re already a competitor
If you competed in the CrossFit Open last March (or in previous years) then you’ve already taken the first step on the road to the Games. The five-week-long competition is what allows you to qualify to the next stage of competition: the Regionals, which then qualifies you for the Games. More importantly, the Open gives you an appreciation of the level of fitness it takes to compete at an elite level. For example, during this year’s Games they did the 17.5 Open workout. That was the workout with 10 rounds of nine thrusters and 35 double-unders. Except for the Games, they didn’t just do the same thing they did it heavier and finished faster than the vast majority of Open participants.
It’s our community — magnified
The CrossFit community is what hooks people from the moment they step into a box. So imagine what it must feel like to see that friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and passionate spirit embodied by 10,000-plus people during the course of one weekend. It’s an incredible feeling.
You can meet the CrossFit stars
After watching their YouTube videos or seeing them in the many CrossFit documentaries, it’s pretty amazing to see your favourite CrossFit athletes in person either competing or simply walking around the grounds. You don’t need a special pass or a special ticket to meet your faves; you just need to be there. If you are on the grounds chances are they just might walk by you or stick around to chat after workouts. There’s no boundary put up between weekend warriors and elite competitors at the Games and I think that’s why even though CrossFit is growing at a rapid rate and has turned into a huge spectacle, it retains that small community feel.
So, next August mark the CrossFit Games on your calendar. They’ll take place in Madison again, which is driveable (I did it, it’s not short, but it’s doable). If you are truly passionate and enjoy what we do at the gym everyday, I guarantee you will enjoy the CrossFit Games.
Broder McNeill is a coach and co-owner at Alchemy CrossFit.