“People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden…”

“And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight…”

It all use to be that simple, really it did. “What’s Z fitten to go on a rant about today?”

You probably ask yourself that a lot on this blog.

Barbell Club use to be simple. My whole outlook on Crossfit use to be simple. We’d show up kick the shit out of ourselves maybe a little friendly competition between each other but that was it. That wasn’t why we did what we did.

“Fight Club wasn’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about words. The hysterical shouting was in tongues, like at a Pentecostal Church.”

It didn’t use to be “cool” to Crossfit, it was for a better word underground. It was a lot grittier, put your faith in some guy online that went just by “Coach” and dive right down the rabbit whole.

The program wasn’t new things but the approach to it was. I want you to move as much weight over the longest distance you can in the shortest amount of time. Fucken sweet…

“Fuck what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that’s your problem. Forget about what you think you know about life, about friendship, and especially about you and me.”

When I was exposed to it you’d have to search on youtube for Crossfit videos. I think I actually watched them all twice. Now you type in Crossfit you could spend all day watching all types of stuff. Back then if you saw someone with a “Smoke you like bad crack” shirt you knew. Other people might not have known but you did. There weren’t a million affiliates then, hell I had like two choices and neither of them was close. So I did shit the Crossfit way, took my workouts to the park, my (freezing ass) basement, and the carport.

“You don’t know where I’ve been. You don’t know where I’ve been. Just let us have the basement, Lou!”

I had more metal then rubber back then. A pullup bar strung between two decks, and basketballs full of sand to work with. It was awesome. Some of the best training times of my life actually. No one cared if you were hung over or gonna sandbag your run cause well shit sometimes you didn’t feel like running. There were also the explanations you had to give people back then when shit cam up like…

“What happened to your hands?”

“Why do you wear those long socks?”

“Do we have to talk about that again?”

“The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”

Most people didn’t get it back then, in my mind most people still don’t get it. John Welbourn said it best once “Is Crossfit a cult?”

His Answer was yes and he had drank down all the koolaid.

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

That sums up some of the grass roots that Crossfit has lost. It was bound to happen, inside jokes like…

“Drinking the Koolaid”

 “meeting pukie”

Fuck now you even have random meathead asking you…

“Whats you Fran time?”

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis…”

Things like that use to just be Crossfit. Now you see that shit on like lunch boxes, and painted on jacked up fords trucks trying to promote the next big Globo Box….

“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else…”

What do you do it’s good for the sport right? Wait, is that what happened? Did the Games change everything? The first Games were quiet you could practically name everyone of the top of your head that was gonna be there. The last games this year were in LA, they had more sponsors then Tiger Woods and were prodcast live online. Did the Games change things?

“For a second I totally forgot about Tyler’s whole controlled demolition thing and I wonder how clean that gun is.”

No, no I don’t think the games changed anything. Did Crossfit going mainstream help to change it? Was the pure fact that we were underground and wanting people to take us seriously have something to do with it?

“Where’d you go, psycho boy?”

No I’m not saying any ones sold out. There is nothing wrong with wanting your body of work recognized. So where am I going with all of this? I’m not really sure. The whole thing just seems so saturated now. I just remember how it was. It really helped changed my life, changed my career path. Made me want to be the best Coach I possibly could. Try and live up to the guys that built all of this for us. Sometimes trying to get other to understand that is exhausting.

“When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep… and you’re never really awake.”

I know my style of Crossfit isn’t traditional. Have I sold out? I like to think it’s not. I still go to .com everyday, get excited when Dave hypes the crowd at the games, and love Crossfit.

I think that I worry about this kinda shit shows I love the sport. Because that’s what it is to me, a sport.

“How much can you know about yourself, you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve.”

But the purity of it was the thing that brought me to it. It wasn’t ever about the money, agro number comparing, it was about the real joy of the system. Every now and then I need to remind myself about that. I still love to turn the lights off at my gym and workout by myself. In fact it’s when I get some of my best times. Competition season is competition season. Money is money and for some it’s the only thing that makes the world go round. But it’s not what makes me happy.

“Strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.”

 That’s were today post came from really I guess. You gotta find what it is about Crossfit, or lifting, or fighting, that makes you happy. Because I guess when you lose that it doesn’t make you happy anymore.

Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I’ve ever met…”

Posted by: Z

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13 Responses to ““People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden…””

  1. ricepattielegs Says:

    this is bob. bob has bitch tits.

  2. “Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha’s polishing the brass on the Titanic. It’s all going down, man…”
    Tyler Durden said it, but he only echo’d what Ghandi said first,
    “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it…”

    None of this stuff matters, really. CrossFit, Fran, Triathlons, Money, Status, Our Jobs, etc. etc. But we are here. So as long as we are here, we have a moral imperative to continue to do everything we do like it is important (very important) that we do it.

