Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: June 9, 2020

I hurt my back yesterday. It was after a doctor’s appointment and I was worried, so I left my car without thinking, turned wrong to pet the dogs at my door and out it went. It always happens that way, right? At least for me! As a CrossFit athlete I lift heavy weights, perform functional fitness moves, jump over boxes and under low bars and rarely get hurt. It is always when I am not thinking or planning correctly or when I am distracted that I hurt myself and others, too.

It is that way in life, too. As such an avid CrossFitter, I can tell you that is what happened to founder and CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, who controversially tweeted “It’s Floyd-19” in response to a tweet about racism being a public health issue. (At least we hope that it was just carelessness.) But no matter what, hundreds of CrossFit Boxes have disaffiliated, and major sponsors are history. Even Reebok ended its exclusive ten-year deal as the main CrossFit sponsor and licensee of CrossFit apparel. Professional CrossFit athlete Rich Froning, too, who has won the CrossFit Games four times, criticized Glassman’s comments to his 1.4 million Instagram followers, saying the last few days made it “impossible to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed.” That is how someone hurts another, especially when they don’t think.

Even Katelyn and I are going to find a place to work out that isn’t affiliated with Glassman. The hurt is too deep and the pain too much for friends who fight every day for the same rights we enjoy, all because their skin color is a shade or two darker. It is unbelievable. We may be inconvenienced, but at least we are alive. We can walk, jog, and go places and never think about our safety. Many cannot. Glassman made that worse.

Today, as I work from my desk, some pastors are trying to buy new million dollar jets, others want to be ordained for a new big hat,  and others are worrying about their titles and money and what they will buy next all while people die; all the while they lose focus or are blind to think what Jesus would want them to do.

Before Glassman’s tweet, CrossFit overall had stayed noticeably silent on the Black Lives Matter movement as a host of companies publicly took a stand on anti-racism following Floyd’s death. While CrossFit previously pledged public support for the LGBT community, as well as dedicating its “Hero” workouts to fallen soldiers, somehow the lives of those threatened since 1619 seems to be of little value. But not us! We peached and welcomed and stood up. We always will.

St. Francis once said, “No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.”  I am not so sure many believe that; at least we sure don’t preach it much.

My back is hurting today. My heart is worse. I will survive. As to those who are not in the majority…I am not so sure I can guarantee the same, but I can say that at Saint Miriam we won’t stop working toward that goal. We are all careless from time to time, but this time our carelessness might just cost someone their life.