Now believe me when I say that I am no fitness fanatic. My exercise routine usually consists of dashing down the station ramp to the train when running I’m late and lifting my bags of groceries from the car to the front door. So you could imagine that when I scrolled through Netflix and landed on ‘Fittest on Earth: The Story of The 2015 Reebok Crossfit Games,’ I was a little desperate for anything to watch.
There is no part of that long title that appealed to me particularly (given that most words and related to exercise), but as a documentary-head, I decided to give it a shot. And boy, from that point, there was no turning back. This doco reeled me in and spat me out the other end with a new obsession.
The stars of this feature are filmed competing during the Crossfit Games, an annual event that sees the fastest, strongest and most enduring Crossfit athletes from around the globe pitted against each other in several events across a weekend, with the aim of crowning both one man and one woman the ‘Fittest on Earth.’
Let me tell you, you will be rooting for the starring competitors from the word go. Ben Smith? Never heard of him before in my life, but by the time the Games footage started rolling, I was rooting for him to nail his legless rope climbs so he’d take out the Soccer Chipper. Watching Katrin Davidsdottir hit her clean and jerks had me on the edge of my seat to see if she’d be able to take out Sara Sigmundsdottir, the underdog for the women’s comp.
I won’t be a spoil-sport and tell you how the 2015 games ended. But I will tell you that I jumped straight onto the next available documentary, 2016’s ‘Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness,’ to see which of my faves (it is almost impossible not to love Mat Fraser and his mix of sass and determination) would be returning. And then to ‘The Redeemed and the Dominant,’ the 2017 Games doc. And then I obsessively went to Google when the next one would be coming out, and relentlessly stalked all the competitors on Instagram in the least creepy ways possible.
In all seriousness, these documentaries are made exceptionally well, and a real show of just how much filmmaking can connect you to something you previously never gave a moment of attention to, or people you’d never heard of. Watching these men and women compete is utterly unbelievable, and you’ll be floored by what they can do.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be cracking my knucles and putting on my best Fraser face to deadlift my shopping off my driveway up to my door, and checking to see any new info about this year’s doc (!!!) has come out.