The Fittest Experience

A Place Where Everyone Wins

by Ryan Adams

The 2021 season was filled with so many reminders of why embracing the present is so important, in the world of CrossFit and beyond. The first NOBULL CrossFit Games attracted droves of athletes and fans to Madison from all across the country. Many folks came and visited our neck of the woods for the Rogue Invitational. And very soon we will welcome many of them to The Fittest Experience. While the community is making strides each day to pick things up where they left off prior to the onset of the pandemic, it is surreal to stop and consider all that community has come to mean. When the 2021 TFX Online Qualifier was done and dusted, we saw countless demonstrations of these meanings across the divisions, each connected to the rest with a “conquering set-backs” mentality. However, perhaps none is more poignant than this year’s Community Division, comprised of 81 athletes. Of the 81, 46 were women.

In Community Divisions, the motivation to compete inherently stems from within. There are no qualifying spots. No prospects of competing in the bigger competition. So, the Community Division brings together athletes to test their skills across the posted qualifier workouts while uniquely positioning them to define what their victory is. Whether on their own or with the support of their affiliate around them, these athletes took to the 2-week challenge to prove, yet again, not only just how powerful CrossFit is but how unconquerable the community is when united in a common purpose. In the case of this year, rallying together to emerge, once again, stronger than before. Such a rallying is a unique superpower of the CrossFit affiliate.

Where forced to innovate or adapt, so many communities found their strength in joining together to keep the sport alive in a time when nearly the entire world stood still.

So that, now, as the world begins to find its stride once again, the very same spirit of tenacity, grit, and unfettered resolve tells an unforgettable story of summiting one of the greatest tests humanity has known to date. In the same way, TFX is intended to be a place where setbacks are not infinite, where obstacles are not absolute. It’s a place where everyone wins, not just the people who make the podium.

Enter: the Community Division, championed in majority by women. Throughout the online qualifier, these athletes have led in their affiliates, led in their homes and families, and led among the TFX athlete pool as they so often do. And, their leadership was not a gimmick or less than their male counterparts or anything of an inferior degree. It was honest work. In doing so, they’ve demonstrated just how tensile strength can be in a time when many of us might feel like we are still searching for our own. Their win is our win.

Now, as look to the in-person competition in a under a week, the show of support by the Community Division athletes boldly lights the way. Our strength has been tested, stretched, and tried. There have been moments where it might have seemed unclear how any of us would emerge from this stronger. So, we rallied. We adapted. We showed up. If there is any clear and certain truth, it’s this: when we show up regardless of what the outcome will be, resolved to tackle any challenge, no matter how great, everybody gets stronger. The state of fitness advances. And, in ways individual and collective, we win.

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