The 2015 Crossfit Open is upon us and as someone who went into last year nervous as all hell I feel some sort of responsibility to everyone who is experiencing even partially the amount of anxiety I did last year. So for starters, let’s just touch base of what exactly “the Open” is and why you need to care…
The Crossfit Open is the first step in be all, end all of Crossfit. It is the first qualifying round for the Crossfit Games. Ya know that thing you’ve on tv with absurdly fit men and women doing the most insanely impressive things you’ve ever seen people do… Yeah. That. Expect the Open is the time that even just non-Fronings and non-Bazinets are able to compete against one another by doing weekly workouts either on our own or at our respective boxes and pushing ourselves to the max.
Beyond that, the Open is a time when everyone in the entire Crossfit family, immediate and extended, bonds together while competing against one another… AKA it is the coolest atmosphere you will ever experience. Sounds overwhelming? Intimidating? Nerve-racking? Well yeah. It’s all those things. And FUCKING AWESOME at the same time. So you’re asking yourself now why you should subject yourself to the pressure of having to complete these weekly workouts just to be anxious that you won’t stack up… That’s exactly how I felt last year.
So with that I say let’s talk about all the reasons you should throw your excuses to the side and man, or woman, the hell up and face that fear!
1. Who the heck cares.
So you’re not gonna make the games. So you’re not gonna make regionals. So you don’t even know how well you will do against so of the badass people in box… SO. WHAT. Join the rest of the 95%. The Open, while yes the first qualifying round to becoming the fittest on earth, is not just about getting to regionals and ultimately the games. The Open is about challenging yourself and impressing yourself and pushing yourself past your limits.
With that said, the Open is about Y O U. Not the people in your region, your nation, the world, not even the people in your own box. The focus should be on yourself. On making sure you pull the best in you and really show yourself what you are made of. I mean, when it comes down to it, fitness is really all just about being the best version of ourselves isn’t it?
Now you’re sitting there thinking about the fact that you don’t Rx enough workouts regularly to actually compete in the Open. With the rule changes this year, this excuse is two-fold. First I will address the fact that this excuse holds NO weight anymore now that there is a scaled division. Like none. Like stop it. Like why the hell are you not signed up yet?!
But even beyond that, let’s re-visit myself last year as an example. The number of times I Rx-ed a workout before the Open last year I could probably count on my two hands (at the most). I couldn’t do double unders. I couldn’t do pullups. I could barely do toes to bar. I hated rowing. I was slow. I was insecure. My lifts were soupy and weak. I could barely get into a handstand let alone manage one single handstand pushup. I mean I was lucky I was doing pushups at all. I was not at a point where I could make any sort of wave or actually be any relative competition for anyone. And yet there I was. Competing.
Completing the Open with so much fire and passion. Because it was damn freakin exciting! You don’t have to be the best of the best to compete. That’s the whole point! It is events like this and competitions like this and environments and moments like this that make you better. That make you great. Which brings me to my last point…
3. Stop Being Scared!
How often do we avoid things that intimidate us? How many times do we maybe not add the extra 5 lbs to a lift because we god forbid may fail a rep? How often do we scale workouts because we don’t think we can do that stuff? Well I can say for myself, far too often. Except recently.
Recently I have adapted a “fuck it, let’s try it” attitude and it has felt amazing. I have failed at some times and so what! It taught we what I can’t do just yet, what I need to work on, and where I stand. Failing is even more beneficial than succeeding. If we were just perfectly naturally good at everything we tried how would we ever learn or progress?! Exactly. Failure is what makes us better and encouraging, nerve-racking, anxiety-provocking, and challenging environments are what push us to be more than what we are at this moment.
The 2014 Open pushed me in the most amazing of ways and allowed me to do things that I honestly did not at that time think I was remotely capable of. I fell in about 3,500th place or so but I was beyond proud of myself. The placing didn’t matter. The scores of the workouts did not matter. What matter was that every week I found myself doing more than I thought I could, feeling amazing, and being a part of one of the greatest experiences of my life. Seriously.
So what are you waiting for… Go sign up!