Has CrossFit Games director and self-proclaimed villain Dave Castro finally taken things too far?

As the CrossFit® Open 2020 gets underway the world collectively can’t seem to bring themselves to care. Affiliate owners cringe as they ask their athletes to participate in something they no longer believe in, but are invested in like child rearing with an ex. According to barbend.com the amount of athletes participating in the 2020 CrossFit Open has dropped 34%. With a registration fee of $20 per athlete, the CrossFit Games just took a $2 million hit.

How could a global fitness phenomenon like the CrossFit Open experience such exponential growth over the course of 11 years deflate faster than an air mattress in a house full of cats?

In the summer of 2019, Director of the CrossFit Games: Dave Castro pulled a move that left the 15,000 CrossFit Affiliates and 341,501 athletes participating in the five week competition utterly speechless. He restructured the bracket for finding the fittest person on earth. He changed a system that had a proven track record of success into an illogical failure at his own expense.

Prior to 2019 the world was divided into nine regions. The top five athletes from each region would advance to the CrossFit Games.

Sweeping change was afoot in early 2019 when the public was notified that athletes participating in the upcoming 2019 season would earn their spot by being the top athlete in their country.

Theoretically it made sense. After all, the Olympics recognizes athletes by country and at the 2018 CrossFit Games they organized an opening ceremony reminiscent of the Olympics where athletes were grouped by country, ceremoniously carrying their beloved flag. After this spectacle many presumed the Games were gunning for a legitimate Olympic bid. I thought the same, but after a phone call with CrossFit Head of Human Resources, Kyla Hayden I changed my tune. Hayden confidently reassured me CrossFit was attempting nothing of the sort.

With these perceived attempts to legitimize the sport in the eyes of the Olympic Committee the CrossFit community took a pragmatic approach hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Much to the chagrin of the community the latter played out rather acrimoniously.

On July 19th, a mere 13 days before the CrossFit Games a bombshell announcement went out that nearly 50% of participating athletes would nihilistically be cut after the very first event of an 12 event competition spanning the course of four days.

Athletes from less competitive countries were left with the harsh realization that their countless hours of fundraising and navigating the financial burden of entry fees, plane tickets, hotels, meals, and time off work was all in vain. The first event was time capped at 20:00min after which 132 athletes were free to pack their bags and go home.

Ethically it felt like a slap in the face. Not just to the competitors, but to the global CrossFit community. I stopped CrossFitting regularly in 2017 and when I heard the news from a friend my jaw hit the floor. I tuned in to the post Games press conference just in time to see Castro smugly swing the microphone around while shrugging with indifference as the faces of the podium finishers on the panel conveyed embarrassment, remorse, and acceptance that they were now caught in the crosshairs. Their moment of triumph, celebration, and hard work had been stolen. The careers they have been working on for nearly a decade now lacks a respectful governing body. Ironically, much like the Olympics.

Are there other venues for these athletes to compete and be respectfully recognized and compensated? Yes, but the Super Bowl of CrossFit known as the CrossFit Games is now in limbo. CrossFit founder Greg Glassman has transferred his paradigm to a more sustainable method for the average person who wishes to maintain health. Glassman has all but completely severed the CrossFit® brand from the CrossFit Games leaving the competitive CrossFit community in the hands of the questionable competence of Dave Castro.

The good news is other promoters of the sport are encroaching throughout the world hosting sanctional events and Castro has left his throne vulnerable to an overthrow, so now the question is: will the competitive community harness their inner rogue and reinstate their dignity as ambassadors to a global community?

 

Post Games Press Conference where Dave Castro addresses the changes [4:00]

Agreement on Disposable Bouffants Doesn’t Stop Nurses and Surgeons From Arguing

Operating Room staff everywhere exhaled a collective sigh of relief this month as word spread in early morning huddles that the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) changed their standard guidelines on surgical attire to include head coverings.

Instead of wearing shower cap style disposable bouffants, rumored to be dipped in formaldehyde, staff are now free to wear paper skull caps and tacky cloth bouffants with designs in alignment with upcoming holidays.

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Surgical Techs have also reported surgeons everywhere have collectively stopped requesting arbitrary 11 blades to be placed on the surgical field pointing in the direction of AORN Headquarters in Aurora, CO.

