Friday, July 15, 2011

What does Fight Gone Bad REALLY mean?

Four years ago, whenever I told someone I was a CrossFitter they would look at me as if I had sprouted a third head and wonder what in the crap I was talking about.  Back then, CrossFit was still an underground movement.  Now, when I tell people that I'm a CrossFitter they STILL look at me like I've sprouted a third head, but that's just because they can't believe that I do what I do.  CrossFit is a functional fitness program.  It is not a Gold's Gym, it is not your Washington Sports Club.  It is an organization that believes that fitness should be functional and varied.  It believes in the idea of muscle confusion to keep your body in great shape.  There is Olympic lifting, there is strength training, there are metcons, there are gymnastics.  To me, it's a whole bunch of fun.  But even better than all the fun of the workouts is the community which is created by CrossFit. 

CrossFit began as a functional fitness program that was delivered by a few west coast affiliates, but predominantly through the Internet.  Everything, programming and nutritional info included, was free if you followed the main site.  This idea began to link together like minded fitness folks across the globe.  As more and more affiliates have opened, this community has grown.  There is something about enduring these wods together that forges bonds between athletes.  The community has had its growing pains of course, as CF has gotten bigger, but it has always been just that; a community. 

Each year, this community shows just how strong it is when it bands together to put on the Fight Gone Bad Fundraiser.  Six years ago, this began as just a small fundraiser raising a few thousand dollars.  In the past three years however, this fundraiser has grown to cross the million dollar mark.  With the advent of the online donation system and social media, CrossFitters participating in the fundraiser have been able to share their cause with family, friends, and businesses. 

But what does it all really MEAN? It means that once the Fight Gone Bad registration opens, affiliates can sign up to participate in the event.  From that moment on, their goal is to raise money for the charities specified for the year's events.  Perhaps because of the LARGE number of law enforcement and military members in the CrossFit community, Wounded Warrior Project was a designated beneficiary for many year.  Livestrong and also the CrossFit Foundation were also recipients last year.  For whatever reason, CrossFit decided this year to drop WWP as a beneficiary and instead nominate the Special Operators Foundation, CrossFit Kids (which focuses on teaching kids to be healthy and fit at a young age) and also a wild card. 

For the first time, CrossFit is allowing the community (and obviously their friends) to decide who the third recipient of the funds will be.  Last year's event raised over $1.5 million for the three charities.  I can think of nothing I would like more than to see Operation Ward 57 receive a portion of those funds.  We are an incredibly small organization.  We consist of our executive officer, our board of directors (who are mostly former nurses/staff of Ward 57) and the few volunteers who visit patients each week.  We are not paid.  We are strictly volunteer.  So where an organization like WWP has to give some of their money for salaries etc, we do not. 

But what is Fight Gone Bad you ask?  Well, the fundraising continues up until the day of the Fight Gone Bad (a Saturday in September each year 9/17 this year).  Fight Gone Bad itself is actually a workout.  For the affiliates who have signed up, they will all complete the same workout on that day regardless of their own programming.  Every CrossFitter across the globe (including Iraq and Afghanistan) who has signed on the dotted line for this event, will take to their respective boxes and suffer 17 minutes of lung burning torture for the causes.  It is inspiring, it is motivating, and it's effective.  The sense of comraderie and community in those boxes on that day is AMAZING.  There is nothing like it in the world.  The 17 minutes of lung searing pain are worth it to know that somewhere our money and our pain is helping someone else.  The workout itself looks like this:

3 rounds of

1 minute armap (as many reps as possible) box jumps
1 minute amrap sumo deadlift high pulls
1 minute amrap wall balls
1 minute amrap push press
1 minute amrap (calories) row

Rest 1 minute before rounds 2 and 3

If Operation Ward 57 can get this third spot, it would be amazing.  I've loaded two videos below to show just what Fight Gone Bad looks like.  One is from my respective affiliate.  The other is done by Sportsgrants, which is the organization that handles the fundraising efforts for this event.  I've also attached our voting link.  Please keep us in the fight because for the wounded, the fight never ends!

CrossFit Oldtown - 2010 Fight Gone Bad from Mike Koslap on Vimeo.

Operation Ward 57: Nominate!

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