First off, congrats to Steve Blood for winning his tie breaker with Brandon by 1/2 a rep! Almost had to have a second tie breaker. We are still waiting on tie breakers for Holly and Tricia for top Rx woman, and Josh S and Jacque if they want to settle who is in 4th place in the combined overall standing.
Meanwhile, we are up on our annual decision for CrossFit affiliation. They sent the contract this week.
The decision will be made by next Friday, but I want everyone in our community to have a chance to have a say, either talk to Clint or Kelia personally or feel free to post in the comments below.
This is a subject that has come up many times since we opened in 2009. In the past it has been over changes in direction between CrossFit and ourselves. Use of branding, such as Pukie the Clown (anyone remember him.) This isn't a new subject.
Last June the matter came up again. At that time, shortly after the death of George Floyd, the founder of CrossFit posted a tweet that made light of both Covid and Floyd's murder in combination. We put it up for discussion on the path that our gym would take and came to the conclusion that we would end our affiliation and reinvest the money into a state or local charity. The top of the list was giving the money in support of missing indigenous women, something that is very relevant to the community we live in.
Why am I bringing it up again? The situation has changed in several ways and I want everyone to have a chance to voice their opinion when things are less emotionally charged. We also have many new members that did not get a chance to voice their opinion in the original discussion.
Things that have changed.
1.) Greg Glassman is no longer in the picture. He has zero ownership in CrossFit and will in no way suffer from our pulling out of CrossFit. It is no longer a statement about him personally and is rather something about the CrossFit community at large.
2.) Our community has changed. Many but not all of the people who were most fired up then, are no longer actively participating in the gym, for various reasons. Less than half of the people with the most right to have been offended are no longer here. At the time that this all went down, I made it a point to talk to people with a better perspective than my own directly and everything they said still holds true. This gym is ours and it doesn't matter what the sign on the door says.
Our community is constantly in flux and though the buck always stops with me, I want to take into account the population we represent in everything we do.
3.) The new management has done a good job of taking CrossFit back to its' roots. New test pieces or named workouts, New Hero tribute workouts, focus on health and fitness rather than competition, bringing in outside experts and articles rather than focusing on sponsored games athletes.
4.) The Open is back! In order for us to validate scores, we have to be an affiliate. I'm not sure how many people plan on doing the Open this March, but we generally have 20+ participants.
5.) The CrossFit staff has changed. Originally it was announced that when Greg Glassman was stepping down that Dave Castro was going to take the helm. This is something that I could not get behind. I don't actually know the current CEO at all, but Nicole Carroll, who I have met and is rather progressive, resigned initially when everything went down, but has come back with the current administration. That by itself speaks volumes.
Things that haven't changed.
1.) We like to call ourselves CrossFitters, it is an easy label to explain what do. Though how we refer to ourselves would not change, dropping the affiliation will require a complete scrubbing of the website, to eliminate any reference to CrossFit. They have always been very protective of their trademark.
2.) Our programming. No one at Alternative Athletics religiously follows the programming on CrossFit.com. This is where I started out on my journey, but very few people have brought this website up to me. We have always done things with the in-house programming that varies from both CrossFit.com and the community at large. Agility ladders, rotational movements, programming based on supersedure, and Prilepin's percentages rather than the random application of movements and weight prescription based only on sex.
That being said, no matter what we decide, the CrossFit Hero's and Named workouts will remain in the programming as test pieces.
3.) The affiliate fee. Since we opened doors, the second year that the CrossFit affiliation was available, they have grandfathered our annual rate of $1000. This comes out to one average membership (accounting for discounted memberships.) If we drop the affiliation and then decided to pick it up again the rate will go to the current rate of $5000.
4.) Our name. When we opened doors we called ourselves Alternative Athletics, and that will never change. I went to battle with CrossFit HQ over having CF at the beginning of our name. This isn't McDonalds we have always and will always do things our own way. The community owns this gym, not the corporation.
5.) We do charity. Veterans, LEO, the Restore, Toys for Tots, Community members with medical issues and even creating foundations are things that will continue. This gym is big on charity and this is not the only money that will go towards charity no matter what we decide. I just want to make a point that if we decide to end our affiliation it will not be for a financial gain.
Let me know your thoughts. Do we keep the affiliate or do we break it? If we do break with CF HQ, where would you like to see the money go?
Love you all,
808 4th Ave N