Archive for the ‘crossfit’ Category
Ryan Gosling, the Meme
“Hey Girl,” the meme, was originally started by Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling on tumblr, and made famous by Danielle Henderson’s Feminist Ryan Gosling. The blog was started as a joke to keep track of the theorists she is studying as she works towards her graduate degree in gender studies. The content has no affiliation to Ryan Gosling, the actor, and as with most things we encounter online, it doesn’t really matter because Henderson’s content is so damn entertaining.
Like all good memes, spin offs happen, and last week I ran into the most amazing rendition of the “Hey Girl” meme and that is CrossFit Ryan Gosling.
CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created (I believe) by Gabe Billings and Robin Runyan out of Eugene, Oregon and shared like mild wildfire on Facebook last week. You can view all 21 photos (so far) here.
Why CrossFit Ryan Gosling works: A Lesson in Marketing
The reason why Feminist Ryan Gosling worked so well and is (arguably) more famous than the original is because of a few reasons:
1) Know Your Audience
People who are “subject matter experts” of the target audience created Feminist Ryan Gosling and CrossFit Ryan Gosling who these pictures were created for. The person behind Feminist Ryan Gosling is studying gender issues; the people behind CrossFit Ryan Gosling is a CrossFitter. They wrote captions for people who are like them and about things that matter.
The fact that Ryan Gosling is featured is for entertainment only.
Takeaway: Know your audience intimately.
2) Find Your Niche and Stick to it
According to Know Your Meme, “Hey Girl” was created in December 2008 but made famous by Feminist Ryan Gosling when it came to the scene in the fall of 2011 and was featured on Ms. Magazine blog, The Huffington Post, GQ, Newsweek, Bust, and about a dozen more.
Why did Feminist Ryan Gosling do better than the original “Hey Girl” in such a short amount of time? Because Feminist Ryan Gosling had a very specific purpose: feminist flash cards.
Granted, I haven’t spent much time on the original site, but the name is telling – “Fuck Yeah!” doesn’t really tell me what your site and your content is about, whereas Feminist and CrossFit does.
Takeaway: When given the opportunity, specialize and become an expert over being a generalist.
3) Do it Because You Want to
The best part about Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling, Feminist Ryan Gosling, and CrossFit Ryan Gosling are that they are all fans – of the topics they parody at least. If you want to create some great content that will have some “stickiness” to it, you have to enjoy what you’re doing and come from a place of curiosity or heart.
CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created because someone at the creator’s gym came up with the idea and the set is what they all came up with. The creators are CrossFitter themselves. They’re not getting paid and they probably did it because they wanted to. And that’s what it’s all about.
Takeaway: You will create something noteworthy if you love the topic you’re creating first.
In Other Sunday Serial News
When you’re done lusting over Ryan Gosling, here are a few other articles for you to read:
- Do you want more engagement OR more traffic to your blog? by Mack Collier on MackCollier.com
- 5 lessons from the world’s most successful online community manager by Monica Guzman on GeekWire
- Brands, don’t kill your social feed by over-automating it by Doron Simovitch on VentureBeat
- The myth of the eight-hour sleep by Stephanie Hegarty on BBC Magazine
What did you read this week?
Post updated on April 22, 2012 to reflect multiple authors and the official web “home” of CrossFit Ryan Gosling to be here. Thanks, Gabe and Robin for stopping by!
My relationship with CrossFit started over three years ago. It started before Reebok entered into a sponsorship deal with CrossFit, made it a sport, and brought it to the out of the garage and onto ESPN. It started back when there were only a few boxes in Seattle and I had no idea how to describe it to people, other than to say, “It’s CrossFit.”
It started because like most great things, a friend told me about it.
Since then I climbed a 20-foot rope for the first time in my life. Did handstands across America and Canada. Learned I have amazing mobility and one amazing overhead squat. Met some of my closest friends and tightest community through my gym. Recruited at least a dozen people into CrossFit through real-life conversations and conversations on Twitter (seriously). Injured my right shoulder. Got depressed, angry, and really frustrated about it. Finally figured out a treatment plan that worked.
Want to know the best part?
My friend, Dillan Monson, shot a video that night at the gym during the WOD, and yours truly made her first CrossFit video appearance, banded pull-ups, cleans, and jerks included.
As another CrossFit friend put it, this is how ‘regular’ people look when they do CrossFit. By that, she means people like you and specifically me, not the elite-elite athletes.
Watch it, and let me know if you spot me
Laura, John, and Strong Santa
Original artwork illustrated by John Kimball
Two years ago in June, I walked into a CrossFit gym and started a workout with barely enough strength to lift the bar. This was embarrassing. I was not a newbie at all, but a nine-month veteran just home from three weeks away from the gym due to business travel. I was very familiar with the fact that I would not be as strong as when I left, but I wasn’t lifting any weight at all, I was just trying to lift the goddamn 35-pound bar.
