Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to make the CrossFit Games go so smoothly? Sure Dave Castro does all the planning and then the demo team makes it look easy, but who does the things no one else thinks of? Who cleans up and sets up barbells? True to the CrossFit community spirit, it’s all volunteers (more than 800 actually), doing it because they love CrossFit.
Here’s a list of 15 things Dave Williamson, a volunteer on the Rogue team, learned during his week at the CrossFit Games.
P.S. Dave just started CrossFit six months ago. And here he is volunteering at the Games. We should all be more like Dave.
- Volunteering is hard work. Really hard work. Volunteers prepare, assemble, move to location, reset, move back to the warehouse and disassemble everything. Every thing. Every plate and every barbell.
- Things don’t always go as planned. Plans change regularly, sometimes on the field when resetting for the next heat, sometimes outback. You have to be ready.
- Chaos. It was chaos for volunteers too.
- We are appreciated. Almost all the athletes are overly appreciative for volunteers, acknowledge you and saying thanks. To be appreciated by your fitness idols is incredibly wonderful.
- It’s hard work. These are long days, with very little opportunity to take a breaks before needing to be somewhere else. Someone has to setup before that 8:00 AM heat, right?
- Volunteers are hard workers. Some of the craziest work ethic I’ve ever come across. No opportunity to slack. You have to be driven to ensure your responsibilities are fully taken care of.
- Stay in your lane. Stay in the lane you’ve been assigned and do the job your team leader instructs you to do. But as stated earlier, be prepared to be told differently on the field.
- It gets heavy. For some volunteers, you’re going to move some heavy things. Often times the weight is a number that’s unattainable or incomprehensible for many of us to think about moving. The volunteers have to move it, and get it right, with a time limit, while being looked on by people in the stands. Be ready.
- Efficiency is key. Be quick, but don’t hurry. Know your limitations but be prepared to be tested.
- Community abounds. The CrossFit community is real. People embrace the work ethic and the support of one another from athletes, volunteers, families and patrons.
- Have some experience. Some volunteers are former Games athletes (true story). With that said, you’re lifting and running all the time and it can sometimes feel like you’ve done 8+ WODs in one day.
- 110% worth it. You get free stuff and vendor village really hooks you up. There are shoes, shirts, knee sleeves, bags, food, and all the FITAID you could ever drink.
- Unknown and unknowable for us, too. Nobody receives any training prior to doing the job they’ve been asked to do. That could mean you need to figure out how to move the Bobs on the fly or learn very quickly how to pick up a Worm or the slug, which was just invented like a month ago.
- It gets gritty. The gear team used a lot of sand. Seriously. So. Much. Sand.
- AMRAP. Would do it again and again, absolutely.