The CrossFit Open

If you do CrossFit, you are well aware that The Open is upon us. The 5 week process begins tonight with the first workout being released and Rich Froning and Matt Fraser going head to head.

For those who do not do CrossFit, the Open is a 5 week series of workouts that ultimately determines the athletes who will advance to regionals, and then to the Games (the Olympics or Superbowl of CrossFit). The workouts are released on Thursday evening, and then athletes all over the world have until Monday evening to complete the workout and submit their scores to the leaderboard, an online list of ranking the individual against athletes all over the world.

The Open workouts are known to be some of the most challenging workouts around. For example:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps
Thrusters (95/65)

I’ve done this workout two times in my life, once last year during the Open (although I wasn’t registered) and a few weeks ago. Both times…it was awful.

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Last year I did not compete in the Open, as I had just started doing CrossFit. I did three of the workouts with the rest of the box, but never knew how I ranked. I also had just started so my scores weren’t that impressive.

This year I did sign up for the Open. My overall skills have improved, but I’m not quite where I want to be as far as CrossFit goes. Let me explain.

My strength has continued to grow. I am more confident with most of my Olympic lifts and I am generally happy with my major lifts (squats, deadlifts, presses). I just got my muscle up about three months ago, which already sets me apart from a large amount of athletes. I’m working on my butterfly pull ups, but pull ups are definitely my weakness. In the Open, chest to bar pull ups are generally the standard, and mine just aren’t there. I can link 4-5 kipping together in one set, but that’s about it.

So this year the Open will just be a process to see where I am at physically and mentally, as well as with some of the competitive athletes at my gym. My focus after will be improving my weaknesses (ahem, chest to bar pull ups) and still enjoying CrossFit.

At this point in my life, CrossFit is a huge part. I look forward to working out everyday, and I even do extra lifting at home sometimes. I absolutely love it. There’s no more dread about going to workout or get to the gym. Before I was burned out from marathon running and over the past few days I have thought about just going for a long 5 or 6 mile run, just for the fun of it. Not because I have to, but because CrossFit has allowed me to enjoy fitness again.

Even if I never make it anywhere in CrossFit, and even if my skills never become amazing and consistent, I believe that CrossFit will be with me for a long time. Competing in the Open will always be a great way for me to judge my progress and learn what I need to improve on.