Something was wrong. Something in my life beyond the gym was affecting my workout. And something needed to change.
That time I quit CrossFit
That summer my life was a mess – I was working for a manager who said I needed to do some “soul searching” to see if the job that I was doing was what I wanted to do, my husband and I were buying our first house, and I was discovering what it meant to be an “adult.”
They say that one of the main reasons why people work out is to relieve stress. But CrossFit is different; it requires concentration of your mind, body, and soul to push your body to do things that you never imagined it could. And as a friend put it, at CrossFit, you are very vulnerable. And those three things consumed all of my thoughts to the point that I could not put them aside so I could use my brain to focus on the work out at hand.
It was scary. And if you aren’t on solid ground mentally, emotionally, or physically, it makes it even worse.
And it can turn something you love into something that isn’t worth it anymore.
So I quit. I decided that I needed time away from this thing that I was growing to love. This activity that was the first and only form of working out that I ever “got.” This hobby that showed me I have damn good form and kick ass at lifting. This sport that was causing more stress that it was relieving.
The difference between quitting and failure
It’s okay to say enough is enough and put a stop to what’s not working. For me, quitting CrossFit allowed me to take one responsibility off the table so I could spend my energy on working through some really big milestones in my life. It allowed me to preserve the sanctity of CrossFit so that it would still be fresh when, or if, I decided to return.
The idea of quitting is romantic. It’s an action that many of us would like to do, but rarely act upon. And I’m not talking give-the-man-the-finger type of quitting; I’m talking about the “it’s not good for me anymore” type of quitting. The kind that slips out of your mouth over wine with a friend when you tell her about the job that you’re not into anymore or the man you’re seeing who doesn’t fulfill your life the way he used to; the kind that she’ll encourage you to get over and promise that that feeling will come back and that you’ll come out stronger than when you started.
Or, if she’s a good friend, she will tell you to listen to that feeling and just fucking do it.
I like how John Falchetto says it, quitting is a choice:
I chose to quit when there is no progress. When no matter the effort I am exerting, in whichever direction I am pushing no progress is made whatsoever. Sometimes it is easier to walk around the wall than try to push through it.
Quitting is not the same thing as failure. Failure is the act of something not working in the way that you intended it to work. Failure is an outcome, quitting is a choice. Failure is something that happens to you (or something you direct), quitting is you putting a screeching halt to something. And sometimes to prevent being run over by the train, you have to change the tracks and put up the stop sign.
And it’s okay.
Whether it’s a hobby, how you workout, your job, your lover, and even your best friend – quitting, when you know why you’re doing it, is okay.
Learning from the past
Technically this isn’t a story about quitting; it’s a story about hitting pause. Four months after I quit CrossFit, I found my way back. I resolved two of the three issues that got in my way during the summer and found a new gym. This new gym invited me to join their community and I fell back in love with CrossFit.
It wasn’t the same kind of love. This time, I know that I will have an “off” night and that things will happen at work and at home that will affect how I perform at the gym. There are nights when I will fight back tears because emotionally, I can’t find the strength to start or even finish a work out, but I will find the strength to show up. And that’s okay.
This time, the relationship is different because I am approaching it differently.
What have you quit? What did it teach you?
Photo credit: Jen Collins (hellojenuine)
In CrossFit, the workout-of-the-day (WOD) is generally named after a person. They can be named after girls, heroes, and other guys in between. Sadly, the hero workouts are named after CrossFitters who serve in the military or armed forces and died in the line of duty. I haven’t found how the girls earn a WOD named after them (or which real-life ladies inspire the said workouts), but it’s my goal to someday have a WOD named “Laura.”
Anyway, if I am the hero of my CrossFit destiny, pushing myself against me and laying down personal records day in and day out, then I can’t be a true superhero without an archenemy. And mine goes by the name of Angie.
Angie is a body-weight workout and the worst 20 to 30 minutes of your life (or 10 minutes, if you’re that good).
100 air squats
My history with Angie
Angie and I have played together three times over the past year, which is a lot since CrossFit programming is constantly varied.
50 ring dips, 50 jumping pull-ups
100 banded pull-ups
100 banded pull-ups
To set the context, April’s Angie was during the 40 WOD Challenge when I was going to CrossFit 3-days in a row, 1-day rest, 3-days on, 1-day rest, etc. I was at the height of my physical fitness for the year and was kicking some major muscle. In July, I just started a new job and was barely going twice a week. The thing that really pissed me off was I was busting out some killer pull-ups and rock-solid sit-ups. The push-ups, well, were a struggle. But two minutes slower? (more…)
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