From Pain Comes Pleasure

By Emily Beers

In CrossFit, Special Populations

December 28, 2011

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The S&M community meets the CrossFit crew at the Taranis Winter Challenge. Emily Beers reports.

When CrossFitters from different boxes gather together, it usually becomes one of those rare moments in life where strangers feel like friends. But for the people around us, our presence can be overwhelming.

We check into our hotels and immediately get noticed. Some people look intrigued, others intimidated, and others confused. They start asking questions as if we belong to some distant Amish community:

“Who are you? What is CrossFit? Where did your legs come from?”

This wasn’t the case in Victoria, B.C., Nov. 4-6. Our group of CrossFit athletes came from all over British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and Oregon for the Third Annual Taranis Winter Challenge, a competition of 180 competitors that sold out in just 36 hours.

When we checked into the host hotel, we were immediately overshadowed by another community, a group draped in black leather and fishnet stockings, a group holding ball gags and chains.

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15 Comments on “From Pain Comes Pleasure”

1

wrote …

Honestly? I didn't even take the time to read this? it just looked too far away from the core of what CF is about...? And I say that with the most respect to anyone who has a ratical view on sex? try and put this material in a interview with Mikko and tell me you think this will fly?

2

wrote …

Nicholas...think you are gonna have to get used to Emily's writing style which from what I've read up to now is most definitely very tongue-in-cheek. So take it with a pinch of salt. Although it did seem a blatant roundabout excuse just to do those pics in sexy outfits more than the anecdotal story but I'm not gonna ghold that against Emily haha!

3

wrote …

Well done again Em. Always entertaining!

4

wrote …

I just read the article and thought that the pictures were only fluff to get people to read the article itself. Having pride in hard work paying off from doing CrossFit is one thing, (having a bunch of woman in heels, stockings, what looks to be dresses/skirts/booty shorts, and doing squats is a little on the distasteful side. Or, perhaps I'm too modest for some of the other CrossFitters....)

But, I'm not here to comment on the somewhat racey photos...those are always going to be out there, (CF is always going to have self absorbed people wanting to leave less to the imagination.) I'm here to discuss what I felt was the meat and potatoes of the article...camaraderie and the feeling of family among CF. I came into CrossFit in the beginning of 2010. I was introduced to it by my now husband who has been doing it for almost four years now. He serves in the military and when I began my passion of CrossFit we were in Germany. Being in a very small area we had a very tight nit group in our small 'CF Box' out of the base gym. While there are always going to be that handful of people that think they're better or on another level from other people...which we had in our own little CF Box, for the most part it was a very pleasant experience.

This past August we moved back stateside and now reside in Vegas. While we realize that Vegas is somewhat of a place where people are more inclined to be self-absorbed and obsessed with vanity, we have come to realize that unless you are a big name CrossFitter or you have a personal 'in' with the people within the affiliate gyms...you are just dollar signs. No one cares if you are there or not, if they're getting paid that's all that matters. There is no genuine care and concern if you are a regular Joe Shmo walking in to do their daily WOD. My husband and I were able to visit affiliate boxes along the way from Mississippi all the way up here to Vegas. (I won't use the name of the specific box I currently attend, as I still have a month of membership and do not wish to burn any bridges or step on any specific toes.) But, I will say that CrossFit boxes are a lot like high school and do not get the sense of 'family' among the affiliates. It's been blantanly brought to my attention that if you have no intentions on competing in the games, you're not a well known CF'r, and/or you have no significant relationships with anyone in an affiliate...good luck building a genuine family like relationship in a box. (There are plenty of fake people in the world, I don't have to pay money for people to be fake with me.)I just find that "belonging" to an affiliate box is just not for me. So, after the next 30 days of my membership, after investing the past three months with my current affiliate, I will be going back to the garage gym downstairs inside my house. (Rogue makes a great family!)

5

wrote …

I'm ready to workout!!

