Friday, January 2, 2009
NAS Oceana Bans CrossFit?!
This picture was taken at the gym on Naval Air Station Oceana. This sign represents everything that we military CrossFitters have come to fear ever since the BS Makimba Mimms lawsuit. Yes, safe training is critical! But if the Powers-That-Be would go to the Branch Medical Clinic on base and ask for the mishap reports, they would see that the greatest number of injuries - by far - come from football and soccer. What's next? A sign on the football field that says, "This installation is not a sports complex, therefore any unsafe (as defined by whom, I'm not sure) sports, such as football or soccer, are not to be played. If you have any questions, try to find someone to complain to, but our minds are made up, so don't really bother wasting your time."
CrossFit is our sport. When properly implemented, it is far safer than many other activities that the military routinely has it's members do. We can go one step further and use the age old Operational Risk Management (ORM) - in other words, is the juice worth the squeeze? In this case, it most certainly is! The level of physical readiness that one gains from a properly implemented CrossFit program is unparalleled by any other option currently available to the military. But don't take my word for it. How about the word of Ensign David Castro - formerly SO1 Castro and Phase 2 BUD/S instructor. ENS Castro, now a Training Officer for one of the West Coast teams, has done EXTENSIVE research since CrossFit was unofficially implemented and has shown not only a significant decrease in Medical drops, but also a significant increase in performance during events such as the Obstacle Course. Contacting him for the data is easy, if anyone would like any assistance, I would be happy to provide his email address via other channels. There are many other examples of CrossFit use within Military and Law Enforcement units which prove, without a shadow of doubt, its superiority to other methods: Marine Sniper School is another program that immediately comes to mind.
The moral of the story is that Navy officials shouldn't fear CrossFit, but instead consider embracing it. They should contact people like Colonel Dan Wilson - a former Batallion Commander onboard Camp Pendleton(<---Link!). They should ask him what CrossFit did - and continues to do - for the Marines that have bought into the program with their blood, sweat, and tears. Instead of banning it from the base gym - the only viable option for many of the Sailors stationed at NAS Oceana - why not consider sending some of their "highly trained" Towel Folders, or even *GASP* some of the military members currently regularly doing CrossFit to a Level 1 certification? Because of the cost? How much did their brand new cable-crossover machine cost? What about the idiot's squat rack (aka the Smith Machine)? It's time for Navy officials to do their OWN research for a change. There are so many avenues for information regarding CrossFit: from people that do it daily and have previously done it, that it's silly for them to count on the opinion of "experts" that have never even visited the CrossFit website or contacted the founder, Greg Glassman. Would you ask a physicist who has never driven a car if driving is safe? Seems silly to me...
I would like to close with a favorite quote of mine that I feel is at the heart of this issue:
"The more one bleeds in training, the less he will bleed in battle."