    It is this attitude, I believe, that makes it really not matter how big CrossFit has become. Or if CrossFit has sold out. Or if by having a million plus “Affiliates” that it has become a Globo Gym CrossFit.

    Just like there are words that are thrown around in marketing with little or no appreciation of what they really mean. “Honor” is a banner on NikeTown. “Strength” is used in the magazine ads for Adidas. “Integrity” is a temporary tattoo from a clothing store… These words have lost meaning in the mainstream. And no longer really mean anything to any casual consumer.

    But, just like Ghandi and Tyler Durden, we need to keep hold of these virtues, moral imperatives, and inner desires no matter how lost and meaningless words or institutions have become.

    For in the end, in the final quiet moments, we will know what we did, what we meant by what we did, and what that ultimately meant in the bigger scheme of things.

    We will know that while they were polishing the brass, we were steeling ourselves for the long swim to shore…

  3. Can I get an AMEN!

  4. In the end it’s the programming, coaching and folks that I get to go into battle with everyday and call friends that matter, don’t give a shit what ya call it.

    “Now, a question of etiquette, as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?”

  5. These posts are great. Often they parallel the epiphanies I’ve been having over the last year or so. I believe that time is really all we have in life. You get yours and I get mine. The things I do, the benchmarks if you will, and especially the emotions evoked are what I’ll remember on my deathbed. Then I’ll decide if it was a good life. Recently I was trying to explain all this to a friend. Drinking koolaid, going 100mph, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. She said, “Man, you sound like you’re afraid of dying.” I said, “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not living.”

  6. It begins with curiosity. “I wonder if I can push my van up this alley?” When the answer is “yes” you assume that yes may be the answer to all of the questions that you never thought to ask.

    When you devote your time to linear progressions and to benchmark WODs that element of curiosity is lost. You learn your limitations and the question becomes different: “I wonder what the human body, this human body is capable of with a focused attempt to maximize its genetic potential?”

    Answering this question is a longer slower process fraught disappointment but to us it is a question worth answering.

  7. I had to mentally kick my own ass this morning. I was in a funk, bogged down with life’s bullshit, jobs, houses, relationships. I started to wonder if I could do it, if I could handle it, is this really all there is? Then I re-read my favorite quote ever, I read this post, and I remembered. I remembered what it’s all about for me, what I’m all about. I remembered in the end I am a wild thing.

    “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” – DH Lawrence

  8. Yesterday, immediately after I got notification that Z updated OCS & I started reading it, I hit Z to tell him I was giving it a good concentrated read.
    He asked if I thought he went ‘over the top’. I told him: “It grazes the top, but doesn’t go over (which at that moment, thought that was an honest, yet positive answer). You lectured, ranted, pontificated, analyzed and then brought it all full circle & to your point. Great post. Very thoughtful. And good correlations. Find & Preserve the things that make you happy. Cuz your life is ending 1 min at a time….”

    Now I read the replies, I absorb Johnny’s Wild Thing quote…. Why not be “over the top”… I guess that just means that you went for it, whatever it is/was, with a whole lot of gusto. Be a Wild Thing. I love it. Now just need to live it. Be Wild. Be Audacious. Hell, be Bodacious.

    I have described Crossfit to a few people this way (that I didn’t think I would scare too much with this explanation)….

    “Sometimes you find yourself going through life as an insomniac…not quite awake, but not totally asleep either. You go through the motions because it’s habit. Then you meet Crossfit and it bitch slaps you awake and shakes your soul alittle (or alot) and you’re never the same again. And you NEVER want to go back to the way things ‘were’.”

    Great post, Z. Both for your thoughtful insights, but mostly because it strikes a cord in alot of people & starts discussion. I’ve missed that on the blog(s) as of late…. Keeps us in check for not going back to the way things ‘were’…. it’s not where you are; it’s where you’re going.

  9. ” The first rule of Fight Club. Don’t talk about Fight Club.”

    I CANNOT help myself.

    Just today, my friend Rachel, who is looking into the whole thing, was asking me what it was all about. I gave her the whole spiel: the functional movements, the fun, the community, the bring-you-up-bring-me-up competition… I say to her, “I don’t want to sound evangelical about things, but the thing is—

    “How much can you know about yourself, you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve.”

    This is the part when I get choked up talking to her— I tell her, you cannot believe how much you can surprise yourself. How much you can accomplish. This is the thing. That is the thing you take with you when you leave the gym after the workout. What you take out into life. Standing in front of the whiteboard, filled with doubt breaking you down. The weight of the world on your shoulders, the weight of the bar at your back. Your hands white-knuckling the barbell, thinking, “There is NO way I can do this.”

    And then you do.

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