It’s that time of year again—time for the CrossFit Open! In less than a week, Dave Castro, who I lovingly refer to as the Head Gamemaker, will be announcing 16.1, the first of five tests of strength and endurance in which CrossFitters around the world will be competing. The Open is the launch of the journey to crown the fittest on earth at the annual CrossFit Games. Are you on the fence about signing up? Just do it already! I promise you won’t regret it, and here’s why:
You should compete even if you don’t have a shot at advancing
Competing doesn’t have to be about winning! It should be about pushing yourself to be better than you were. Have you ever trained for a 10K or a half marathon? I’m willing to bet most of you didn’t expect to win. Think about your daily time at the gym like conditioning yourself to run, and the Open is like the day of the race! Since competition tends to bring a rush of adrenaline, I’ll be willing to bet you’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish!
It gives you a chance to measure yourself against the rest of the world
This can be humbling if you’re typically the person who scores the most reps or lifts the most weight at your box, or this can be a huge boost of confidence! We have a masters athlete at our gym who does WODs every day with a bunch of people younger and stronger than her. She’s used to coming in last, so imagine her surprise when she competed in the Open and scored second in the state for her age group! On the flip side, have you ever wondered how you stack up against your favorite athletes? Well, competing in the CrossFit Open gives you a chance to see how you compare to the Rich Fronings and Annie Thorisdottirs of the world! I remember during 14.5 (which was a LONG combination of thrusters and over the bar burpees with no time limit), my judge yelled out in the middle of the workout, “This is where Rich Froning finished!” I was about a third of the way into my reps! That sure was a reality check!
“I got my first ____ during the open!”
Are you the type of person who “can’t do” double unders so you just scale to singles during every WOD? My friend Nanci was that person until she competed in The Open. She had been CrossFitting for 5 months and had just mastered single jumps, let alone attempting double unders. When she discovered the first movement of 14.1 just happened to be double unders, she broke down. I’m sure it wasn’t a good feeling to put yourself out there for it to begin with a sense of failure. Her goal was to try. Her goal was to get one. She spent the first minute of the workout whipping her arm with failed attempts. Each time the rope made contact with her skin was another disappointment. Her judge told her to calm down, catch her breath and try again. Nanci ended up completing 53 double unders before time was called. She not only achieved her goal, she crushed it! When 15.3 was announced last year, CrossFitters around the world were outraged because of the 7 muscle ups right out of the gate! If you couldn’t do muscle ups, you either had to spend the time attempting them and risk scoring zero for the workout, or you had to drop down to the scaled division. A lot of people thought it was unfair, but my social media accounts were filled with countless videos of people getting their first muscle up during that workout. There’s just something about competing that brings out the best in people!
Be a part of the community!
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again– the biggest thing that sets CrossFit apart from other fitness experiences is the sense of community. You’ll get out of it what you put into it, so why not go all in? Some of the greatest moments I’ve witnessed at our gym have been during the Open. During 15.5 last year, we had a teen competitor almost give up. His mom could see the look of defeat on his face… he wanted to quit! So, she picked up the barbell directly in front of her son and she talked him through completing the workout, doing two thrusters at a time with him until he finished. When she dropped her bar and pulled her son in for a hug, the whole gym was in tears as the emotions of the experience exploded to the surface. He had done it when he knew he couldn’t just moments before! All of us watching could relate to that feeling. We all knew what it was like to want to put the barbell down and quit, but it’s the people around us that keep us going. It’s the person shouting “You’ve got this” or “One more rep.” It’s the person beating you by 5 reps that you’re trying to catch. It’s the person who gets up after they’ve completed the WOD and runs along side you so you’re not working to finish alone. This community is what makes us different. It’s what makes us special. Be a part of it!
Did I convince you? Sign up here!