We Will Kill You.

I have been annoyed at many Crossfit shirts. This started when I watched a guy at a local weightlifting meet warm up next to Donny Shankle wearing a “Crossfit: your workout is our warmup” shirt. Donny was warming up to open his snatch at 160kg, this guy was opening at 60kg and was struggling with 50kg in the warmup room. I remember thinking that this guy couldn’t even do Donny’s warmup, not even 1/4 of it, let alone his workout. Who did he think he was? For some reason this stuck with me and every time I saw one of those shirts my blood pressure went up a couple of points. Shirts like “Smoke you like cheap crack”, fed into this. I mean really, smoke everyone who reads the shirt? Smoke them at what? The clean and jerk? The 2 mile run? Open water swim? Smoke everyone at every possible athletic event? Then the endless shirts playing up the fact that the wearer, or crossfitters in general, hurt more than anyone else, collapse at the end of the workout more than anyone else, throw up more than anyone else, or even sweat more than anyone else.

I recently read the first two articles in Lyle McDonald’s series about the shape American weightlifting is in, (for a discussion of the articles, click here) and one of the things he tries to do is explain the conditions that must be present in groups that are successful or even dominant. He talks about the absolute dominance of Kenyan distance runners, and one of the things present is both a belief that the harder they work the better they will be, and, the constant attempt to run each other into the ground at training camps. They are obsessive about trying to out-train each other, in particular any newcomer to the camps or training centers. Prefontaine is mentioned, along with his belief that he was willing to suffer more than his competitors and this was the key to his success. Hard work, suffering, and the belief that one can “break” competitors by pushing harder and suffering more than they can. Sounds like Crossfit. This made me see the various slogans in a bit of a different light. Although I won’t be buying a “smoke you like cheap crack” shirt myself, behind the slogans I see a belief that working harder and suffering more is what will make the wearer better at Crossfit, or more fit, however you want to define it. Putting it in those terms takes away much of the annoyance, and let’s me understand the mindset a bit better.

I recently saw a CF shirt that is truly awesome, and today Jon recieved an example of it. Not we will dominate you, not we will destroy you, and not we will smoke you. This one just gets straight to the end-game. We will kill you. Crossfit Salem, complete with a rainbow and a Pegasus on a light pink shirt. Crossfit Salem: We Will Kill You. Sounds like something Prefontaine might have said.


13 responses to “We Will Kill You.

  • lilbulldogz

    I want the shirt that says “I’d rather wear chalk then lipstick”.

    Jon and rainbows is just hott!

  • Kirez Reynolds

    I wanted to make a near-identical shirt a couple years ago… Probably inspired by the same image: http://www.pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF103-Nice_Shirt.gif

  • Travis jackson

    That’s great….my team’s shirt back home in PA said “Athletic Club Powerlifting – We may be stupid, but we can lift heavy things”

  • Donny Shankle

    I am bent on expunging a few words from my vocabulary. Words like sacrifice, recovery, normal. To never use these words reminds me constantly I am a child of God. To always believe in magnanimous possibilities, improbable outcomes to be made real, and amorous encounters keeps a man strong. Strong not only for his woman, his family, his faith but, most importantly for himself. Once strength resonates through you always and waxes upon your face in spite of the chosen punishments we take, then we soon begin to realize these punishments or “sufferings” do not stand. They cannot stand because we or at least I have chosen to crack such words in two. It is not suffering I feel to “be the best” or to live out my dreams but, despite the look on my face at times I have always felt an indescribable amount of joy. Joy in knowing what I want to be and getting the chance to share such joy each day with men and women I like to call my friends.

    Aside from all that, there is a shirt out there I have seen that tops everything you know to be good about life. It involves smokin’ hot Asian chicks with big tits in leather bikinis, riding foaming at the mouth wolves in the black of night, holding bottles of booze in one hand while firing fucking machine guns in the other. This scene is laid out in a jungle during a full moon which gets my ass all primal and then some. I mean if that shirt doesn’t make you proud to be an American then hell, spittle, and grits. Certainly gets my pecker hard.

    Great post Coach.

  • Sabrina

    I totally love what Travis said!! I LOL’d & nearly peed my pants!

  • Chad Cilli

    Forget the We Will Kill You shirt, I want that shirt Donny just described!

  • Andy

    This is Andy from CrossFit Salem, we made this shirt as a spoof… glad you like it!

  • Matthew Baldwin

    I own this shirt. Or rather, I ordered one before vacation. It better be waiting for me when I get home, Andy, or so help me… I’m not sure what I’ll do.

    I expect it will look awesome with my splint.

  • wichitafallsweightlifting

    Andy I would imagine you have sold a lot of them…

  • Donny Shankle

    I didn’t even see the girl in the background with a flame thrower!

  • ricky

    Hi Glenn

    I think many people have had similar thoughts about the attitude taken by crossfiters but have arrived to different conclusions than yours. You mention that Lyle attributes the will to undergo suffering and hardship as an important characteristic of these runners success. However we have to compare the things the two groups are trying to be successful in. Winning a marathon is a very challenging, prestigious thing to accomplish. A story of somebody who overcomes injury and wins a marathon is (and should be) inspiring.

    Crossfiters have adopted the same attitude but to what end? Their goal is not to win a marathon but to be ‘good at crossfit/become ‘fit” (both of which it is dubious that they accomplish at all). Is there anything inspiring about somebody sustaining injuries while exercising? I certainly don’t think this is the same as somebody sustaining injuries while winning a prestigious title, race, medal for their country. If anything it’s counterproductive to the goal of becoming more fit.

    Yet we have barrels and barrels of crossfiters who get a perverse joy out of continuing to EXERCISE through an injury. The community celebrates, say, a girl who competed in the crossfit games with a dislocated shoulder, people who continue to do their kipping pullups with disgustingly torn callouses, people who cut their shins doing box jumps, who struggle to move weights way over their ability and with awful form.

    I understand where they got the attitude from (and you seem to as well) but I guess we disagree that it is grossly misplaced when applied to their ‘sport’ of choice.

    and yes their t-shirts are fucking stupid.

  • It’s Called Weightlifting « sexyasfuck

    […] more added to the bar between a weightlifter and an @fitter’s attempts on multiple occasions (read this gem from Glenn Pendlay).  An example of a really good weightlifter in @fit is Neal Maddox.  There was recently a video […]

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