On that spring day across America, the CrossFit faithful gathered--and toiled. There were hundreds of thousands of them, certainly. Maybe a million, maybe two. In an old industrial facility in New Orleans, they hoisted themselves on gymnastic rings and did dips up there. In a strip mall in Santa Cruz, California, they threw 20-pound medicine balls against a wall over and over again. In a business park near the Dulles airport in Virginia, they pushed weighted barbells above their heads, first once a minute, and then as fast as they could for three minutes straight--or until they couldn't lift their arms.
This 2003 CrossFit Journal article captures an early conception of a universal, multi-event test of fitness that laid the foundation for CrossFit competition, including what would become the CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Games. The design requirements for such a test "included but were not limited to the following: quantifiable results; consistency with the CrossFit fitness concept; raising our commitment to improving absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastic foundations; balancing intrinsic abilities of smaller and larger athletes; emphasizing exercises critical to and foundational to advanced training; mixing training demands within each test and, of course, over the total competition; a design that would identify an athlete’s weaknesses and possibly stand as a workout plan for improving overall fitness; and, finally, we wanted to design a competition that would be 'hard as hell.'"