February 17, 2012
CrossFitting at the Classic
By Josh Bunch

 “En garde,” rings aloud as blades clang in a nearby fencing match. The pitter patter of a well timed lead ends in a spring board echo as a vaulter soars through the air. Seconds after you smell alcohol and skin dye you are man-handled by a rather large women rushing to be judged for the physique she has worked a lifetime to attain. Welcome to the Arnold Sports Festival.

The spectacle which is the Arnold Sports Festival will once again consume Columbus, Ohio March 1-4. An estimated 18,000-plus athletes will compete in more than 45 events, 12 of which being Olympic sports. Not to mention, the sport of fitness.
CrossFit struck a big cord during its first year in March 2010. Since that hallmark year, CrossFit witnessed a following that is reminiscent of our organic growth from fitness fledgling to worldwide powerhouse.
In 2010, CrossFitter’s in the region competed in a “Sectionals Saturday” filled with multiple workouts and many new faces.
Bodybuilders, gymnasts, MMA fighters, and more surrounded CrossFitters performing foreign movements at lightning intensity. Crowds clamored to a room full of workouts, not a specialized event the Arnold is known for, but a universal application forcing the the participants to be ready for the unknown and unknowable if they wish to gain entry into the CrossFit Games.
CrossFit contagion soon spread. CrossFit at the Arnold Sports Festival became an introduction of one community to another. A unity celebrated by none other than the namesake himself ... Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As a slew of female competitors prepared for the second workout of the 2010 Sectionals a ruckus fell upon the crowd. “It’s him,” was shouted frequently as a sea of bodyguards cleared the crowd leading to the workout floor.
With thousands following and thousands now silent, Arnold began to speak. A self-professed fitness and health supporter, Arnold urged our community to saturate the planet even further. “Keep it up,” was muttered repeatedly. Then, Arnold turned to 2011 CrossFit Games Competitor Lisa Shiu, who he was standing closet to and mistakenly said, “1, 2, 3, go.”
The crowd erupted and Arnold watched for what would clearly be his CrossFit introduction. A presentation that even seemed to shake the unshakable. As every CrossFit female completed the couplet, all Arnold could say was, “Wow.”
CrossFit’s presence at the Arnold Sports Festival grew. CrossFit was no longer a new kid on the block with something to prove. CrossFit was now the destination of fitness. The celebration of intensity.
With the Open in its first year, CrossFit chose to battle Team Rogue and Team Again Faster,” while opening a special opportunity for CrossFItters all over the world to compete for the crowd over a weekend of individual and team exhibition workouts.
CrossFit warhorses, such as Josh Everett and Miranda Oldroyd traveled to Columbus along with Games winners Miko Salo, and Jason Khalipa to put on a CrossFit show mixing classic “girls” like “Elizabeth,” with cult favorites like “King Kong.”
Not only was the much bigger crowd given a much bigger show, but young blood CrossFitters rubbed elbows with their heroes. Even performing workouts with their guidance.
As the 2012 CrossFit Games season approaches, CrossFit will enters its third year at the Arnold Sport Festival. No longer is fitness specialized for the elite. Fitness is the celebration of an elite attitude expressing a goal to be better today than yesterday. And CrossFit keeps getting better.
On Saturday March 3rd, CrossFit will host the second of five Open workouts to be released. For the third consecutive year in a row, CrossFit will re-define the way the biggest sports festival on the planet views fitness. A vital way of life. The sport of living.
Athletes from all over will be judged according to specific standards CrossFit is known for, while the crowd, and possibly Arnold himself, looks on in awe. The beauty lies within the fact that the very same athletes competing this year were more than likely spectating last year. Those who were watching their heros, are now becoming them by following in their footsteps and realizing, like many of us have, anyone can CrossFit.
The 2012 Arnold/CrossFit experience will end Sunday March 4th with the Gauntlet. A CrossFit Kids competition continuing to educate in the same way CrossFit began years ago. Education reminding us there is no such thing as too young to be fit and healthy. An adage that Arnold himself celebrated as head of the “President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports” before becoming Governor of California.
Worldwide CrossFit alignment is demonstrated by the walls we are tearing down everyday. Kids need fitness more today than ever and CrossFit is once again making fitness fun. Adults need an outlet to become the example generations will follow to the promise land of health, not the office of treatment.
The Arnold Sports Festival 2012 will serve to be another celebrated destination that CrossFit travels reforming the landscape in its wake. Leaving behind many more followers, providing examples to the young, adding confidence to the mature. With the Sport of Fitness joining the worlds biggest fitness festival the possibilities become endless.


Volunteers and Judges will be needed for both Saturday and Sunday events. To volunteer and/or judge, please contact us at arnold@roguefitness.com. Read more here.