Crossfit Is Showing Christians How to Suffer Together

In a bleak, ninth-floor room overlooking LBJ Freeway's snarled traffic, six people hoist kettle bells under stark fluorescent lights and the walloping beat of Louis The Child. Their instructor breaks them into two teams: three of them running laps around the empty concrete-walled room while the other three do an exercise called inchworms on a deck of mats taped together on the floor. The instructor shouts encouragement, corrects someone's form, and applauds the effort of her charges.

This scene is not in a gym. It's at a church. A program called Well at Watermark Community Church puts members through 36 workouts in 12 weeks directed by Bobby Rodriguez, a Watermark staffer and Class 2 CrossFit coach.

Founded in 2000 by Californians Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, CrossFit may be the most far-reaching development in the world of fitness since the invention of aerobics classes. It boasts 4 million users, called CrossFitters, worldwide. In North Texas, there are more than 200 CrossFit gyms, or boxes as CrossFitters call them. Like the program at Watermark, many of those boxes serve to improve more than just the physical health of their members.

Ryan SandersComment