Re: My current position on CF WoDs
Brandon, you're confusing the Crossfit WOD with Crossfit the movement and community. The Crossfit main page WOD can't be the best program for any particular person, as it isn't tailored to their goals and current abilities. It is, however, a good program (appropriately scaled) for a wide range of people, which is all it can be.
The Crossfit movement and community is, in my opinion, a fantastic thing. It has spurred the development of a whole slew of more focused programs (Performance Menu, Hybrid, Endurance etc.) It has brought together a great number of incredibly knowledgeable folk who share their learning for free. It has defined a model of fitness that is actually healthy, in contrast to the bodybuilding culture that still dominates gyms and the public's perception of what working out means. And finally it has given you and I the knowledge to create our own programs and pursue our fitness goals in a safe and effective manner. This empowerment of the individual is, in my opinion, the most important thing Crossfit has done. Who can argue with a site that provides free videos of Mark Rippetoe coaching squat form, or Mike Burgener coaching the olympic lifts, for example? The Crossfit affiliates are just an extension of this. Attending a facility where the individual actually gets coaching on their form empowers them to take their learning and apply it in, for example, their garage gym if they wish. Machine-based gyms build dependency, as you can't exercise without them. Crossfit builds freedom -- you can take your workouts to the park, or the garage, or any other venue.
Finally, do we need elite fitness? Most of us aren't professional athletes or fitness professionals, so won't have the time to achieve the level of, say, OPT. But fitness is a genuinely useful thing, and I can assure you that a program designed by people with the goal of mediocre fitness would not be worth your or my precious time. You need the obsession, the focus on the elite, to achieve everything that Crossfit has, and something that you and I can learn and take elements from. Finally, let's take a broader view. We're all going to die in the end, so it's what we do along the way that counts. If it's fun, let's do it. It doesn't need justification beyond that. Having goals and reaching them is fun. Seeing guys like OPT killing it gives me a goal, and shows me how far the human body can go. I'll probably never get there, but I'm having a great deal of fun trying.