With Leather’s founding editor Matt Ufford attended the CrossFit Games in Carson, California last weekend. This is his report.
If you’ve never heard of CrossFit, the simplest description for it is “fitness cult.” As with most cults, there are gurus, a particular style of dress for its members, and a separate vocabulary that can take weeks or even months to learn. Notably — as with most cults — gurus and followers alike shy away from the word “cult.” But there’s one important difference between CrossFit and Scientology or Jonestown or the Movementarians: obeying CrossFit’s religion of short but intense workouts produces undeniable results.
Nowhere is that more obvious than the CrossFit Games, the fledgling sport’s annual competition to determine the fittest of the fit. The devotion of the faithful is on display everywhere: in the competing athletes, in the muscular bodies of the crowd, in the companies hawking fitness wear and protein drinks, in the food trucks selling snacks compatible with the paleo diet. Even as someone who works out at a CrossFit gym*, I felt out of place with my average build and torn pectoral muscle and general unwillingness to take off my shirt amidst a sea of physical perfection.
On the following pages is a photo essay of the Games, with my commentary peppered in. The professional-looking images are courtesy of CrossFit; the crappier candids were taken on my iPhone.