We’ve heard almost every angle on Rich Froning. When the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games favorite isn’t being interviewed, walking out of tour buses, training on the Empire State building, or completing any other aspect of his role as the 2011 Champion, he’s enjoying the opportunity to be himself.
With social media, these days, there’s no better opportunity to get to know many of the people that you would otherwise never meet. While Rich is accessible to some in the CrossFit community, it is his social media reach that connects him to most. And in our opinion, few use their podium as their pedestal as well as Rich does.
A known Christian, he is unashamed of his source of strength. In a time where some athletes may seem to ostracize people that don’t believe exactly what they do – Froning has done an amazing job growing his fan base while remaining true to himself. His faith in God is just another thing about him – it doesn’t overwhelmingly define him.
Some would argue that they would do more with the spotlight that he’s been given. But what people may not realize is that evangelizing what you believe is nearly always polarizing. To speak about your faith in a way that doesn’t push people away is a gift. And it’s a gift that Rich has. It’s nonchalant and easy like his training pace. But it’s rare and powerful like his athletic ability.
These days, sincerity wins out over social platforms. You have to be honest to others and true to yourself. Few athletes accomplish this better than Froning. As seen above, people aren’t just listening, they are making his story and his words their own.
He is using his success to shed light on what he believes and why. He is using his podium for his pedestal. Good luck to Rich, there should be more athletes like him.