Counting down to the CrossFit Open
So this week the CrossFit Open 2020 begins and I am so ready to compete Friday night in the first of 5 WODS (workout of the day)!
I missed out on competing last year due to all the IVF stuff that we had going on, so, although it’s bittersweet, I am super excited to be involved this year (in case you couldn’t tell already)!
My first time…
The first year I did the Open, I had only been doing CrossFit for 6 weeks. At first, I wasn’t going to enter at all – the idea of being judged in a competitive space terrified me, plus I didn’t feel like I was ‘good enough’ to partake either still being relatively new to the scene. However, my husband and his sister convinced me to do it and I signed up for the challenge – the Open 2017. A few weeks before it even began, both of them pulled out, BUT as a girl of my word I turned up for that first Friday Night Lights event at our local box. I remember I had spent all afternoon feeling sick with nerves, running to the loo numerous times, and even shaking like a leaf on the starting line as I entered my round. As soon as that beep sounded, I zoned out and got to work, by the time I had finished 17:1 I was so proud of myself no matter my placement, I was overwhelmed with that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling of ‘omg I did it!’ – those feelings far way outweighed all the anxiety I went through before! That Friday night, that was it – I was addicted!
I really had no idea I had this competitive side to me before that day – I had never entered any sporting competitions previously or really ever won anything as such! So I was totally surprised by myself but hungry for more.
So, first up – for anyone out there who’s nervous about entering, or doesn’t feel good enough – I urge you to bite the bullet, enter yourself and you might even be surprised too! You can’t say you don’t like something until you’ve tried right?
So why do I rate The CrossFit Open so much?
Now, I’m not saying that I am aiming for the Games or anything crazy, but the Open is an incredible opportunity to benchmark and test your individual performance. Of course, if you care enough, you can also see roughly where you are pegging in your box, country, region or even the world too, which might be interesting for some of you out there. I know I will never place anywhere really recognisable, but it’s quite amazing to think about the sheer scale of this event too – just think about how many people are competing with you at the same time, across the globe, during the Open period. Wow!
I think what I really like about the Open most, or any competitive event really, is that it seeks out your biggest weaknesses. Challenging even the best of athletes. You have no idea what the workouts will be – they could be anything from double unders to deadlifts! And, I guarantee that unfortunately some weeks the WOD will be everything you hate, but other weeks the WOD might include all the movements you are good at. And it is exactly this that will make you a better, more grounded, athlete in the long run.
Another thing I love about CrossFit is that there are so many skills, disciplines and practices within the field – it really is impossible to be the best at everything. CrossFit really levels the playing field – it’s about being the best all-round athlete you can be, ditching your ego at the door, accepting your weaknesses, working hard on them, and playing to your strengths whenever possible.
The Open is also a time when many get their ‘firsts’, (I got my first ever pull up and first propper press-ups in 2017, then first toes to bar in 2018) or reach PB’s that they thought were a long way off still! The energy of the open, the environment in which competition creates, really does help you test your limits and push it to the max!
All this probably seems pretty scary to any newbies reading, however, look at it in another light…
By competing in the Open, you have not only got the chance to benchmark your current level of fitness, but you also have the opportunity to really find out what your weaknesses are (for me that’s probably a long list of things to work on) – what an amazing chance to learn, and set goals for the forthcoming year? What an amazing chance to enable you to continue learning about yourself, grow and develop your physical fitness and abilities?!
And let’s not forget the community!
You can bet your bottom dollar that everyone in your box is rooting for you when you are on that floor competing. I think that it is this, combined with the adrenaline rush competing gives me, which really pushes me to my max, forces me out of my comfort zone and drives me to push harder than I normally would in any class environment. Also, don’t forget – this entire competition is held in your CrossFit box – the normal training environment you are used to – not in some huge, overwhelming fancy stadium or arena that you are unfamiliar with!
To some, on the outside, CrossFit can appear like a cult, but it really isn’t. It’s a community of likeminded people, of all ages, shapes and sizes, who really push each other to be the best that they can be, and the Open highlights this, if nothing else.
For a sport that can appear so aggressive at first glance, I have never been surrounded by so many kind, inspiring and caring people in my life – especially not in a normal gym environment. Those people become friends and you want to go to training just to catch up with them. I for one was notorious for joining a gym then quitting 6 months later due to boredom and lack of motivation – I have now stuck at Crossfit regularly for over 2.5 years – my longest, continuous gym membership to date, and there is no sign of me quitting any time soon! I have my CrossFit family to thank for all of this!
So, on that note – see you Friday night! What do you reckon the first WOD will be?!