It must be easy…everyone’s doing it

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

I love IPAs. Which is good, because they seem to be popping up everywhere on the craft beer scene right now. There’s nothing quite like a mouthful of dirt and grapefruit to make me smile on a breezy afternoon. I wondered aloud one day, “why are IPAs so popular?” and a friend who is clearly more brew-ducated than I am said it’s because they’re the easiest type of beer to make.

So let me get this straight…it’s popular because it’s easy? No way, dude. It’s popular because of a ton of marketing money and a bearded hipster culture of lemmings.

(Wait…are we still talking about beer? You know I’m bringing this around to CrossFit somehow!)

Maybe the IPA ingredient list is simpler. Maybe the flavor profile is so aggressive that it’s more forgiving of mis-steps. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I’m sure if you ask a brewmaster, he’ll take offense at the implication that his craft is easy. But, from the outside, I bet the perception is there. That perception might even lead some aspiring brewfolk to try their hand at the craft. Some will explode their fermentation tanks before ever yielding beer, some will hold out for that first sip only to discover it is absolutely vile, and some will produce a fantastically delicious IPA.

OK, we get it. Not everyone can brew good beer. What’s this got to do with CrossFit?

Well…on the outside, it appears relatively easy to start a CrossFit gym. Go to a weekend-long training, get a piece of paper and a $1000 t-shirt. Spend another $3000 on a name and maybe another $10,000 on some shiny new stuff, and people will flock to your sprawling warehouse, begging you to make them work out till they throw up.

Easy, right? That’s some real Field of Dreams shit right there.

Um, no.

But that doesn’t stop every bearded, tattooed, stocky-cocky little shit from trying. And some of them end up very successful. Like Dogfish Head 90-minute successful. Far too many others, however, end up with something more like a dirty, bitter, flat pint of “what the hell did I just sip?”

And then, all of a sudden, everyone thinks all IPAs are disgusting and all CrossFit gyms are full of douchebag coaches who hurt people.

Newsflash: it’s not easy. And not everyone will be good at it. But you can’t judge the entire category by your first sip. If you’re a consumer, do research. Shop around. Find the right fit for you. If you’re an aspiring owner-coach, talk to other owners in your area. New ones, long-standing ones, and even some failed ones. Learn everything you can before just dumping a bunch of fungus and fruit into a dirty barrel.


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