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Letter to CFP

Dear Friends, Athletes, Members of CrossFit Petoskey,

On the eve of the re-opening of CrossFit Petoskey from government-mandated shutdown due to COVID-19, there has been growing concern among the community in regard to the recent comments made on Twitter by the CEO of CrossFit, Inc., Greg Glassman.

While our staff has spent the last week preparing for the proper precautions and guidelines that will allow us to carry on our service safely, this subject will not be ignored.

Our hope is that this message will give you a better understanding of our connection with CrossFit Headquarters and what it means to be an affiliate of CrossFit, as well as provide our response to Glassman’s comments.

CrossFit Petoskey is an affiliation of CrossFit, Inc. Any gym that bears “CrossFit” in its name is also an affiliation of CrossFit.

So, what does it mean to be an affiliate?

Plainly, an affiliation allows you to use the name “CrossFit.” It is by definition a brand. However, CrossFit is also a methodology. It is bar none the most effective method for achieving lasting health and fitness. CrossFit created the structure of “constantly-varied, functional movement, performed at high-intensity.” Did CrossFit create Olympic Lifting? No. Did CrossFit invent gymnastics tumbles and ring drills? No. Running? Of course not. However, the unique blend of these elements to achieve the fittest beings on Earth was spearheaded by Greg Glassman and CrossFit Inc.

CrossFit Headquarters provides education for thousands of coaches around the world. They draw experts from all places to produce the best techniques and methods across a multitude of movement disciplines. CrossFit absorbs the knowledge of olympic gymnastics, national-level weightlifters, and the greatest endurance-athlete coaches. Their claim to fame is virtuosity, “To perform the common uncommonly well.” This is seen in their strenuous, hands-on teaching approach, and their desire to produce the most ambitious coaches to represent their name. No certification process teaches movement as effectively as CrossFit.

Taking all of that into consideration, CrossFit, Inc runs its affiliation ecosystem as a liberatarian society. Unlike a franchise, there are no rules provided on how to handle one’s individual business. A CrossFit affiliate owner could bear the name and run pilates avoiding ever swinging a kettlebell. It is left into the hands of the individual boxes to either embed and grow within the methodology, alter what is necessary and deemed effective for their clientele, or go an entirely different direction. There are zero ties, no mandates, no evaluations. The philosophy is rooted in the people that make up its community, the knowledge and experience of the coaches and the results of their programs.

CrossFit Petoskey is approaching its TENTH year as a CrossFit affiliate. As far as affiliation age goes, this is a very elite group. Less than a fifth of existing CrossFit gyms in the world have existed as long as CFP. This gym has sweated in the gravel parking lot of Northern Michigan Sports Med, it has coached hundreds of high school students, hosted a multitude of philanthropic events, created lasting memberships, changed the health-trajectory of countless members, and has been a place of acceptance for all ages, backgrounds, colors, and creeds. Its history and its impact is something to be proud of. CrossFit Petoskey has been the cornerstone of real fitness in the area, and it is without a doubt the tightest-knit fitness-centered community in Northern Michigan. The community itself has created its own brand.

I choose not to speculate on the motives of Greg Glassman’s insensitive comments on Twitter. They are not the words of CrossFit Petoskey, and they do not represent the beliefs of CrossFit Petoskey. The way CrossFit Petoskey will respond as an affiliation of CrossFit is with grace, patience, and conversations with the very people that we serve.

I had the privilege of speaking with Will Henagan on the topic, a man who very naturally breeds respect when he enters a room, an exemplary man whom I look up to, a man of God, and a man who walks with kindness and grace toward others. As a longstanding member of CrossFit Petoskey, he has impacted this community as much as any person who has walked through its doors. As I anxiously approached drafting this message, Will was able to influence a sense of calm and confidence during these trying times. He reminded me that poor decisions do not go without consequence. However, God has chosen to approach all of our wrong-doings with patience and grace. “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16).

Will affirmed that he believes what our gym stands for. We stand for building lasting relationships, guidance, acceptance, love, understanding, and the best darn functional fitness program around. This is your fitness. Your box. That’s what #findyourRx is all about. Everyone has a place at CrossFit Petoskey. Our goal has always been and always will be community impact.

As for Greg Glassman and his position as CEO of CrossFit, Inc, we will continue to respond with the best service we can provide our members. We will continue to monitor how CrossFit, Inc. is affected and how the company will respond to Greg’s comments. We will respond with grace. We will not hastily react. While we are grateful for the powerful movement that Greg Glassman spearheaded with fitness and health twenty years ago, CrossFit Petoskey has created something that is far beyond the reach of CrossFit, Inc. and Greg Glassman, and we will continue to provide the CrossFit Petoskey methodology to you.

Thank you,

Kenny Provost

Jeff Smith

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