Some time before or after 2014, the AORN allegedly released a new standard villifying the use of paper or cloth skull caps during surgery, whilst promoting hideous, disposable, polypropylene bouffants. Upon further investigation, the details surrounding this release remain unclear.

Without comprehensive knowledge of the standard in question, sweeping policy changes were adopted in hospitals nationwide.

All of a sudden disposable paper skull caps started disappearing from the shelves outside off substerile areas and were replaced with bouffants similar to ones worn by jail kitchen staff.

Orthopedic Surgeons documented a surge of work related injuries as staff began to slip on bouffants that had fallen onto the floor. Department educators sustained the most severe injuries from running after Anesthesiologists in their Danskos in an attempt to get them to cover their cloth skull caps with the noxious bouffants.

In 2016, when the back stock of paper skull caps ran out, a Colorectal Surgeon from the Univeristy of Utah demanded answers.

“Why do I have to do a bowel resection in a hat that looks like I’m about to serve meatloaf!?”

This demand was made of a charge nurse busy making lunch assignments who responded sarcastically, “ it probably reduces the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs).”

Following this obscure incident the American College of Surgeons (ACS) launched 1,083 studies on the possible link between head coverings and SSIs. In less than two years 542 of those studies were published and verified by Cochrane. Studies found that disposable bouffants didn’t decrease risk of SSIs and the ACS demanded AORN stop claiming they did.

In 2017 the AORN issued a press release saying: “We actually never said they did.”

In an obvious attempt to circumvent blame, in 2018 the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) tried to resolve the issue by reading the published AORN standard.

The ASA found the AORN made no such claim regarding the link between disposable bouffants decreasing SSI risk.

One Anesthesiologist from Boulder, CO even suggested hospitals get rid of the disposable bouffants altogether due to their impending risk to baby sea turtles.

The ASA even went so far as to collaborate with AORN and the ACS in an effort to amend the standard with the clause “common sense.” Such as, “don’t wear a cotton skull cap that has been left in the back seat of your car where the dog rolls around.”

Subsequent sensical suggestions were met by blank stares as the ASA realized they had just crashed the White Claw party with their Grey Goose & LaCroix. There was a brief pause before Nurses and Surgeons shifted their attention to arguing over preference cards.

 

 

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The Real Risk Associated With Using Dating Apps Isn’t Sally Sex Offender, It’s Much Worse

Ah yes, Tinder. The Godfather of app dating. Tinder was first launched in 2012. First popular among college kids it has since expanded in popularity to every living generation with a user base at any given time of 4.3 million. Other dating apps that use the swipe method to match subscribers have since followed suit.

What has also grown exponentially since 2012 is reported cases of sexual violence. Correlation doesn’t always justify causation. Current statistics tell us very little. Even though the FBI’s annual crime report highlights a 20% increase in reported rapes since 2013, the definition of rape used by the FBI to categorize these reports has changed several times and has been split into subcategories. The publicly published data we have now isn’t comparable to previous data which makes investigating the mechanisms perpetrators use to find victims even more difficult.

Our best hope for answers is at the level of local law enforcement. In early 2019, Denver, CO PD released data from the previous year directly linking 53 crimes initiated from dating apps, 18 of which were rape. Unfortunately, I was unable to find previous published data to compare trends so I compared them to the total rapes reported in Denver by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to get some context. In 2018 the total amount of rapes reported in Denver was 546 which means only  3% of those rapes were associated with an unspecified dating app.

This data demonstrates that the bulk of sexual predators aren’t relying on dating apps to carry out crimes. Breathe a little easier ladies, but don’t hold it waiting for Mr. Right. It doesn’t mean there aren’t creeps, jerks, and myriads of men, who never grew up, prancing around in leotards publicly exposing their d*ck root to anyone who will look. This investigation is far from a man bashing sesh  though, so I sought to counter my inherent bias of being a straight, elder millennial woman. I even went so far as to interview my matches on Tinder to get a man’s perspective. I asked them four empathetic questions.

1.) What is your perception of women who use Tinder?

2.) Do you consider Tinder only a hook-up App?

3.) Have you experienced fraud or harassment from women on Tinder?

