When Sport Collides with the Past


lumber-pile-photoAfter spending the morning watching the Reebok CrossFit Games streaming live on my computer as I sit and make my next batch the spears, the irony of our athletic endeavors of today dawned on me. What did I see (for those not attached to the games) was the first team event and 4th event for the individuals. The event called the The Burden Run or Beast of Burden consisted of a 2.1 mile run, followed by flipping a 300+ pound hunk of pain called “The Pig” followed by a team log carry (individual logs tied together with rope) called “The Worm” or individual log for the individuals finally a sled carry either solo or in pairs.


As I sat assembling the new set of spear kits to go out, I watched thinking these events and even more so many of the obstacles we face in races are nothing more than what our ancestors faced everyday. Whether it be climb up a tree for food, throw a spear to catch our next meal, carry a log for our fire, drag our home behind us as we followed the herd, or moved a large boulder into our out of place to fortify our caves. We have always tested been tested.


For years in sport the norm seemed to be consistency, we moved from doing the unusual to doing the same, or courts, in controlled environments, and with more aid around us then we could ever want or need. Not that I am knocking those sports, growing up playing tennis, lacrosse, and others. But the trend seems to continue, that the usual, predictable, and same has grown old for many. Now it more and more people like to be challenged, like to go back to the primal nature that is human.


It’s great to see, it’s fun to watch, I love it all! But I wonder if our great-grandparents or great-great grandparents saw the things we call sport what would they think? Would they call it sport or just a normal workday?












Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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