For the crossfitters of the social media world, our FB, Instagram, and Twitter feeds have been littered with a few unique buzzwords the past few days. Of course, this is all in response to Erin Simmons who got her 15 minutes of fame warning society about the dangers of Crossfit. This post is not about defending Crossfit because I do Crossfit, I don’t train others in Crossfit. I’m a student not an educator. However, as a science educator, Erin Simmons’ post is absolutely mortifying for reasons that have nothing to do with Crossfit: Erin Simmons is an esteeming science scholar/educator. I say esteeming because she could easily get a better, tenured-track position at a top-tier university more so than me. This chick was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship. Rhodes scholarships are (on most occasions) reserved for the brightest minds of the world. Bill Clinton is one of many great minds who received this honor. So, as a Rhodes scholar finalist, a holder of a Master’s degree, and a PhD candidate in the hard sciences at a widely respected research intensive university, one would think that Ms. Simmons would know how to defend a position that is saturated with empirical (versus anecdotal) evidence and is removed of logical fallacies. I became interested in the types of logical fallacies that humans can’t help to make while defending a position from listening to one of the greatest podcasts created for science buffs, geeks, and nerds: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. Seriously, it is awesome. They often have a segment called “Name that Logical Fallacy” on the show. Here is an extremely detailed list with examples of the types of logical fallacies from the SGU website. As an educator, I feel compelled to give my readers a homework assignment tonight and to find as many logical fallacies as [you] can with Erin Simmons’ manifesto. The “Argument from Authority” is just the beginning. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to watch this Youtube clip of Ms. Simmons executing movements common to a Crossfit regimen with mediocre form in a Crossfit gym. Aside from this, I really hope this chick’s dissertation committee members read her article. There may be some “eeek-ing.” But she is a trainee, and I really do hope that as a trainee who will one day hold a professional, problem solving degree, Ms. Simmons can overcome her hiccups with logical fallacies.
Finally, as Allie Bourdon–a three-time Crossfit Games competitor who has been on the Games podium with her team– beautifully said on Facebook today, it is disrespectful for Ms. Simmons to mention that her friends think that she could be on ESPN doing Crossfit. I don’t doubt that Ms. Simmons could. But immediately? Likely not. Becoming an elite Crossfitter is a process and a commitment, mentally and physically. This video accurately captures the process. Allie and I have both been a part of the process and that is why we have both competed at the Crossfit Games.