This Is What Community Looks Like: CrossFit Throwdown

Of all the aspects people talk about when the subject of CrossFit comes up, the one that most people say keeps them coming back is the community.  The community aspect of CrossFit is the most important to me, as I mentioned in my earlier post Drinking The Kool-Aid. It’s also one of the most difficult to explain – it’s a little like pornography – you know it when you see it.  But this weekend, as I was immersed in yet another brilliant CrossFit community experience, I decided I owed it to all twenty of my blog followers to try and share it with you.

You know how busy life gets with work, school, kids’ activities, volunteer work, working out, and keeping your home in order?  How it can feel like a UN level diplomatic negotiation to figure out when to have happy hour with more than two friends? Yeah, me too.  It insane.  And yet, in a very short timeframe, the owners of CrossFit On Track (my box) and CrossFit 913 managed to not just pull together a happy hour, but stage a team CrossFit competition on 2/1/2013 called the 151st Street Throwdown with just a couple weeks notice and almost no publicity other than wall posts on their respective facebook pages.

One would *think* if you tried to do this, you’d end up with a couple teams from each box that wanted to play some CrossFit after work on the appointed day. And you would think WRONG. The response was amazing.  The organizers had to turn teams away, and the crowd was….amazing.

Throwdown Crowd

I was only able to get about half or maybe two-thirds of the crowd last night into one picture.  There were about 90 competitors (30 teams of 3), 10 judges, several sponsors, at least a half-dozen people trying to generally organize the place…and I can’t even count how many spectators there were.  My guess is 200 or so.  The place was packed with people who made the decision that the best thing to do with their Friday evening was to drive to an industrial park in Olathe and hang out in a warehouse, watching 90 athletes tear up the place. The workout itself was amazing – a 500 double-under team relay buy-in, followed by each teammate doing a benchmark workout – one teammate doing Fran, one teammate doing Elizabeth, and one teammate doing Diane.  And if that wasn’t enough, they had to complete a team-relay of Karen (150 Wall Balls).  The winning team completed this crazy collection in 24:50, and they were legit – I know because I judged them and I am not afraid to no-rep your ass if you do not meet the movement standards.

It is amazing enough that so many athletes and spectators made time to participate in the throwdown.  This was the fourth competition I had attended, the third competition I judged, and the second that my own box hosted.  You’d think the “new” of the competition atmosphere would wear off, but it doesn’t because all throughout the event, there are dozens more examples of people positively marinating in CrossFit community.
Some of my favorite examples….

  • Throughout the evening, I saw I don’t know how many people say to athletes from other boxes “Oh my god – I know you! I can’t remember your name but I know you are from {Insert Box Name Here} and I watched you at {Insert Competition Here}! Are you competing tonight?  Good luck – you’ll kill it!”
  • I found myself seeking out the opportunity to judge competitors I’d seen in other competitions because I wanted the chance to watch them up close. Heck, I was kind of hoping Kip’s coach would be there competing because his team just killed it at another competition in December and I wanted to see that type of performance again.
  • I judged a team from my box that included my own coach – who actually struggled mightily with handstand pushups during Diane.  I had to no rep him a number of times – which was the right thing to do because the CrossFit community cannot exist without integrity in competition.
  • Without fail, in every heat I saw competitors that finished up early go and cheer on competitors from other boxes as they completed the workout.  This has got to be one of my favorite demonstrations of community.
  • As I always do, I relished judging a group of scaled competitors.  One guy had the ugliest double unders I’ve ever seen in my life, but by god he did them and then did Elizabeth.  And at the end of the day, I ended up coaching him on where he was cutting it close on movement standards for power cleans so that the next time he competes he doesn’t have reps thrown out.  Who knows – I may lose to him in a competition someday because I helped him with this – but I’d do it again.

At the end of the evening, when the winners were announced, it was a rush for me.  My coach’s team got second place despite the handstand pushup problem, and a team of college kids (2 of which work out at my box during breaks) took first place.  And a couple of box owners announced their upcoming competitions this spring.

Can’t wait to attend (and hopefully judge) my next competition. Bring, KC Metro CrossFit Community!

One response to “This Is What Community Looks Like: CrossFit Throwdown

  1. What great reporting, Diana. Wish I had been there. I totally resonate with the excitement you get from being a part of all this community of athletes who bring comradery and sportsmanship. This is “sports” at it’s best!


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