It's Not A Cult: Inside The 2012 CrossFit Games

In the first years of its existence, the CrossFit Games weren't much more than a gathering of muscular California bros punishing themselves in the foothills of Aromas, Calif. The inaugural Games in 2007 awarded first-place contestants $500 apiece. It was underground; it was punk rock exercise.

In 2012, thousands of fans packed the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. to watch Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir (her surname is THOR'S DAUGHTER) collect winner's purses of $250,000 for the second consecutive year. The event is sponsored by Reebok and streamed on ESPN. CrossFit, Inc. now boasts more than 4,000 affiliated gyms worldwide. As the Reebok ad succinctly announced: "The sport of fitness has arrived."

The video below documents my trip to the 2012 Games. Even though I belong to a CrossFit gym, I still felt like an outsider compared to the true believers in attendance. The contest boasts the tagline "The Fittest on Earth," and it applies as easily to the spectators and food trucks and clothing vendors as it does the competitors. Watch for yourself, and try to avoid the creeping feeling that you need to go work out.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.