More Emotional than Physical

The real power of the automobile in its early years was probably more emotional than it was physical. It must have been much more than getting from one place to the another. Imagine the emotional rewards that came with owning an automobile for the first time or just riding in one.

Scott Bedbury, A New Brand World

In the early years of CrossFit, the goal of many CrossFitters was to get better at CrossFit. We wanted to figure out kipping pull-ups, to walk on our hands, to spend our Saturday mornings at the track doing 400m repeats.

We weren’t doing CrossFit for health reasons.

We were doing it because that’s what people like us did. We were doing it because it reminded us that we were athletes. We were doing it because it made us feel part of a rebellion. (Also, abs are cool.)

The future of CrossFit is likely to look different than that. Except, not really.

Most people still won’t be doing CrossFit for health reasons.

Most will be doing it because they want to look better in the mirror. They’ll be doing it because they heard it will help their golf game or because it’s where all the attractive co-eds seem to go now.

Being made to feel like an athlete, being made to feel better when we look in the mirror - these are all emotional drivers. Pride, confidence, superiority, status.

Emotions drive behavior.

Early CrossFit worked because being inside the gym was itself the trigger that brought us back for more.

The challenge of future CrossFit is in identifying, encouraging, & celebrating the emotional triggers that will exist, increasingly, outside the gym.

Getting a deep understanding of why your people are actually in your gym in the first place is a great place to start.

Patrick Cummings