Firebreather – Fie-r’-brë-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete.
The term “Firebreather” was first introduced to the CrossFit® culture following a fierce battle of thrusters and pullups at the historic CrossFit® Santa Cruz gym in Santa Cruz, California.
During the early days of CrossFit® at the Headquarters gym located in Santa Cruz, California, a team of dedicated athletes – the likes of Greg Amundson, Jason Hibarger, Garth Taylor, David Leys, Mike Weaver, Annie Sakamoto, Nicole Carroll and Eva Twardokens – gathered every morning at 6:00 a.m. to throw themselves at the Workout of the Day under the guidance of CrossFit® Founder “Coach” Greg Glassman. A beautiful combination of camaraderie and competition soon forged this group of men and women into an entirely new class of athlete. The fitness capacities of these athletes – originally known as “Team Six” – necessitated a unique word in order to describe the extreme physical and mental changes that had taken place in their bodies.
Words such as “beasts” “monsters” “gladiators” and “warriors” were used with affection from time to time between members of the team. These words conjured up great images and were wonderful metaphors for the athletic abilities of the athletes. However, these descriptive words had all been used before and were familiar in other athletic communities. An entirely new definition was needed to represent an entirely new class of athlete.
After a particularly fierce workout one early morning in 2003, a heap of exhausted athletes laid strewn about the gym floor. These were the days before workouts had been oficially named: The stimuli had been a now famous couplet involving thrusters and pullups. Through gasping breaths, Greg Amundson exclaimed to the group, “It felt like I was breathing fire the entire time – It’s like we’re a bunch of firebreathers!” The name stuck and the rest is history!
After repeated requests from athletes around the World, the term “Firebreather” was officially defined by Greg Amundson on August 20, 2007 as: Firebreather – Fie-r’-brë-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete. In the CrossFit® culture, every athlete yearns for the day they will be referred to by their athletic capacity as a Firebreather. However, as the definition implies, the term “Firebreather” is representative of both body, mind and spirit. Any athlete who strives valiantly during exercise while displaying an indomitable spirit is walking the path of a true Firebreather.
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