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Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday Musings, 12/19/10

Posted on Crossfit.com:

Sunday musings…

1) Caterwauling. Oh, I like that word very much, thank you.

2) Vacation mode. The present state of my brain. Apparently this is an “auto-start” thing for my particular brain as I will not be on vacation until sometime in mid-February.

3) Homework. “The Heir’s” dog, Abbie, ate my surgical charts the other night. We came home from dinner to find my charts strewn over the kitchen floor in various states of chewed.

That’s right…my dog ate my homework.

4) True science is to technical proficiency as music is to playing an instrument.

5) Compliance. There is a long-standing conversation in medicine about the challenges faced by patient non-compliance. Recently a newer word, indeed a newer concept has been added to the conversation: adherence. I think this is actually a better word for the problem in the world of my day job, and I think these two words apply to our Crossfit world, too.

Adherence implies the simple following of a program, following instructions. It’s a measure in part of how simple or easy it might be to go along with what has been prescribed. People who ADHERE to the prescription do so without much understanding of what is asked, and certainly do so without much in the way of buy-in. This probably represents the majority of the interactions between prescriber and prescribee. Understanding this is to accept as the prescriber the necessity of consciously looking for and then removing as many barriers that might reduce adherence (for instance, a one time/day medicine chosen over a four time/day one).

COMPLIANCE, on the other hand, strongly implies a significant measure of buy-in on the part of the prescribed to. This is actually one of the reasons I am pleased that “compliance” is being replaced with “adherence” in my day job, because it’s just really difficult to effect this buy-in. But here, in Crossfit, it’s all about compliance. You simply MUST understand the prescription in order to receive the benefit. You simply MUST buy-in to the prescription in order to receive the benefit. In the Crossfit gym there is a shared responsibility to achieve compliance, shared by both coach and athlete.

Here, in the cyber-gym, or in your garage gym, it is left to YOU, and you alone, to determine if you are adherent or truly compliant.

6) NNN. Well, I suppose I can’t avoid this one. So let me channel the great Ronald Reagan and offer this to the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity above: you are suffering from premature speculation.

The owners and decision makers of Crossfit, Inc. have accepted an offer from Reebok to provide support for Crossfit, the movement and Crossfit, the business. Did you listen to Coach’s remarks? There is no investment involved; Crossfit is still 100% privately owned. There was pretty much nothing promised FROM Crossfit in return for giving Reebok the ability to market to and on behalf of Crossfitters. Indeed, it has been said that when Coach was asked in a Q&A at Reebok HQ what he and Crossfit were now going to do to support Reebok he said: “I’m wearing a Reebok shirt today.” Period. Pretty ominous, huh? Not.

Think of some of the other previously underground things many of us like around here, like UFC for instance. Or triathalons after the mega-growth of the Ironman brand. Are they worse now that they are bigger, now that there is commercialization and a bunch of money? Not really. I see more visibility in more places which should result in more clients for CF affiliates. Should result in more access for CF trainers to places like schools and youth athletic teams.

If you look under the hood just a bit you will see that the engine is really the same one that was there before Reebok. The rules for affiliate ownership are no different (thanks to Ken C. for bringing up this important concern), one trainer-one gym. A free website jam-packed with not only the alpha version of CF but everything you might need to do Crossfit solo, for free.

Why so negative? Why impugn mal-intent to every growth step? Every change? Every business decision? It’s been a great ride. Why shouldn’t we assume that what’s around the next (Reebok) corner won’t be just as much fun as the ride we’ve already taken?

In the end some of the folks above are correct in that Reebok is about selling a physical product, and maybe we’ll get some of what we need or want from them. Might turn out to be a pretty good business decision for them. But Crossfit is about DOING some version of Crossfit, and about BEING a part of the Crossfit community. No change there as far as I can see.

So Reebok, welcome aboard. Fasten your seatbelt.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at December 19, 2010 11:34 AM

2 Responses to “Sunday Musings, 12/19/10”

  1. December 21st, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Apolloswabbie says:

    My conclusion is that people will feel what they want to feel, some in spite of any amount of the facts. Change is always a threat in one way or another. I hope Coach and Lauren make all the money they can stand. From what I can see, anything they get, anyone associated w CF gets to one degree or another. I’ve never seen or been around anyone who has a more positive impact on others’ lives just by doing what they love, living like they choose to live. I would like to replicate that on my own smaller scale. Reebok, I admire your insight, come on in, the water’s warm!

  2. December 22nd, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    darrellwhite says:

    Aye, Paul. I really tried to stay on the sidelines but there was simply too much silly BS to stand aside. In the end Greg will slip on something major, but thus far has not.

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