4.) If anything, what would you change to improve Tinder?

In three hours I had 95 matches. I asked all 95 men the same questions. Out of 95, 40 responded, but only 8 of those responses were geared towards answering my questions. The other 32 declined to freely participate.

Out of those eight, five men said they generalized most women on the app to be either superficial and obsessed with money, scam bots, or women looking for instagram followers. Two men said they try not to generalize because it depends on the woman. One man mistook me for a bot, asked me to ‘f*ck’ and when I said no thank you, he apologized furiously explaining that he assumed I was a bot and subsequently unmatched with me. Only one man said he had been harassed and stalked by previous dates. Despite being stalked he said, perhaps to his naïveté, he never felt unsafe. **but between you and me, that gentleman gave my intuition a Ted Bundy sized punch to the gut.** Psychopathy affects 1% of people so to have that feeling after 95 matches seems likely enough to validate said intuitive feeling.

If this were a scientific study the sample group that responded was too small to be of any real significane so I turned my attention to the 32 men who responded, but didn’t freely participate. The majority of the men in this group wanted something physically from me before answering any questions. By physical, they wanted me to agree to a meeting. Some specified they may answer during a date, others said they would answer after said date, and three wanted to forego the questions altogether and just, “f*ck.” All of aforementioned offers I politiely declined.

This concept of wanting something for nothing, or in exchange for answers to a simple survey that could have been leveraged as an excellent ice breaker left me with a harsh realization. It’s a jagged pill to swallow. I can summarize the behavior of the majority of matches I made on Tinder in one word. Entitled.

I used to not believe the consistent reporting of millennial entitlement in the media, however the data doesn’t lie. Those men felt entitled that I owed them something before they were willing to give up anything. It changed my entire thesis going into this investigation. The majority of men on dating apps AREN’T predatory. In fact acting entitled is the antithesis of predatory. It’s actually profoundly lazy. 3F95DB37-2ABD-496A-B018-93DB8F7AB6D2

At the end of the day, one of these 100 matches went so far as to report me and eight hours later my account was banned. I want to add that this entitlement is not exclusive to men. The few men that did respond to my questions all confirmed my findings were also present in the majority of women using the app.

Are millennials and elder genZ’ers really that bad? The unfortunate answer is yes. In conclusion, should you be fearful of encountering a sexual predator on a dating app? Of course. Don’t disregard personal safety, but the real threat lurking on dating apps is trying not to drown in sea of f*cking losers.

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My experience at Dirtfish was fun… Until it got uncomfortable.

There I was in my basement apartment in Vail, CO with the bright idea to get out of nursing and into racing. After a few suggestions from friends I enrolled in Dirtfish Rallly School. Between the time I signed up and the time I attended, I entertained the idea of opening a similar operation in Colorado. I didn’t know if it was something I would want to commit to and Dirtfish was as good a place as any to try and that find out.

I went to Dirtfish, as a customer. I had no ill will towards Dirtfish or ulterior motive. I was inquisitive and I asked questions about the operation, none of which were inappropriate or compromising for a staff member to answer. I reserved financial questions for the founder himself who I sought out on LinkedIn following my three day course. The subsequent messages I received from Dirtfish founder Steve Rimmer regarding the operational questions I asked of Dirtfish staff left me with an intuitively uneasy feeling. I felt intimidated. He wanted to know specifics like, who did I talk to, and what did they say? I refused to answer.

I had done nothing wrong. No one at Dirtfish had done anything wrong, so where was the aggressive inquisiton coming from? I got curious. What if Dirtfish employees were feeling the same intimidation I felt? I wanted to rule out the possibility that I misinterpreted my interaction with Rimmer so I sought out former Dirtfish employees for answers, but no one would say a word. In fact, they all said they were uncomfortable speaking with me. They all cited the reason being that they didn’t want to ruin their relationship with Dirtfish. None of them said they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with a non-compete clause which was what I was expecting. Based on those interactions I concluded that former employees either signed something, or the leadership environment at DirtFish is so harmonious that there was no need to explain, but I if were a gambler I would put my bet on the former.

