The Open marks the beginning of the CrossFit competitive season. Here’s what most people think when they read that one word…competitive. “Competitive season, you say….like what I see on ESPN? Haha, funny. No way, that’s not for me.” I’m here to tell you it is, and hear me out because I’m going to explain why.
Some of you reading this may not CrossFit, or be relatively new to it, so here’s a brief background. The Open is the entry level to determining who participates in the year’s CrossFit Games. Anyone can sign up on the Games website, and thousands of people across the globe did last year. Beginning the last weekend in February, and spanning the next five weeks, one workout per week is announced and demonstrated each Thursday night live on the Games website. Then athletes in affiliates worldwide perform the workouts between Thursday night and the following Monday, submitting their scores for consideration. The top athletes in their respective regions (geographical areas) with the best combined scores from all five workouts then move on to Regionals, which is a multi workout competition held over a long weekend. Those placing in the top spots at Regionals are then qualified for the CrossFit Games held in Carson, California. The games span over a week, involving multiple workouts each day, to ultimately crown the “fittest on earth”. Over time, this process has evolved and changed into the current Open we participate in today. The most notable recent development to the Open involves the addition of a scaled division, welcoming participation by athletes at all levels.
Most of us have been attracted to CrossFit because of a few simple reasons. Just so happens these are definitely the reasons why you should sign up for the Open. The first of these is community. Lots of us choose CrossFit because of the family element, the choosing to work alongside those that become our friends, cheerleaders, encouragers, our family. The Open brings a gym together. Where I coach, we hold Friday evening sessions where those participating do the Open workouts with a judge, competition floor style, with crowd support from others participating, family, and friends. Those who normally attend classes in the evening get to work alongside the morning folks. It’s energy like I’ve never felt or seen before. Lots of PRs and first time skills are born from this environment. Secondly, if you CrossFit, you’re likely somewhat competitive. Maybe with others, maybe with yourself. Whichever the case, these workouts, in these surroundings, make for quite a competitive experience. Satisfies the question on how you measure up…in your gym…in your age group…around the world. And if you’re not satisfied with the outcome, that brings me to my third reason, and that’s to set new goals. The Open is the perfect tool to use in examining your skill set. What are things I’d like to be doing in these Open workouts that I can’t currently do? Or where do I need to be more efficient to post better scores? Even if you never intend to enter a competition, becoming fitter just to live a better, healthier, longer life is just as important.
In my time being involved in CrossFit, I have heard some of the most incredible stories coming out of the Open. People overcoming things. People showing up to do the work even though they never have seen themselves as an athlete before in their lives. People defying what the world tells them they can do and doing it anyway. People ripping off labels they’ve worn all their lives. People becoming better today than they were yesterday.
And that, is why, my friends, I’m signed up for the 2016 CrossFit Open. And you should be too. -m