“The Open? I thought that was more for people who have been doing CrossFit for a while…”
That was my response back in 2014 when my coach asked me if I was planning on signing up for the CrossFit Open. I had just started basics 30 days earlier and my abs were finally recovering from my first WOD, Annie (50-40- 30-20- 10 repetitions of double unders and sit-ups). Now, I was being asked to take another leap of faith and sign up for the Open!
“Well, what is it anyway?”
What exactly was I being asked to sign up for? I found out pretty quick that the Open is many things. It’s an opportunity for all CrossFit athletes to sign up and see how they stack up against each other. It’s also the starting
point for the CrossFit Games. The top athletes in each geographical region move on to the Regionals competitions, then the top athletes at Regionals move on to the CrossFit Games. But it all begins with the Open. All athletes, novices and pros alike, start the season with this five-week competition. One WOD is announced each Thursday night and athletes have until the following Monday night to complete the WOD and post their score online.
“But wait, I can’t do double unders!”
So, I signed up for the Open and the first week comes around. We all gather around a computer screen for the ceremonial WOD reveal:
30 double unders
15 power snatches (75/55)
The first thing that goes through my mind is that there’s no way I can do this WOD! I haven’t even gotten a single double under! But coach tells me not to worry about it; just try your best. I remember that WOD clearly. I started with two singles, then gave the rope a double flick and jumped higher. Nothing. I landed on the rope…I told myself to stay calm and tried again. This time I got the double under and was able to start getting into the rhythm of two singles, then a double. My judge started counting down my reps remaining: “5 more double unders!” Before you know it, I had
gotten through three sets of those double unders! The rest of the weeks brought more movements I didn’t think I could do or wasn’t comfortable with: overhead squats, heavy deadlifts, toes to bar, and on and on. Each time, I either surprised myself and was able to do the movement as prescribed, or I scaled the WOD to ensure I could keep the
intensity up and get the same stimulus.
“I can’t wait for next year!”
I’m so glad my coach pushed me to sign up for the Open that first year. By the end of the five weeks, I was already looking forward to the 2015 Open! I had some clear areas that I knew I needed to improve and started to make
some goals for the upcoming year. If you have any doubts about whether the Open is right for you, come talk
to me or any of the coaches. This will be a great time for the CFI community to join together and work through these WODs. Here are a few of the things we’re planning as a gym this year:
1. WOD reveal parties: Thursdays at 8PM (February 22-March 22),
along with weekly head-to- head match ups.
2. CrossFit Open WOD on Fridays, along with extra open gym times to
ensure that everyone has the chance to do the WOD.
3. In-gym competition (similar to the Wednesday Night League, we will
have two teams co-led by a coach and a gym member).
4. And much more!
Also, starting this week, be on the lookout for prior year open WODs in our weekly programming. This will give you an idea of what types of movements and WOD styles to expect. Finally, don’t forget to sign up for the Open by February 22 at games.crossfit.com!