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Old 10-13-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
Kevin Green
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Paper on Crossfit Community

Before I start the thread, I figure a brief intro is in order. I have been doing Crossfit pretty regularly for the last 9 months. I am sold on the fact that my fitness level has improved more in the last 9 months than in any other period of my life, and all this at 36 years old. I am in the Air Force and am pursuing a degree in exercise science in hopes of opening a Crossfit affiliate when I retire. I will be going to Iraq in Feb 09 and the bright shining spot in the deployment is the fact that I will be able to attend a level one cert when I return.
My reason for starting this thread is that I am currently taking a class on American Pop Culture and need to write a ten page paper on a pop culture phenomenon. I have chosen the Crossfit community as my topic. Below is the actual paper requirements. I have also listed my basic outline. I thought the best way to get ideas would be to throw this out to the Crossfit family. My hope is to highlight this community, how the people of all different races, genders, etc. have come together for the common cause of fitness. What I am primarily asking for is if anyone has any references that can help solidify my main points. If anyone has any other angles to attack this assignment I would be interested. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I can write the paper on my own but honestly, what would a paper about the Crossfit community be without input from the subject of the paper having a part in its creation.

My assignment requirements:
A description and analysis of the representation of a group of people, as gleaned from a mass-mediated popular culture form (e.g., TV show, movie, film, magazine, newspaper) and their presentation(s) in a live-experience form (e.g., concert, garage sale, museum going, mall visit, ball game, etc.). In effect, I am asking you to attend and participate, plus describe and analyze "identity portraits" -- how your subjects are "made" to appear or are identified in a mass media popular culture form and how they appear and/or self-identify in a less or unmediated experience. For the purpose of this assignment, consider a social/cultural group as one whose members share one or more of the following: race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, rural/urban, age, disability, etc.

My basic outline:
Crossfit Community outline
Background
- How it started
- The message board actually has a Crossfit Community folder
Who is it?
- Military/Police/Fireman
o Hero workout
 Remembering the warriors
- Everyman looking for fitness
- Women
- Elite athletes
- Kids
- Crossfit superstars/idols

What draws people?
- Short pitch for evidenced based fitness
- Why is community different than a Globo Gym member

How does it get it’s message across
- Website
- Journal
- Word of Mouth

Detractors of community Boyle’s comment on cult-like allegiance
- Vehement defending of Crossfit as the most efficient method
o Dave Castro
- Outside Mags list of fittest in America


How it fits as popular culture - This should be evident throughout the paper.

This weeks I will be mostly researching and writing the paper next week.

Last edited by Kevin Green : 10-13-2008 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
Kevin Green
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

As you can see this is my first posting on the discussion board and I am not much of a contributor on the WOD board. I guess you can say that I am more of a listener than a talker when it comes to the online community. I hope that fact won't prevent anyone from responding.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #3
George Mounce
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

I'd say CrossFit is more of a radical shift in popular culture when it comes to fitness, the majority are still out there at globo-gyms wasting their time.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
Robert Callahan
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

There have been a couple articles, one in the New York Times I think?, that have talked about the explosion of Crossfit on the fitness scene. I do not have a link to them but if you search on here, or in google, you could probably find it. Or if someone else on these boards has it they could post a link.

Sounds like a cool paper, and looks like you have a pretty good outline there, good luck!

-Robert
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:47 PM   #5
Chris Scott
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

Couple things--

-From my reading of the prompt, it looks like you could use a little more about the mass media "identity portraits." I'm pretty sure Crossfit has appeared in Men's Fitness, and you might check out other similar magazines. Also NY Times, LA Times, etc. You might look for local coverage too: I know in Austin the local 24-hr news channel has done a couple pieces. http://www.kvue.com/news/local/stori....10c92ca3.html (w/f/s) and http://www.kvue.com/video/fitness-in...d=211616&shu=1 (w/f/s).

-Right now your outline looks great for a description of the online Crossfit community. Since the prompt is also looking for a description of the "live-experience form" of the community, perhaps you should include a visit to an affiliate as well, or find a well-established group workout to drop in on somewhere in your area.

-For a ten-page paper, you may need to do some trimming--that's a long outline! I find that getting my thesis hammered out at the beginning helps focus my research efforts and keeps everything tight. What's your thesis?

-Writing an outline for a conclusion also helps. If you know where you want to end up, you'll have a better idea of how to get there.

Looks like a great start so far. Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
Kevin Green
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

George,
That's where I'm trying to go with the paper.

Robert,
I have pulled those articles. I plan on showing how Crossfit has grown from a small idea into a much publicized phenomenon.

Chris,
It is a long outline. I was throwing all of the ideas I could come up with together and will pare it down from there. I imagine that at times I will be writing too much about Crossfit's efficacy and will have to cut a lot of it out because the paper is supposed to be focused on the pop culture aspect of Crossfit. I am fairly new to papers of this length so I have not found a great way to focus my writing until after it is finished. Just in experience I guess.
I have no Crossfit affiliates here but visited one when I was in Colorado Springs. I plan on discussing that. I will also bring up the Crossfit in deployed locations.
On a side note, I don't recommend trying to go to Colorado Springs (6,000 ft altitude) and hit a WOD hard. I am not a Crossfit stud by any means but at altitude I had to have my workout scaled drastically just to complete it.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #7
Chris Scott
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

Kevin,

Sounds like you're really committed to doing a good job on this paper. That will take you very far. Don't be afraid to ask to work one-on-one with your prof or TA. During my Advanced Writing course, I worked with the professor on every paper, and it was an awesome experience--it became one of the best courses I ever took, and I was surprised to see that my professor was not only happy but eager to work with me.

Good luck! It's a great idea for a paper.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
Kevin Green
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

Chris,
I definitely want to do justice to the Crossfit community by creating a good paper. It is inspiring to read about Crossfit even though I don't post often.

I would love to talk to a TA or professor about the paper but I am taking online classes and don't have access to my professor.

Kevin
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:06 PM   #9
Kevin Green
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Re: Paper on Crossfit Community

If anyone is interested, I have finished my paper and am willing to e-mail to anyone as long as you don't beat me up for the grammar. I would post it but I think it would be too long a thread for people to want to read the whole thing. I am considering sending it to CrossFit HQ but I am not sure if they would be interested.
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