My relationship with the CrossFit Open, reminds me of a middle school relationship. One second I like it, but most times I hate it.
It’s so stressful. I say that I’m not going to obsess, but then the workout is announced, and the strategizing, scheming, bubble-gut and butterflies begin… I hate trying to decide the optimal time to perform the WOD, how I should train the days prior, and then there’s the gut-wrenching questions: did I do my best? Could I do better? And, my least favorite, should I do it again?
You know what though, the Open is about more than just me. It’s about more than just the people who make it to the Regional qualifier. It’s about more than the athletes that make it to the CrossFit Games.
When I walked through the doors of SCF last Friday, the energy was different. Everywhere I looked there were jump-ropes. Jump-ropes gripped by anxious athletes desperate to perfect their double-unders. Beside them, other athletes doing their best to coach a friend to a single double-under. There were people coming in on their lunch breaks, a hour early, or staying an hour late to practice their snatch and give it go with the jump-rope.
During the workout, I love that athletes hover around the barbell, pushing their friends to a few extra reps. And I love that athletes push themselves a little be harder during the Open.
For me, CrossFit has always been more than a good workout. Trust me, I’m okay with people doing it simply to get fit. But for me, CrossFit has always been a sport, a sport that motivates me to be better. During the Open, it becomes a sport for a lot more people. And that’s pretty cool…
And you certainly can’t deny the beauty of the camaraderie that the Open perpetuates. For this alone, the Open make our gym healthier.
Perhaps the following 43-year-old athlete put it best:
“I got my first chest to bar pull-ups today. My score of 18 feels awfully sweet, and I’m going again Monday morning because I believe that 20 is completely within my reach. This is why I enter the Open–to challenge my beliefs of what I think I can do. Fired up“.
As frustrating as the Open can be, it is good for us. If you didn’t enter this year, set your sites on this competition next year. For now, perform the workouts on Fridays and benefit from the positive energy that will permeate the gym for the next three weeks.