December 19, 2011
The Winter of Our Discontent

It is the winter of our discontent. Billy Shakespeare isn’t around to bitch about it this time, but I am. Slowly the days are creeping on as we get back to the part of the year that rolls like a diesel freight train driven by Casey Jones. Things are rough right now. There aren’t three new articles and 12 videos a day posted on the CrossFit Games site. There isn’t a new story of intrigue about a website malfunction, or a dark horse competitor coming out of nowhere to take the CrossFit world by storm. Nope. Up here in the Northeast we just get snow, ice, and freezing rain. We have to do burpees when it’s really bad out, and when it’s not we’re running in the dark – whether we train at 5 a.m. or 3 p.m. 

The honeymoon phase after the CrossFit Games is over. You fly home from L.A. (or Vegas) and live the good life. Have fun at the gym, mess around, and don’t take things too seriously. You’re as drunk as a Kennedy from the functional movement inspired bliss-on-tap of the Games. Sooner or later, though, the buzz wears off. Then you need to find a way to fill the gaping hole in your heart left behind when the Games left cab fare on the dresser and beat feet like a one-night stand.

For a while, I filled the void by competing in local throwdowns and impromptu challenges. However, that season has passed and now we’re in the doldrums of CrossFit Games material. I suppose we could huddle around the fire and tell war stories of Games gone by. “I remember back in Aromas in dickity-ought-nine … you couldn’t fart without stirring up a dust cloud!” But alas, I don’t have a fireplace. Maybe I’ll start a pool on how long it’ll be until Ben Smith destroys the garage refrigerator with a missed lift.

There are a few things I do to pass the time when the now obsolete Rich Froning Jr. rope jokes are out of season, and there isn’t a bevy of scantily-clad CrossFit Games women at the pool who need to be interviewed.

Football season is upon us. I fucking love football. Even I can’t cobble together a phrase that expresses how much I love watching the Patriots destroy the rest of the AFC East. It’s not quite as amazing, however, as watching “Iceland Annie” win the title. Each Sunday, a group from the gym gets together for the weekly festival of anger and beef, as we celebrate all that is manly and repulsive to the female species. We crush pound upon pound of red meat while watching very large, powerful athletes smash each other back to the stone ages, and bellowing disapproval at their failure to do our bidding. It’s a wonderful time filled with love, joy, and explosive diarrhea. But, It’s still not the CrossFit Games. Compared to being at the Games even the Patriots in the championship feels like the Cardinals vs. Jaguars on a Thursday night. It just doesn’t come close.

I suppose I could play with my racecar – something I’ve oft neglected in recent years in favor of CrossFit. It was once my sole obsession, now all but replaced by power cleans and burpees. What was once the very expensive center of my universe has been relegated to a garage placeholder while I pretend to be a journalist in the summer months. Maybe It can help pass the time again during the fall when there’s not enough CrossFit Games to go around. I could substitute standing on the floor of the Home Depot Center during the “Killer Cage” with traveling down windy country roads at irresponsible rates of speed, and doing wheelies at stop lights while dominating Porches with totally unnecessary displays of acceleration. It’s thrilling, for sure … but it’s just not the same. The thrill of being driven back into your seat by several Gs of acceleration can’t replace watching athletes rise to new heights under the lights on the stadium floor like modern day gladiators.

I guess I could write about something else. There could be a daily update on how I miss the CrossFit Games so badly that I ate my feelings in cheesecake and ice cream. How I’m so depressed that there’s no one to con into chugging beers and doing pull ups for time down at the track, that I told nutrition to go “F” itself in the back of a Volkswagen. I don’t know. All the whining in the world isn’t going to one-up CrossFitters running into the surf at the Santa Monica Pier.

There’s nothing I can do, really. I’ll just have to wait until the Open starts. Someone is going to stir up some controversy by then and I’ll be off and running. It won’t be long. Until then, I’ll just focus on kicking my own ass in WODs at CrossFit New England, playing with vehicles that have more power than Rob Orlando, and writing blog posts fraught with analogies and language unfit for gentle society. In a few months I’ll be able to start creeping around the CrossFit world again and making wildly exaggerated metaphors. Until then, I’ll be hunkered down trying to stay warm here in Boston, controlling the urge to front-kick the next person that sends me a picture of them overhead squatting a Christmas tree. See you bad mama jammas at the Open.