The Open is For Fun & For Community
99.9% of us will not be making it past the Open. The same way that 99.9% of people who sign up for a 5k don’t expect to win the race. The accomplishment is in participating, having fun, and being part of an awesome community. Every year I hear the same apprehensions. Beginner athletes are worried there will be movements or loads that they are not able to complete, and novice/experienced athletes often feel that, “…they’re not where they want to be…” Ultimately the fear comes down to not performing as well as we think we should. As always, be safe, but step-up to the challenge and leave it all on the floor.
The Open is a Great Eye Opener
Something The Open does for almost all who participate, is give them an idea of areas on which they need to work. Whether it’s hitting the wall midway through a workout, or struggling with a specific movement, all of us will get knocked down at some point of The Open. The challenge and the value is getting back up and making ourselves better. Don’t let the potential of hard workouts or hard movements dissuade you from participating. Do the best you can do, and discover what to work on for next year.
Scaled vs Rx
No one really knows how this will affect the Open WODs. There is some talk that the Rx Division will now be more difficult with the presence of the Scaled Division. While this is possible, we think the shift will be moderate. We don’t anticipate 15.1 to start with 205 pound snatches. If the past is any indication, heavier weights and more difficult movements won’t happen until later in the workouts. For example, in 14.3, heavy deadlifts didn’t pop-up until the later rounds. In 13.3 muscle-ups didn’t show up until the end of the workout. Other small changes might come in the form having to jump on box jumps in the Rx division as opposed to allowing step-ups. Regardless, having a Scaled and Rx division is a great opportunity. From what we can tell, you can select to do the Rx or Scaled version each week as the workouts are released, so don’t get caught up in worrying about that decision now.
Magic Moments Happen in the Open
I saw 20+ athletes at our gym learn DUs leading up to 14.1 (and the important thing to mention is that these were all people who had been struggling with DUs for months leading up to the Open). I’ve seen numerous people get their first muscle up in Open workouts. I’ve seen athletes get their first pull-up. I’ve seen athletes get their first toes-to-bar. You name it, and I’ve seen athletes do it for the first time in The Open. Not only did these athletes accomplish something for the first time, they came away from those workouts with a new sense of confidence and excitement about their training for months to come. Personally, I cannot sit here and remember what I scored or what anyone else scored on any Open WODs, but I can remember the moments when people conquered a movement for the first time, or fought through a workout that they were doubtful they could complete.
The Open Will Make you Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Whether it’s working on that movement that’s been giving you problems or forcing you to push to a new intensity level, The Open makes everyone step outside of their comfort zone. Know that you’re not alone. The best athletes in the world come into every Open WOD with butterflies… as do beginners. While it may be a bit nerveracking to get outside of your comfort zone, it’s here where we learn things about ourselves, and it’s here where we discover ourselves.
Don’t Let a $20 Registration Fee Dissuade You
Drink two less cocktails between now and February 26th, or eat in one night instead of eating out, and boom, your Open Registration is now paid for. Also, paying $20 puts some skin in the game for you. You’re more likely to train, eat well, and not miss workouts when you’ve made the financial commitment. Also, at our gym, I’ll personally offer to refund your $20 if you sign up for The Open, participate, and then regret it.
The Open is a Great Motivator
Let’s forget ourselves for a moment, and focus on our friends and fellow athletes. The biggest source of motivation often comes from watching your fellow athletes fight through a WOD, or watching your whole gym come together to cheer someone on to get them through a WOD. Yes, this happens sometimes in class, but it’s on a whole new level when it’s The Open. Also, look at some of the things your fellow athletes have overcome to participate in The Open. I’ve seen people fighting cancer complete The Open. I’ve seen double amputees complete The Open. After putting it all in perspective, “I’m just not good at double-unders,” doesn’t seem like a good excuse to not participate. Check your ego at the door, motivate each other, and derive motivation from each other.
The Open Will Make You Better
The culmination of all of the above will make you better at CrossFit and at life. You’ll triumph during the Open, and you’ll have setbacks during The Open, but at the end of the day you’ll learn from the experience. You’ll learn what you’re good at, you’ll learn what you need to work on, and you’ll learn how uplifting it can be. Every year the Open brings us closer as a gym, as a local CrossFit community, and as a worldwide CrossFit community. We share in each other’s success, and we share in each other’s struggles, but the important thing is that we step up to the challenge, become closer as a community, and conquer it together.
And lastly… There’s this: