I love CrossFit. I love my box. But I must admit, I have a love/hate relationship with the Open. I mean it’s cool and all, buttttt…not always.
Ok, so before anybody gets their booty shorts in a bunch or throws a protein shake at me (tee hee), just hear me out.
I totally get the point of the Open, and there are aspects I really like.
Undeniably, the Open helps us push ourselves to do better and ultimately be better. We’ve all heard the phrase, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
It is definitely important to have benchmarks to test throughout the year, and the Open workouts give us that; we can track progress, revel in any PRs and identify areas we need to improve.
Then there is the community…hands down my favorite part! There is something about everyone cheering and yelling as people attempt heavy lifts or try to get through another grueling round of burpees or pull-ups.
The atmosphere truly can be electrifying, as cheesy as that may sound. But it’s true.
It is exciting to see all different ages and levels of athletes compete.
It is SO inspiring that the community cheers the loudest for those still fighting to finish.
But oh my gosh…the biggest downfall for me about the Open is the stress. It’s the stress, I tell you!
This is not a lack of confidence in myself or my abilities; this is just sheer nerves.
I know it’s just five workouts over the course of five weeks, but dear goodness, it feels like it goes on forever.
And for some reason, not sure if it’s just me, but did it feel like everyone started talking about the Open so much earlier this year?!
So, each week of the Open, leading up to the Thursday night live announcement of the workout details, all the way until the timer goes off at the start of the WOD on Friday, I remind myself it’s just another workout.
I remind myself to just breathe.
I remind myself that I’m not advancing to Regionals or the Games.
I remind myself that Reebok isn’t calling me with free shoes, clothing or endorsements.
I remind myself to just do my best and leave it all out there; it’s a contest with myself and nobody else.
I thank God for giving me the gift to move and work out and torture myself.
After all, these WODS are designed in part to, well, torture us, right?
I mean, there is a reason people are sporting those “Dave Castro is a prick” shirts this year. (Not to mention how ridiculous his clues are about what the workouts might be…don’t get me started! This week there will probably be a picture of a porpoise next to some dominoes, and we’ll all be like, “Oh, must be deadlifts and double unders!”)
But then somehow, despite all these reminders, I get nervous again.
It’s the tape on the ground that makes me kind of bajiggity. (Stupid, I know.)
It’s how it seems that everyone is already talking about redoing each WOD before they even do it the first time. (When did this become a thing?!)
It’s how within one hour of completing an Open WOD I have three different texts asking me how it went.
It just all seems slightly overwhelming at times.
I don’t sleep well the night before.
I think about different strategies; I look at each WOD as a “one and done” deal until next year.
Overall, I just think way too much about it, probably because I care so much about my community.
It is like CrossFit is stuck on the brain.
I think to myself how I literally paid $20 to torture myself for five whole weeks!
I even accidentally blurted out “UGH, I hate the Open!” during our warm-up last Friday, while my coach was instructing.
It truly was an inside thought of mine that escaped. Loudly.
At least people laughed. And some hugged me. They know I get nervous. It’s so stupid and laughable at how my nerves get the best of me.
Week one, it was the burpee box overs that could kiss my ass. I liked the dumbbell snatches though.
Week two, it was the muscle ups that could suck it. At least we could do some lunges, cleans and toes to bar before getting stuck.
And week three was pretty fun, although the 95# snatches had me like WHOA.
It’s humbling and encouraging to know what we need to work on; I’ve seen both tears and cheers by others over some of the movements in these WODS.
So, going into this fourth week, I’m gonna do what any loyal CrossFitter would do, and just keep training and working hard and cheering on others.
And a personal goal I’m setting for myself is to stress less and smile more; since I can do all of these nasty, Castro-licious WODS, I can certainly manage that.
To Dave Castro, I hate you (ok, not really), to CrossFit land, I hate you (just kidding)…and see you all on Friday for 17.4!