• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
  • TNB: Bring It On, Bitch!
  • TNB: What Would Warren Harding Do?
  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
  • TNB: Chris Sharma and The Art of Jeep Maintenance
  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    Rooftown Vol. 2 - Featuring the Bouldering Exploits of Matt Gentile
    Rooftown Vol. 2 - Featuring the Bouldering Exploits of Matt Gentile
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    TNB: Crossfit Misfit


    My coworker Andrew has a little joke. “How do you know someone does CrossFit?”

    “Because they tell you.”

    It reminded me of a saying from when people used to do “est” seminars, and noisily proselytize about them.

    “What’s the different between an asshole and an esthole?

    “Asshole’s still got his 400 dollars.”

    My spouse, sons and coworkers have drunk the CrossFit KoolAid. CrossFit, if you don’t know, is a high-intensity conditioning program of gymnastics, sprinting, rowing and much else, such as carrying around strange objects. Also, of devotion.

    The first time my older son, Teddy, went, he threw up, audibly gagging in the bathroom. The staff gave him some Coke to sip, sitting quietly on a bench. Upon returning home, he, who plays high-school football and runs track, whispered, still gray-faced, “I thought I’d be in better shape for it.”

    I pick up my younger son, Roy, after a session at the CrossFit center, and he says, “Mom, you should do it. They love old athletes. I mean, people who … like… used to be pros.”

    I step inside and the smiling instructors’ eyes light up, “You should do it,” says nice, ripped John.

    “Why would I want to throw up?“

    “Oh,” he says, waving dismissively, “that was just Teddy. He pushes it.”

    At work, Ashley and Shannon talk near daily about their workouts, WODs and other critical components.

    When burly Ashley told me how sore she was from the previous day’s session, she said, “I know you’re sick of CrossFit,” but then went right ahead in describing the previous day’s workout: “We did 15 pull-ups, 15 box jumps, 15 burpees, 15 sit-ups, 14 pull ups, 14 box jumps, 14 burpees, 14 sit-ups, 13 pull ups, 13 burpees, 13 box jumps, 13 sit-ups. …And so on, all the way to one of each. Total, that's 120 pull-ups, box jumps, burpees and sit-ups!”

    Her partner, Jeremy, tells me softly, “I hate CrossFit.”

    I fetch Roy again, and he says, emerging, “Mom, all those people in there are one-upping you.”

    Another day, he tries this tactic: “You couldn’t do it,” he says, shaking his head regretfully. “You’re strong, but…”

    Through CrossFit, my kids know Mike, a young guy who works at the local grocery store. One day as I use my City Market card, he says, “You saved $30,” adding with glowing eyes, “That’s another week of Cross Fit!”

    I used to love Will Gadd. Many years ago he was my teenage intern, sleeping uncomplainingly in his pickup truck in the dead of an Aspen winter. (I convinced him to stay in an old paint closet at my house for a night or two during that year’s Arctic Express.) Two years ago, all grown up and a conquering hero, he came to the Redstone Winterfest, stayed at my house, stood in the kitchen one night and told my rapt spouse and sons (while I gazed about, daydreaming) about CrossFit.

    Now they have talked their friends into going. Teddy wants to do a CrossFit team comp. I will say this, my spouse – another Mike, whom we’ll call Mike B – being a jack-of-all-mountain trades, climbed little this past year, but when he did, he climbed pretty well, and attributes it to … you guessed it.

    I find him and Roy at night looking at CrossFit videos. They show me pictures on the local CrossFit website of my friend Tyler lying in a pool of his own sweat, looking up dazedly. “Yeah, Tyler was hurtin’,” they say with strange conviviality.

    Then, as if I didn’t already spend a fortune at the grocery store, the boys came from CrossFit declaring they want to eat the Paleo diet. Meaning, in general terms, fresh fruits and vegetables, which is great, and meats, which is OK – but essentially not pasta, breads or even potatoes. What parent doesn’t know that potatoes are how you can afford to fill up the starving teenage boys who greet you daily with, “What’s for dinner?”

    The low point was when I served up burritos, a quick and healthy family staple, and Roy said, recoiling, “I don’t want to eat legumes!”

    Teddy threw up again the other night at CrossFit, came home laughing about it.

    Last night they all talked again at the table about CrossFit, Mike concluding with a serious expression, “I really need to work on my overhead squats.”

    At one point I was almost tempted to try it, thinking the pullups and other exercises might be good for, and natural to, a climber. But then I went hiking up the local Red Hill with a friend and her friend, who steamed ahead set-faced. While I could keep up, barely, I could also barely speak a word. And I realized that what I like is combining exercise with seeing friends, and hiking at a “talking pace.”

    One of the things I love in climbing, and one of the reasons it is a great sport to write about, is that you and your partner communicate. I couldn’t talk to my friends half as well if I was throwing up.

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