Although I don’t know much about the day to day culture, what I do know is that Dirtfish is partnered with Americas RallyCross (ARX) and ARX is one of the very few racing platforms for professional rallycross drivers on this continent. Their pockets and reach run deep.

I asked a professional driver unaffiliated with Dirtfish what their thoughts were. They said they too found it odd that Dirtfish was so guarded, and suggested that attending a school wasn’t necessary to break into the sport. In fact, the courses at DirtFish relied too heavily on the tire sidewall instead of the contact patch.

Armed with this information, was building my own school even applicable, profitable, or necessary? Especially if I’d find myself battling politically in the crosshairs of Dirtfish? As of right now, probably not. Jumping down the rabbit hole only to find the Madhatter sure was interesting though and I was happy to oblige with my inner Cheshire Cat. 755C3B6F-8854-4AD4-B2FF-FAAC6E24D8D5.jpeg

 

From Surgery to RallyCross

 

So, how did I get started on this rally/rallyx path? Probably the same way most people who have no previous experience or knowledge get into it….

By hitching a ride on the Ken Block bandwagon.9A2ADBC0-0BEB-4630-BF26-1B9EEA4423D6

I can just hear the collective groans of old timers as I write that. The same groan I probably gave Kendall Jenner when she wore a Slayer t-shirt. Seems silly if you put it into context. Who am I to judge Kendall’s level of fandom? I didn’t develop empathy for Kendall until I wore a Johnny Cash t-shirt out on a Tinder date and received that same smirk and petty judgement from across the table. This guy assumed I didn’t even listen to Johnny Cash. It was such an unattractive quality I vowed not to do that to other people and immediately issued a mental apology to Kendall Jenner.

Anyways, back to me. So, there I was in my dark basement apartment outside of Vail, Colorado. I was sitting in my recliner trying to distract myself from my current lot of inept stimulation when I stumbled across The Gymkhana Files on Prime.

Sure, I had a job that anyone who works in Sports Orthopedic Surgery would kill for. Literally. It’s ranked no. 1 in the world.

World famous surgeons means world famous patients. For more context, The Steadman Clinic is to Sports Orthopedics what Ken Block is to extreme motorsports entrepreneurship and I hesitate to call that accurate, but that analogy will do for the purposes of this article.

So, what is my role in Sports Orthopedics? I’m a surgical nurse, which means I work on a team with a surgical tech. The surgeon tells us what procedure they’re doing and we make it happen.E58C7FEE-3C29-4EF0-951B-0C9DB0DEEA8B

Me and my partner set up your entire surgery, assist during surgery, and tear it all down when you’re in recovery. You rarely even see us or know we’re there. Like motorsports, it’s all timed. The set up, the length of surgery, the tear down, and the clean up. All those times are tracked for informatics. Informatics is a branch of healthcare that attempts to quantify care into data points that administrators and managers use to assess efficiency and cost effectiveness. To make it to the top you have to be good, precise, and fast. I didn’t start here. It took me five years of hard work. The old adage, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast applies to just about everything it seems.

My point is, I may be new to the sport of rallycross, but I’m experienced in the context.

How do I even start this journey?! I thought to myself, so I booked a ticket to rally school to learn how to drive in someone else’s car. Seemed like a reasonable and intelligent decision. I flew to Dirtfish in Snoqualmie, Washington. The internet ranked it pretty highly and they are affiliated with just about everything including the governing body for rallycross competition in the US called Americas Rallycoss (ARX).

I learned very quickly however, that rally schools are mostly just businesses. It’s not like nursing school where a developmental program will open doors and opportunities that will eventually land you in the “driver’s seat” of your own career.

Rally schools are basically amusement parks for people who want to get sideways without destroying their own car. I’m not saying the latter won’t work out. They will happily train you and even build you a car, but on a nurse’s budget I don’t see that as an option for me.

