This article looks at the relationship between the U.S. military and CrossFit, a functional fitness training method and sport, and focuses on how their affinities coalesce around the idea of preparedness. CrossFit makes a sport and spectacle out of preparing for the “unknown and unknowable” challenges of life. This approach to life and fitness is attractive to service members, first responders, and average citizens alike who live in an age of constant anticipation, awaiting unknown threats. This article draws from fieldwork observations, interviews, CrossFit videos and articles, social media posts, and discussion board threads to argue that CrossFit, with its emphasis on preparedness, exhibits an evangelical temporality that is particularly symbiotic with American militarism. This article introduces two new terms, “evangelical temporality” and “generic evangelicalism,” to discuss a disposition towards time marked by a sense of expectation; by the anticipation of rupture and change that necessitates a state of constant preparedness; and by a firm conviction that time is running out. In three acts, this article explores how CrossFit, as a militaristic sport and a lifestyle centered on preparedness, benefits from and adds to the prevailing sense of uncertainty, expectation, and preparation that characterizes evangelical temporality in America.
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