CrossFit & The Warrior Ethos
Gerald Glassman was born in New York City, but grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. His father worked at the Pentagon during World War II and later became a police officer. Gerald’s mother died when he was young, so he lived with his grandmother until she passed away when he was 15 years old. After high school, Glassman attended Temple University where he studied journalism under the guidance of legendary sports writer John Feinstein. During college, he worked as a sports reporter for the campus newspaper and then wrote several feature stories for the university paper before graduating in 1966.
Glassman spent five years working as a sportswriter covering professional basketball, baseball, football and hockey before joining Sports Illustrated magazine. While there he covered boxing matches between Muhammad Ali (who had just been stripped of his heavyweight title) and Joe Frazier. He also covered the first Olympic Games in Mexico City and the Summer Olympics in Munich. In 1975, he joined Newsweek magazine as a sports columnist after which time he continued writing about boxing and other sports.
In 1977, Glassman left Newsweek to become a full-time writer for ESPN television’s “SportsCentury” series. He wrote two books based on his work: “The Greatest Fight Ever Fought” (1978) and “The Great Train Robbery” (1980). He also worked on several other books including “The Super Athletes” (1979), “The Queen of the Ring” (1981) and “The Big Fight” (1982).
After holding a variety of jobs in several places, Glassman joined the fledgling ESPN cable sports channel in 1979 as a general assignment reporter. He was soon promoted to cover professional boxing and in the decades that followed he interviewed hundreds of boxers and became one of the most recognized personalities at the network. He won several awards for his work, including the Boxing Writers Association’s Nat Fleischer Award for excellence in boxing journalism.
Glassman has also worked as a feature writer and sports editor at several newspapers over the years. In addition, he briefly served as the sports information director at Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Thomas College, both located in New Jersey. He also taught newspaper journalism at American University in Washington D.C.
and served as a guest lecturer at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. During the 1990s he was a regular guest on the television program “A Tour of the White House.”
Glassman is married to award-winning sports journalist Bonnie Ford. The couple have two grown children: Amanda and Matt.
In Crossfit’s short history, the company has been in the news on several occasions for a variety of reasons. In this article we will look at some of these stories.
Crossfit was founded by former gymnast and Oakland firefighter Greg Glassman in 1995. It is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. The name “Crossfit” is a combination of two words: “constantly varied” and “high intensity.” Glassman designed the program to mimic the demands of real life situations, such as climbing a ladder or pulling yourself out of mud.
It involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of rest. Its main goal is to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
Crossfit is famous for its high-intensity exercise regimen. It has been criticized by the medical community as dangerous and there have even been a few Crossfit-related deaths. Its popularity, however, continues to grow. The company holds an annual competition involving daily workouts and a grueling weekend event.
There are over 11,000 affiliated gyms in 72 countries that teach Crossfit classes.
A number of professional and amateur athletes have attributed their success to Crossfit training. Some of these athletes include David Rudisha, the 800m world record holder; Florence Wetzel, a female English rugby player who made it to the 2016 Olympics; and Kyle Snyder, the youngest gold medal winner in United States history.
Athletes and Crossfit
A growing number of professional athletes have been attracted to Crossfit. They like that it helps them perform better on the field or court.
The popularity of Crossfit has also benefitted the competitive Crossfit athlete. The organization that runs Crossfit, now called the Crossfit Games, was first held in 2007. It is a weekend competition involving daily workouts and a grueling weekend event. Since then, the games have been held every year and continue to grow in popularity.
In 2018, over 250,000 athletes from around the world participated in the games.
Quarterback David Garrard played in the NFL for eleven years. He started with the Jacksonville Jaguars and later played for the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. In high school, Garrard was a three-year letterman in football and also lettered in basketball. In addition, he was an all-county selection in baseball.
He was not drafted out of college, but signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2002.
Garrard played with the Jaguars until 2012 when he joined the Miami Dolphins. He was released by the team in 2013 and then joined the New York Jets. During his career, Garrard completed 976 of 1,971 passes for 12,245 yards. He also had eighty-one touchdown passes and sixty-six interceptions.
His highest quarterback rating was 100.5 in 2009. Garrard played in seventy-eight games and started in fifty-six of them.
Garrard is married to Ashley Morriss and they have a son and daughter together. He has two daughters from a previous marriage. He is now the quarterbacks coach for the Liberty Christian Academy football team.
Roman Gabriel was born on July 11, 1939 in Blythe, California. He played with the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers from 1962 to 1969 and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams from 1970 to 1976. He played quarterback in the NFL for a total of seventeen years. He is also known for being one of only two people to throw and catch a touchdown in the NFL and is the only person to throw a passing and reception touchdown in five different decades.
Gabriel was a four-year starter at quarterback for the University of Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to a 15-9 record and a top-twelve ranking in his last three years. His most notable achievement was leading Alabama to an upset win over the #1 ranked Texas Longhorns in the 1961 Sugar Bowl. Gabriel would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 1962, Gabriel was drafted by the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers. The AFL was formed to compete with the NFL. The leagues, which featured mostly players, had difficulty getting recognition and attention despite some of the best teams and players in all of football. One major difference between the two leagues was that the AFL allowed its members to hire and recruit players that had already played for or were under contract with an NFL team.
This allowed the AFL teams to get some of the best players.
Gabriel played with the Chargers, who, like most AFL teams, were a poor team. They lacked the finances and resources to compete with NFL teams. The AFL also had a much more aggressive player signing policy than the NFL and as a result, many NFL teams actively worked against the AFL’s success.
The Chargers finished 6-8 in 1962, but made major strides in improving from the year before.
Sources & references used in this article:
- The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training. (PT Hak, E Hodzovic, B Hickey – Journal of strength and conditioning …, 2013 – europepmc.org)
- Injury rate and patterns among CrossFit athletes (BM Weisenthal, CA Beck, MD Maloney… – … journal of sports …, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com)
- CrossFit overview: systematic review and meta-analysis (JG Claudino, TJ Gabbett, F Bourgeois… – Sports medicine …, 2018 – Springer)