CrossFit and The Value of an Opinion

DouglasRYoungCrossFit, Journal

12031596_10207809698220567_543053398507150200_oThere’s a saying in CrossFit circles that goes something like this: “CrossFit is like fine art. It’s critiqued by many but understood by few.” That being said…

A person’s opinion matters, and all are entitled to one, but its value is only to degree by which it is informed. Remember that. There’s a pretty good principle there to live by.

The other day an unsolicited opinion was offered to me about CrossFit. “CrossFit is dangerous… ya da ya da ya da.” I think the person might have read an article that went viral a year or two ago but I don’t know. Out of respect for the person I listened, but the more I listened the more the capacity the opinion had to impact me diminished. The lesson is: Be careful and only express opinions you’ve actually given a considerable amount of thought forming. In certain instances, it might even be important to have tried something before opening oneself up to potential shame.

Let me illustrate it with a story before I go any further. Not long ago, my son told me that he’d like to put a scope on his Marlin lever action .22 rifle. Given it is such a small caliber rifle, I didn’t really see the need, but he had earned some money and wanted to try shooting it with optics. So we did. But the mounting system for this type of rifle would be a bit different than what a larger caliber rifle would require. So after about 15 minutes of thinking, I came up with about 3 different options.The-Marlin-M39-2

Local Walmart. This was, so I thought, the cheapest option. Go buy an inexpensive scope off the shelf, but run the risk of not being certain if the scope was even mountable or not. The odds weren’t all that great that they’d have what we needed, much less the counter expertise to assist. I could be wrong, but I’m not confident the person waiting behind the outdoors counter at any local Walmart is all that familiar with firearms.

Cabelas in Waco. This was a good option. Believe it or not, I’d already been there before, and had even discussed it with an employee there. In fact, he was the one who informed me that it would take the certain type of scope and mount system. They, at the time, didn’t have any but could order some. The kind of knowledge I got from the Cabelas staff was solid. Of course, that would also mean we would need to drive to Waco.

Local Gunsmith. Best option. He’d know exactly what was needed. He had multiple scopes to choose from and could put it on for me. In the end, his cost wasn’t much more than had we gone to Walmart.

Now of those three, if you were in my shoes, who would you have most listened to about purchasing the right optics for such a rifle? While Cabelas was a solid option, the gunsmith is hands down the best option. Walmart? There was no guarantee the person behind the outdoor counter there had ever even touched a rifle that wasn’t behind a glass case. Why would I take a chance taking the advise of someone who may not know a single thing about rifles? I wouldn’t. And I don’t think you would either.

So why would I listen to someone’s opinion about CrossFit who knows next to nothing about it? Why would I assign any significant value to an opinion of a person who has never even tried it? I wouldn’t, and didn’t, and neither should you.

People are entitled to their opinions; they are equally entitled to express them; but they are not entitled to have me necessarily take them seriously. I listen to the gunsmith because he knows guns. I chose the gunsmith over Walmart employee because there’s a 99% chance the gunsmith knows more than the Walmart employee.

11227625_10207809741701654_3538983776421356948_oI get it. CrossFit is intimidating. I don’t disagree. In fact, I’ll help you out a bit and tell you that it’s scary. I know from experience. But so is bungy jumping. And you can get hurt too. It happens. But do I need to list all the ways people get injured when…they…don’t…do…things…properly?

Furthermore, this transcends CrossFit. People are too prone to offer opinions about what they don’t truly know. That’s a shame. It’s not honest and, in the end, it only makes the person look foolish.

DouglasRYoungCrossFit and The Value of an Opinion