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Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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A Crossfit Wedding

Back in the day, say 2007 or so, the “comments” section of Crossfit.com was a very different place than what it has become today. This is neither good nor bad, mind you, it’s simply how the flagship web site of the Crossfit phenomenon has evolved as the company and the movement have grown. While today the majority of  people who  Crossfit do so at a Crossfit Affiliate gym, or Box, it wasn’t always so. Back in the day there just weren’t that many gyms at all, so those of us who craved the camaraderie brought on by shared suffering congregated on the “comments” section of what Crossfitters call the “Main Page” and what I dubbed the “Cyber-gym.” Indeed, it became very much like a family, thus the metaphor the “Crossfit Dinner Table”.

It’s also where my alter-ego, “bingo” was born.

As Crossfit grew the number of posts on the “comments” grew in tandem. Many’s the day when there would be 7, 8, 9 hundred posts, and any time “Fran” came up the count would crest 1000. In general there were three types of posts. People posted their times and results, using the “comments” as a running log of their Crossfit experience, and other folks offered commentary (usually compliments). As there were few “bricks and mortar” teaching resources the “comments” section was also where questions about the Workout Of the Day (WOD) were asked and answered. This, however, was not always so friendly, especially in the earliest days of Crossfit.com as Crossfit OG’s chafed at reading (let alone answering) the same newcomer questions again and again. Kinda like your kitchen table with the extended family: most responses were kind and understanding, with an occasional flaming.

And then there were those third type of comments, those essentially worthless expositions on stuff that might not even have had anything to do with Crossfit at all, for which that bingo guy is probably to blame. Oh sure, they started innocently enough with a little tip here and a little request for kindness on behalf of a fellow Crossfitter there. But then they morphed into something altogether different with the arrival of “Sunday musings”, a sorta weekly offering of observations and commentary graciously tolerated by the founders and owners of Crossfit. These, in turn, begat other equally long and often equally unrelated to Crossfit posts which the mighty Jakers dubbed FRAT: F__K Reading All That. As if that wasn’t enough, tiny groups of Crossfit friends started to commune right there in the middle of the cyber-gym, using the “comments” as a tiny corner-of-the-gym chat room.

It was really kinda fun.

Which brings us to the story of a Crossfit Wedding. There’ve been lots of Crossfit weddings in the time I’ve been hanging around, some of which involved some very famous and very special Crossfit “personalities”. Tony and Jamie Budding. The Amundsons’s. Big time names from the earliest days of the original Crossfit HQ, the mystical Crossfit Santa Cruz. They were kinda normal, though, at least as normal as anything that involves Crossfit and Crossfitters can be. People met at a Crossfit Box, fell in love, and got married. A funny thing happened in the cyber-gym with all that FRAT stuff going on…people met, fell in love, and got married! Like my FRAT friends “Herm” and “Cookie”.


“Once upon a time there was a woman looking for fun ways to pass the time and get in shape while her children were away. Crossfit?? But I’m no athlete! Looks fun though so why not. With her head firmly in the koolaid punch bowl she began reading the message boards and posts on the mainsite. Standing out from the crowd was one contributor – Herm. Now that sounded like a kind person, someone who would answer her many questions and not hit on her or bother her with the nonsense she had been tired of. For months they had emails- rarely anything personal, always about CF. She enjoyed the emails and wondered what his life was like. Ask they said. Oh no! That’s just not what our friendship is about! Send a picture they said. Oh no! I can’t risk him being uncomfortable. But with the coaxing of her Cf mentor Stef the picture was SENT  and within 5 minutes a response from Herm came back something like this “are you single? Are you dating anyone”? But alas he lived 8 hours away. A month later on Dec 7 they met in Santa Monica, talked for hours and he taught her the sp, pp, pj progression at Golds in Venice Beach. Their next date came a few weeks later and lasted 5 days including a trip to San Felipe. But alas….. He * still* lived 8 hours away. But after a month of debating they decided to try this thing out and traveled from the ends of California to see each other for a year until he decided home was where she is in San Diego and moved here in Dec 2009. They worked very hard to build their family with little means, a tiny rented house and 3 energetic young ladies to tend to. They came to a point where they all found their place in the family…. And but for the ring, they were a family. So today comes the next chapter in the story – where we officially become a family and get to live happily ever after. I love this man beyond words and I am the luckiest girl alive!”


That, my friends, is Patty’s (Cookie) post yesterday, May 28, 2011. The day she married Herm. Attended by “Strong L’il Pony” (Aileen) who is betrothed to “Goat” (Jack), two other Crossfitters who met in the cyber-gym and traded FRAT posts with all the rest of us.

Crossfit is so much more than just a fitness program. It’s hard to put into words just why this is…but it is. Perhaps it’s the shared suffering. Maybe the sense of discovery, a kind of finders’ pride for those of us who’ve been around for a bit. I don’t know. Much of this has shifted to the individual Crossfit gyms, real live bricks and mortar places of which there are now 3000+  world-wide. Some of what existed in the cyber-gym of Crossfit.com is now found, albeit heavily diluted, on Facebook or on the local blogs of the Affiliate gyms. (I should note that the Brand X forums continue to have an international following and a bit of the old Main Page flavor).

Things change, and that’s OK. Heck, if not for the “comments” as they were once upon a time there would never have been a “bingo”, the alter ego in whom resides all (any?) of my best qualities. It was a magical time, man, and it was a magical place that cyber-gym. The Crossfit table was full and rowdy and loud and open and just plain fun. Friendships were made as we passed the kettlebells like so many serving dishes at a family dinner. People met there, fell in love, and got married, all because of a fitness program and a web site called Crossfit that had been given to them for free by a couple of fitness trainers from Santa Cruz. It was a very special time and a very special place.

I send all of my love and the best wishes of Clan bingo. From Mrs. bingo, The Heir, Lovely Daughter, Lil’bingo and me, bingo, big hugs and bad English to Herm and Patty, and for that matter to all of my FRATties and each and every Crossfitter who’s every stopped by the Crossfit table.

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One Response to “A Crossfit Wedding”

  1. May 29th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Herm says:

    Darrell, this musing takes me back to the golden era of CrossFit as I knew it. Back when we DID rely more on the internet for the camaraderie of the blood sweat and tears we put into CrossFit. Now with the local level being so popular, many who would rely on a social media such as the CF.com comments do in fact belong to one of the many hundreds of local level CF affiliates or knows a group of friends who CrossFit. I often long for the days of the FRAT with “Big Hugs and Bad English for All” 🙂

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