6

wrote …

Amanda,
I am sorry you feel that way about the box you are currently at. But, I believe that you are generalizing. I belong to a box in Arkansas, and I care about the people in it, everyone in it. They are my coaches and my cheerleaders, however, I have seen the so called "high school" atmosphere that you speak of and that is a small group of people. Mostly we have great members in the box and we all try to make it enjoyable for everyone.
Now about the Article, I do think that the photos were lost in the main idea of the article. I thought the article was good, but did not offer any meaningful information. I will say it was an entertaining read, and that may be all it was made for.
.

7

wrote …

At Leonardo,
Yea, I know. I realize now that my rant was probably a bit on the harsh side and I know that not every affiliate out there is probably like that but, it's just frustrating and annoying. So yes, I apologize for my long winded rant of dissatisfaction. I do enjoy hearing that your affiliate is the opposite. Enjoy the day and thanks.

8

wrote …

This is side tracking from the article, but you are allowed to openly review and comment on your box, whether it be positive or not.

How many people do you think, give the opposite generalizations? ("MY BOX IS THE BEST! My coaches, THE BEST!" "Why?" "we are all best friends, its just so great. the best I love it blah blah blah") Anyways, before you leave, you should tell them, either face-to-face or on paper, what you did not like and why you chose to leave. A 'sense of fit' is a poorly defined, but very important concept for many things (workplace and workout place, for example). By no means am I saying stay longer and hope it gets better, but perhaps they will address the issues and it will improve for other members.

Addressing their negative aspects (CF terms: their "weaknesses") will likely be more useful to the business than constantly hearing how superduperawesome they are... or they drop off the map for sucking too much... although you seem to infer that they have a core group of customers that get preferential treatment.

As for the article, it isn't Emily's best work. Felt like a funnier-to-be-there kind of story....good thing it had those pictures, I guess.

9

wrote …

Amanda,
How very unfortunate you feel this way and quite frankly, untrue. There are many different ability levels, ages, etc. at our affiliate. Every coach knows each member’s name, and absolutely cares about the well-being and success of the athletes whether you want to compete, lose weight, just get a WOD in, whatever. Having personally coached you, perhaps your negativity and standoffish attitude coming through the doors makes it difficult for you to feel that sense of community. Anytime I tried to give you a cue or a pointer on a lift, you would take it as a personal insult and shut down. You would curse and storm out the doors at the end of a WOD if you struggled with a particular movement or WOD in general. I am a successful real estate broker, a mom, and coach CF on a volunteer basis because I love it – I love seeing people’s faces when they lift a weight they thought was unobtainable, love seeing their progress, weight loss, accomplishing their goals.... So, when you say that we don’t care, or it is only about dollar signs, I take that personally as I dedicate a lot of my time (time that I don’t sometimes have) to helping fellow CF’ers who appreciate the coaching and say thank you. I’m sorry you feel this way about what I and may others think is an AMAZING affiliate with awesome members and coaches, and wish you luck and many PR’s in your garage gym.
Lauren Scholl

10

wrote …

Loved the article. Well written. Some people really need to get off their high horse.

11

wrote …

I loved the article too. It was funny and insightful (The safe word cracked me up).

The Crossfit community is broad and encompasses people from all walks of life, why not celebrate it? Emily saw some similarities between Crossfitters and Kinksters. As a result she learned something about herself and the Crossfit community and wanted to share it. That is valuable to me and I'm sure many others.

12

wrote …

Hahaha! I don't know if I miss the point of the article but it left me wondering how did they do in the competition, sexy outfits are not going to help you in a wod. :) but I have to admit it, hot!!

13

wrote …

Completely pointless and a waste of "trees".

14

wrote …

From the pictures I was kind of hoping the encounter had led to some kind of "oh look, both our groups are scaring the Normals!" kind of exchange where enough common ground was found to do a little introductory WOD. Can't be enough cultural exchange in the Archipelago of Weird, as far as I'm concerned. Ah well. Though in closing, may I just lament the lack of CrossFit Vancouver men participating in the photoshoot? Leather isn't just for the ladies, y'know. ;)

15

wrote …

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the sexy leather outfits were worn for the photos used in the article. The author of the article noticed a similarity between the reaction she had to the Kinksters, and what she at that point realized is probably the same effect Crossfitters have on 'regular' hotel guests when in their workout gear.

Lighten up people.

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