That “Open” Feeling Part 1:
Wondering why you should sign up for the Open?! Take a second to read why your friends love this time of year at the gym!
I had a great time participating in my first Open last year and am super excited to go for it again this year! It is such a supportive environment where everyone was excited to see people accomplish their goals. It pushed me to try some new skills and see what areas I needed to focus more on. I also surprised myself with how I did on some of the workouts that I was initially intimidated by. The Open is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, be a little competitive, and have a great time!
I’ve participated in The Open many times before (this will be my 7th). Some years I feel prepared and ready to tackle any workout, though most years I have felt the complete opposite. Either way, each week brought a bundle of nerves and excitement, and a world of surprises. After some workouts I felt on top of the world, doing better than I ever thought I would. After others, I wanted to crawl into a dark hole! The best part is, no matter how I felt immediately after, within minutes everything was better; why? Because I worked out alongside my fellow athletes and friends who felt the same way, and somehow our high-fives connected each other. I always receive the question- can I do The Open? Is The Open right for me? My answer: we will find out! I’ve never met anyone who regretted signing up. And no, it’s the not the same if you don’t sign up, yet do the workouts anyways. You have to mentally commit to The Open. So, who’s joining me?
The Open is a great time to test the fitness you have been building up all year. We put our bodies through so much day-in and day-out, that we need opportunities like this to see what we’re truly capable of. Where else are you surrounded by super encouraging friends who want you to succeed and can appreciate what you’re going through during that workout? The community atmosphere is amazing and only serves to push you past your own limitations!
I think there’s something so deeply fun about suffering with your friends; I used to notice it back when we would do landscaping jobs in high school. Me and my friends were hired to do sh*t work in the hot summer sun, and it sucked but we made it fun. That’s the feeling The Open gives me: this is gonna be difficult but god dammit we’re gonna have fun while we do it (or a few minutes after it’s over). Combine that with a healthy sense of competition and reasonable expectations… oof! We’re off to the races.
The CF open is starting soon!! This will be the 6th (or 7th?😬) time I’ve signed up to participate in the open. The main reason I love it and participate every year is because it brings our gym community closer. You can’t beat the camaraderie during the open! It’s so fun to see people accomplishing what they thought was impossible; cheering each other on for that one muscle up or that one heavy lift; giving everything they have to finish under a time cap. The vibe of the gym is so positive and uplifting during the open.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the encouragement we give to one another is what helps us to accomplish what we think is the impossible. Last year I was 5 months pregnant during the open. That in itself was a huge challenge and fun to see how I’d do. During the last week of the open I got devastating news that there were serious issues with the pregnancy. I did the last workout the day after I got that news because I needed the encouragement and support. I needed my friends to tell me to keep going and to fight harder. I needed to be uplifted, and during that WOD I was. That’s why I do the open every year, because I’m a part of a community and I want to be there to support it and everyone in it, like they do for me.
Why do I like the open so much? Have you ever looked forward to the coldest part of winter? The end of February to me is the BEST part of the winter. The colder the better, the snow falling, the plowing, the shoveling, the digging out. It all means one thing to me. The CrossFit Open is here. It is my favorite time of year in CrossFit and it will be yours too if you sign up http://games.crossfit.com
The anticipation this year for 18.1 in my house is big. My daughter and I watch the announcement(s) each week and then decide how we will tackle the workout. It is fun to imagine that 350,000+ people worldwide will be doing the same workout as you will.
It is also one of those times where your entire family comes to the gym to watch you do CrossFit. I am sure they hear all about it over and over and over again. I try to actually limit myself now from talking about it leading up to the end of February. Each week is the same with the announcements on Thursday nights and the workouts done on Fridays but the workouts are usually very different. Thursday night is anticipated by texts, posts, messages of “2 days till 18.5” or “4 hours till the 18.1” etc. I even have a countdown on my phone each year for the announcement shows. The emotions of the workouts are also unlike any other sport or event. The anxiety of the athletes before the 3-2-1 go is a little different since it means something now to the athlete.
If you feel you aren’t ready this year to sign up for the CrossFit Open then you should speak to a coach this week. You will find those Fridays/Saturdays a different atmosphere with more people cheering and more people invested in each other.