Then, I started putting content on my Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook relevant to the mission and to document my experience thus far. I’m still adding, deleting, and experimenting here. I came out of the gate very loud, flashy, and cantankerous. To make a skiing analogy, my image was a bit like a young Bode Miller on a drunken binge. Just check out my header image. HOLY SMOKES! I’m not messing around trying to be the new bad girl of a sport I genuinely know very little about. Instead of going full throttle, or binary on the pedals as my rally instructor friend Jack would say in his adorable British accent. I have since simmered down to the level of an older Bode Miller, but not quite a married with kids Bode Miller. 97587166-EA05-40A7-BB1D-7DF994104559

That’s it in a nutshell. I must admit, I still feel a bit like Kendall Jenner in a Slayer t-shirt pursuing this whole deal, but I am confident I’m going to have some great experiences and connect with some people who are going to give me a high-five and compliment me on my new passion for car handling and performance annnnnnd my proverbial t-shirt.

What’s next for me on the list of learning? Attending a live ARX event! I booked a plane ticket to Austin, Texas for ARX COTA in late September. I can’t wait to see the contrast between beginners at a rally school and experienced professionals.

 

I tried to go Vegan. I lasted 18 hours.

I decided to be a vegan just to try something new. I thought I could go 30 days no problem. My niece actually gave me four days. That was so generous of her. I appreciate how much she believes in me. Also, I recently had my blood work done and wanted to compare any changes a vegan diet may have on those results.

Within 18 hours I was face down in a vanilla Costco sheet cake. Fuck! Those are so good! I could have lied to Instagram and Snapchat. Nobody really cares what I’m doing and the entire cake probably only had one egg in it. The frosting is basically sugar and “plant” based shortening.

Vegan options save animals… but it’s likely they could kill me, which is cool if I’m into self-efacing martyrdom and internet trolling of carnivores. However, processed vegetable oils aren’t good for anyone, but they sure are easier to consume when you don’t feel satiated.

Does every vegan survive on vegetable oil based junk food? Absolutely not. I just want the record to show that’s what “I” immediately started craving. I tried to undo my mishap by immediately eating a salad. In-between my edamame and broccoli I also had two bags of potato chips. I read the label and made sure they were vegan. I couldn’t resist. They were dressed up so cute in their decorative mylar wrapper. A wrapper I promptly threw in the trash. “Don’t worry little lonely wrapper,” I mumbled to myself. “You’ll be floating with your friends in the gigantic pacific garbage patch in no time!”

Here’s a self-assessment of my failure:

1.) I was not prepared. Eating whole, plant based foods takes an incredible amount of pre-planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. I knew this, but I rationalized I could just wing it like I do on my animal based protein diet.

2.) The gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan items I purchased from the grocery store absolutely destroyed my gut. I probably farted 500 times and my abdomen distended like I had Kwashiorkor’s.

3.) I realized I was wearing leather shoes the entire time. In reality I never really started being a vegan. I just tried to eat more fruits and vegetables.

4.) I impulsively jumped in without doing a values assessment. I didn’t have a strong enough “why.” I thought liking cows would be enough to sustain me on this diet for a month. I drove by a field of cows last week and they looked like such kind docile creatures. I tried to turn an emotion I was experiencing in the moment to an entire month of lifestyle change. That was impulsive and dumb.

Would climate change be a big enough “why,” I asked myself? I care about the environment and yes, I have heard about the methane from cow farts increasing global warming. Then I realized it’s probably because cows have a vegan diet and fart like I did. It all makes sense now.

Vegans also have to rely a great deal on synthetic fabrics and materials which also affect climate change so that arguement cancels each other out. To their credit, vegans are aware and some companies are recycling plastics and making them into clothing and other reusable products, but carnivores do that too.

All these debates accumulated in my mind as I was eating a cashew based yogurt full of more fucking sugar. I began to think about the studies regarding high carbohydrate diets and their link to inflammatory issues and exacerbation of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Multiple-Sclerosis, and dementia. All that stress was just making me more hungry.

My advice, which I know you’re not soliciting, is to start with a values assessment. Then, do some research on how to be a vehicle for positive change based on those values. I’m a bit of a narcissist to be honest, so I’m unsure if I have the personality qualities to follow a vegan lifestyle. I’m going to try though. I want the data of my lab results. To get accurate data I should really track everything I eat so the quality of food and macro ratios can be referenced if I ever want to publish my personal findings.

As far as my personal values I will have to leverage the value of connection. If I’m going to connect with others then I need to have empathy. I need to understand and not be judgmental. Will it be enough to sustain a vegan lifestyle for 30 days? We’ll see.