Faith and Fitness: Cross-fit and Christianity Come Together in Stapleton

crossfitYou have probably heard of them by now. They are all over Stapleton – in the parks, the rec center, on Facebook, and in the basement. They are cross fitters. You know about them because they have told you themselves. That’s because the first rule of cross-fit is that the only thing you can talk about is cross-fit. It used to be kind of a joke that some cross-fitters were so into cross-fit that it was like a religion and their constant efforts to recruit others to join them in this fitness revolution was akin to proselytizing. But it is no longer a joke. In this two-part article the Stapletonion’s investigative reporter, Mark Huisman, investigates a new and very secretive church in Stapleton, The Church of the Cross-Fit Jesus. In part one you will learn what it took for Mark to just get invited to be a part of CFJ. Part two explores what the CFJ is and the members of the church. Part One: Infiltrating the CFJ – What It Takes to Be a Cross-Fitter I was sitting in the Berkshire having a beer and a flight of bacon in the Spring of 2013. At the table next to me were two LuluLemon-clad women in very good shape. They leaned in close to each other to whisper. I listened intently hoping to get some good who’s-cheating-on-whom-gossip. But, instead, one whispered to the other, “I just got invited to the church. I shouldn’t even be telling you, but I am because I think you’ll get invited soon, too.” The other woman looked both enraged and astounded. “You mean the Church of the Cross-fit Jesus?! The CFJ!? I can’t believe it! That’s great.” Her clinched-teeth grin, though, gave away the fit of jealousy she was feeling. Now, I knew what church was. I knew who Jesus was. And I knew what cross-fit was. But I had never heard of the church of the cross-fit Jesus. And so began an eight-month odyssey to find out just exactly what the church of the cross-fit Jesus was. The first thing I did – after Wickapediaing cross-fit to learn its origins – was to order Shawn T’s Insanity workout. The ten-disc DVD arrived from Amazon a few days later. I cracked open the box, hung the wall calendar in my basement where I’d sweat it out and track my progress, and popped in the first DVD. Within 10-minutes my clothes were soaked in sweat and I felt a rush of adrenalin. I woke up two-hours later staring up at my wife who was crying with her cell phone clutched in her hand praying I wasn’t dead. Fortunately, I had only passed out. It wasn’t a heart attack, just early on-set middle age. But it was then I realized that it was going to be a long time before someone with my decidedly non-angular physique would be invited into the church of the cross-fit Jesus (“CFJ”). After four months of home workouts, I was ready to join a gym and Bladium was the best option. I joined every cross-fit class I could find and soon I was well versed in the ways of the kettle-ball, the squat thrust, and the burpee. I spent more hours hanging out at the juice bar and in the locker room trying to catch a whiff of the CFJ, but to no avail. I soon noticed there was a particularly fit group of three guys that were in my Wednesday class. They were obviously tight knit – they showered and dressed together. I guess when your body is an Adonis, you’re not embarrassed by it. After a month of classes, I figured I had proved I was not there for the women – though that was both tempting and intimidating – and introduced myself to the triumvirate of abs. Though reticent at first to talk with me, they began to accept me after I told them I had entered the regional competition of the cross-fit games. [For those uninitiated, the cross-fit games are basically an Olympics for people with no discernible sports skills but are willing to spend years of their lives dedicated to simply being in shape. It’s basically a less interesting World’s Strongest Man with fewer guys named Magnusson.] Though I did not move on to the national cross-fit games, my participation was good enough to get me into the inner-circle of cross-fitters at the Bladium. Within a few weeks, I was working hard to become an integral part of this group of three. I learned their names: Justin, Aaron, and Vince (names have been changed for anonymity). We hung out after class together, trading stories of brushes with cross-fit celebrity, how much sweat we manufactured and lost, and our WODs – work out of the day. It became apparent very quickly that the first rule of cross-fit was all you talked about was cross-fit. I didn’t know if these guys had jobs, were married, had kids, or had been to college. I did know, however, that Vince’s personal burpee record was 124 in 2 minutes, Leonard could do 48 pull-ups in a minute, and Aaron could do 110 squat jumps in a minute. My claim to cross-fit fame would be my prolific capacity for straight-arm kettle ball raises. My shoulders were beast. After a month of getting to know me, the guys began to drop hints about the CFJ to see how dedicated I was. They asked if I went to church. I said yes, which seemed like the right answer. They talked about the illuminati and, though they disclaimed it existed, they talked about how a small, secretive group of people could have over-sized influence. My agreement came quick, but not too quick. The final inquiry was about my capacity to keep a secret. They tested my ability to keep a secret by divulging all sorts of embarrassing facts about very powerful Stapletonians. Finally, after nearly six months, I was asked to become a member of the CFJ. Fittingly, the invite came during a happy hour at the Berk. I knew what it felt like to be asked to the prom – painful.—Part Two: The CFJ – A Whole New Level of Fanaticism, coming 1/8/14. ]]>

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2 Comments

  1. such a shallow group of people. their only friends are their cross-fit buddies. a real shame. oh, a just a bit too vane for me. and what’s amazing….most of them don’t show much of a difference in losing the fat they so desire to lose.
    sad.

  2. oh…and their kids are suffering from the distraction of CF. sad
    and some parents even think its a good thing for their kids to do cross fit.
    let your kids be kids…they are naturally cross fitting all day long since they have PE 3 times a day and play in the alleys…
    but I wouldn’t expect anything less from the nuerotic stapleton parents
    yes, I just told you what you probably already know.

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