WHAT’S THE BIG FRIGGIN’ DEAL WITH THE OPEN?
True Peak CrossFit
By now, you’ve heard myself or another Coach mention signing up for the CrossFit Open. The first workout will be announced in a little over 48 hours, so I thought I would take a few minutes to answer potential lingering questions, and hopefully sway those still on the fence to sign up. The Open is not mandatory, however, there are communal and personal reasons that I believe everybody who is capable should include themselves in this event over the next five weeks.
CrossFit is also referred to as “The Sport of Fitness”, meaning that there are measurable competitive metrics involved in what we do. This is displayed on the leaderboard every single day. As is the case with most competitive sports, there is a playoffs season to determine the best individual or team for that respective sport, CrossFit is no different. However, unlike every other sport on the planet, the “CrossFit Playoffs” are open to anybody willing to sign up and take a shot. None of us are catching passes from Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, or lobbing alley oops to Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals, but we are all afforded an equal shot to compete against the best that CrossFit has to offer, and every other CrossFitter on the planet. The best athletes from the CrossFit Open move on to Regional Competition, where the field is further culled, until the best of the best finally meet in the CrossFit Games.
The most prevalent reasonings I hear for not signing up for the Open are: “I have no chance of winning”, “I’m not good enough at CrossFit”, and “I don’t have X movement, so I can’t even do the workouts RX”. These all my be true, but none of them qualify as rationale not to sign up. For the top 0.1% of CrossFitters, winning the Open, Regionals, or the Games is a tangible, realistic goal, and anything less would not be considered a victory. For the rest of us, the definition of victory must take on a much different meaning. Victory does not come from looking at the leaderboard and seeing your name at the top, it comes from looking at the leaderboard and seeing your name at all. Signing up for the Open is a contract you sign with yourself that you are going to give that week’s WOD your absolute best regardless of what the outcome on the leaderboard may be. There is a sense of pride and self-gratification that comes from pushing your mind and body to its limits that the Open atmosphere elicits that cannot be recreated, and I would hate for anybody to miss out on that feeling.
I have seen more people get muscle ups, toes to bar, double unders, and their first pull ups during the Open than any other time of the year. There is an intangible sense of urgency during this time that drives people to push past what they believe their limits to be. Every Open workout has a scaled option for athletes who may still be new to CrossFit, or more seasoned athletes who still struggle with some of the technical movements. Even with these options, athlete after athlete has been able to find the missing link to those movements they have struggled with. CrossFit is an inclusive community, and that is reflected in its WODs and the Open. Do not use inexperience, or scaling as an excuse, use them as motivation to get better.
Finally, the CrossFit community is at its closest during the Open. You are doing the same workout as the Fittest Man or Woman on Earth, as athletes on the other side of the country, and the other side of the world. There is no other sporting event that I can think of that includes such a large and diverse community. It starts with you though. The Open could not happen if only the athletes who “thought they could win” signed up, it requires the entire community, a community you joined the first time you walked in, chalked up and threw down. Your first Open, much like your first WOD is only the beginning of the journey, but it needs to start somewhere. The link to the Open is below, I’ve done all I can, the rest is up to you.
– Coach Atlas