SAN DIEGO, CA. The brutal conflict between traditional, moderate fitness aficionados at franchise gyms and the growing radical Crossfit movement escalated tragically yesterday, as a suicide bomb exploded in a 24-Hour Fitness in the LaJolla neighborhood of San Diego, killing 5 and wounding 12.
The alleged perpetrator, Johhny “Burpee” Lawrence, 26, was a member of Crossfit Jihad, a militant fitness group known to meet in an extremist training facility, or what is called a “box” in Crossfit doctrine. Lawrence’s “box” trained in the garage of a local leader, or “coach,” Mick McAllister.
Lawrence apparently gained entry to the 24-Hour Fitness by pretending to be a member.
Tagg Romney, a witness to the attack, said, “He came to the front desk and said he’d forgotten his Vibram Five-Fingers in the locker room and that he’d just be a second. He was wearing what I thought was one of those weight vests, and I thought it was really strange that he was wearing a weighted vest around and that he actually uses those hideous Five-Fingers shoes. I mean, who does that?”
Another survivor, Thurston Howell, said, “He went straight to the Nautilus section, and yelled, ‘Uncle Rhabdo!!!’ Whatever the hell that means. I knew something bad was happening, so I ducked behind the elliptical. Then I heard a big explosion and I passed out.”
Crossfit Jihad released a statement on its blog claiming responsibility. “We salute our brother who took a stand against the corporate gym apostates. We will continue to strike against all infidel gyms and trainers that worship the false idols of outdated cardio and isolation movements. We shall name a workout in his honor. There is no WOD but WOD, and Greg Glassman is its messenger.” The term “WOD” is often used by group members to refer to the “workout of the day,” prophetic visions and tasks given to Crossfitters by their coaches.
Law enforcement throughout southern California has been concerned about an escalating series of attacks by radical Crossfitters on moderate fitness facilities. In January, a Curves for Women in Orange County was terrorized by a group who hurled several kettlebells through the front windows. In March, a Planet Fitness in Escondido had two members’ right arms cut off with scimitars by Crossfitters who saw them taking hormones for weight loss. In April, prominent Beachbody trainer Shaun T died after being struck by multiple medicine balls. While the crime remains unsolved, police believe Crossfit radicals or affiliates may have been involved, due to the warning written at the scene,”P90X = Jazzercise for Men. Death to Cardio!”
Lieutenant Martin Riggs of the California Counterterrorism Task Force stated,”While there are many peaceful and productive fitness enthusiasts in our communities, there are increasing numbers of radical Crossfitters in the area. It may be a reaction to the excesses of American fast-food culture and obesity. Extremely fit people feel threatened by this and cling to their Paleo food and extreme workouts.”
Crossfit Headquarters in Washington, DC, released a statement of condolence to the families of the victims. In it, the group stated, “We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy. While we understand the motivations behind this act, we cannot endorse it. We believe in the freedom of all people to practice their workouts as they see fit.
“We aim to convert followers of false workout programs by constantly talking about our workouts and by wearing annoying T-shirts with double entendres about powerlifting, not by violence. Our boxes are independent entities whose coaches interpret the WOD for their members. Unfortunately, some of our coaches issue their own edicts, or fatWODs, that are inconsistent with the philosophy of Crossfit as expressed on our website. Crossfit is a workout of peace.”
Local authorities urged residents to report any individuals exhibiting radical Crossfit signs and symbols, such as ridiculous socks, calloused hands, Paleo diets, and planking in inappropriate places.