Steve Yu is a Yosemite National Park Ranger.
As rangers and special agents for the National Park Service, we protect those who visit the park from themselves, others, and the park itself. Of course, we also protect the park from those who visit. Most are just ignorant visitors in need of education, but a few would wantonly despoil our shared national heritage.
On any given day, we can be carrying an injured hiker out from the Vernal Falls trail corridor, wrestling a drunk on the Curry Village pizza deck, raiding a marijuana cultivation site on the steep, brush-choked canyon walls of the Merced river, retrieving a body from the maelstrom at the base of Nevada Falls, heli-rappelling onto the sheer face of El Capitan (pictured), fighting a forest fire in 100-degree weather, hunting poachers on our boundary, extricating victims from the wreckage of a motor-vehicle accident, or searching for a lost hiker in a winter storm.
In many ways, the CrossFit system is tailor-made for National Park Service rangers. The diversity of challenges we face in our environment, the number of hats we wear, and the unpredictability of the call-load all favor the prepared. CrossFit prepares us for these challenges like no other system that I know of. This statement is validated time and again in real-life-out-of-the-gym tests.