‘I’m not sure I can do it.”
“I won’t be able to contribute anything to my team.”
These are common things we hear from people prior to doing their first CrossFit Open.
“That was SO fun.”
“I’ve never seen energy in the gym like that before.”
“I’m so glad I signed up.”
These are the things we hear usually after 1-2 weeks, and always by the conclusion of The Open.
We’re a month away from the CrossFit Open.
But wait- what is The Open?
To sum it up quickly, it’s the first stage in the qualifiers to The CrossFit Games (search that up on Netflix for some awesome documentaries). It’s a world-wide competition that casts the largest net possible to find the fittest on earth. In the past, a fraction of a percent will make it to the next stage (The Regionals), and then from their only a select few to The CrossFit Games.
This year the format changed. The Open is a qualifier straight to The Games, and there are 16 sanctioned events around the world of which athletes can qualify through from.
But wait- your not in the running for fittest on earth…
Well, neither am I. Here is why I want you to still sign up.
For us- this IS our Games. We do it up pretty special for The Open here at Locomotion.
Back in 2014 I adopted an idea from who was later to become a mentor of mine, Chris Cooper. It’s called The Intramural Open- and it’s friggin’ awesome.
A very quick run-down:
- Captains are chosen by the coaching staff and we begin to build out teams.
- Captains aim to recruit as many people as possible to their teams.
- Every member of the gym is placed on an intramural team.
- We get logos and shirts made, and there is always some friendly banter between teams.
- One event is released each week for 5 weeks that we all must complete.
- Tens of thousands of people achieve things they’ve never done before, including dozens from our gym.
- Our scoring system is built out such that top performers and brand new athletes are equally important to their teams.
- If your team brings the excitement each week, there are also spirit points available (and you’d be surprised the things that have happened for points).
It’s fun. Trust me.
Signups will go live over the weekend, and captains and team names will be chosen next week. Some have committed to sign up for their first time already!
This will be my 11th year competing. I’m of the small percentage that’s still around from the times before The Open. In 2010 it was a live event called Sectionals. Dozens of them were held around the world, and by 2011 it was pretty apparent that the growth of the sport wouldn’t allow for a live competition in the first round. The sheer numbers would mean the competition would last for days on end- and thus, it moved online.
10 years later we’ve got Netflix documentaries, millions of dollars in prize-pools, and athletes sponsored by major brands.
The things I remember from The Open are the seemingly little things. When someone is faced with a challenge they’re not sure they can handle and they come out victorious- or maybe they don’t, but they come out stronger on the other side. Not my own performances from my past competition days, and not the performances from the elite.
We’ve had epic battles with the skipping rope from 2017- Dave drenched in sweat and body wanting to give up, shaking his head “no… no….” and crew of people surrounding him, giving him their energy, willing him to finish.
In 2011 I remember a workout of a single movement- Clean & Jerks with 165lbs. One of my buddies, Alex, had never put that weight over his head before. He’d only been around CrossFit for 2 years and was there in the first place to lose weight. There was a good chance he wasn’t going to get a score at all. What played out was a mix of made lifts and failed lifts, and an incredible display of heart. By the end he’d put the weight overheard eight times in five minutes. All he needed was his back to the wall.
In 2014 we had an athlete named Jess who, by the end of the open, was a shoe-in for our Spirit of The Open award. Every single week she was faced with something she’d never done before; and every single week she rose to the challenge. The final week was a different story. For the first time we saw a workout that was “for time”, meaning the clock didn’t stop until you finished the work. Normally the workouts have a set time frame and you get as much work done in that time as possible. On the low-end this was a 9-14ish minute workout. For many, it would push into the 20-30 minute range and require some serious fortitude.
For Jess, this workout took 54 minutes.
She cursed. She threw her water bottle across the gym. She probably wanted to quit 100x.
She never did.
By the end, she’d won over the hearts of an entire gym of people- all rooting for her. She=e was the easiest choice for the spirit award that I’ve ever had- and even now my eyes well up a little bit just typing this.
Isn’t that what sport is all about? It has the ability to create moments that don’t just happen on their own.
We’re 4 or so weeks away and I’ve got chills.
Join your CrossFit brothers and sisters for one of the most exciting times of the year.
Be nervous. Be unsure. Do it anyway.
Keep your Eyes Peeled for the linke to sign up, and I’ll see you #intheopen.