Fellow CFO Members,
Some of you may know me and some of you don’t. If you don’t I’m Steve, a fellow member of CrossFit Outbreak with a home base over at the East Williamsburg location. If we haven’t met, hi!
As we’ve heard ad nauseam in daily announcements, e-mails, and through social media, Open Season 2019 is upon us!
With that in mind, I wanted to put something together that came from someone that hopefully each and every one of you can relate to in some way as a means of encouragement and confidence building.
Whether you just became a member (welcome!) and are still learning the movements or have been doing CrossFit for years, I wanted to share some perspective and even promote a bit of vulnerability as to why I think you should register for this year’s Open.
A bit of background…
I’ve been doing CrossFit since back in 2012. An ex-girlfriend of mine had tried it out and (I think typical to all of us) wouldn’t shut up about it. She swore I would love it and to her credit, I did. I was 24 years old, still playing competitive baseball, and generally in pretty good shape — at least that’s what I thought. Over the years it’s become a staple in my daily routine and even more than the physical benefits of staying fit, I attribute so much of my mental health towards what this “Sport of Fitness” has brought to me.
But I digress…
Despite being an active participant at various boxes and their respective communities, building a garage gym of my own, and more — my first “official” CrossFit Open was last year with the CFO family. Every year I’ve done the Open workouts (whether modified in some capacity or half-hazard attempts at going RX), but I never took the leap and broke the bank on the $20 it takes to really participate.
Well, it’s easy not to. I totally get it. We can rationalize ourselves until we’re blue in the face that we aren’t going to Regionals — er, the Games. And for the overwhelming majority of us, that’s true. I don’t have delusional aspirations of competing at some professional level. Sponsors are never going to be beating down the door to send me apparel — though my bank account certainly wishes they would!
But that isn’t a good enough reason not to sign up. I’ll come back to this in a sec, but first here’s some insight into my first Open from last year.
In short, it was an amazing experience. Friday Night Lights with folks from different locations or from different class times was an incredible opportunity to put faces to names that we see on the Whiteboard every single day. The energy is unmatched and to Hunter’s previous post, it sets the stage as a breeding ground for PRs galore.
This sense of community is huge and not something to downplay — but it’s only one small part of what I think makes the Open such an incredible experience. There’s so much upside in meeting new people but you’d only be scratching the surface as to what is in it for YOU.
I’ve gotten you this far, so why should you register?
Above and beyond getting the chance to create new friendships, be selfish about why you’re signing up. CrossFit has a perpetual theme in saying, “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. The Open is the perfect opportunity for that. The environment that you’ll be completing these workouts in just isn’t replicable on a day-to-day basis. Consciously or subconsciously, you are naturally going to be drawn towards bringing the best version of yourself out.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that it takes an especially high-character type of person to do what we do day-in and day-out at the gym. We’ve all heard it from friends and colleagues that our workouts are “intimidating” or “stupid”. For those of us on the inside, we know that we’re becoming healthier, higher-performing (better) versions of ourselves. The Open presents that unique time and place where your normal redline is a bit further out than where it typically is. You will amaze yourself — I promise.
Need another reason?
Forget competing against the field or even other members for that matter. The Open serves as a once-a-year opportunity to test your level of fitness and as far as I know, it will continue to take place in perpetuity. That $20 investment does indeed give you the chance to see how you stack up against the best in the world, the broader population, other members from your location, and more.
But what most folks neglect acknowledge is how you stack up against you from the prior year(s).
I’m no longer the 24-year old former baseball player. Instead, I’m 30 with a lot less hair (read: none) and over the last calendar year I was diagnosed with a digestive disease. On paper there is no way that 2019 Steve is better than 2012 Steve, or even 2018 Steve for that matter. Time passes, life happens, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d run circles around myself from yesteryear.
After last year’s incredible first go, my biggest regret is that I wish that I had registered in 2013-2017. This way, I’d have several years of my own Open results to compare this year’s version of myself to.
But that said, I am extremely excited to see how I stack up against nothing else but last year’s output. As the defending 65,187th most fit male in the world (impressive, I know) I can’t wait to see if I can finish a few thousand, a few hundred, or just 1 spot better than I did last year.
Bottom line…The Open shouldn’t be looked at as an intimidating experience. You won’t beat Mat Fraser or Katrin Davidsdottir — but that’s not the point. CrossFit and sports in general have so many parallels to life. The reality is that we’re all out here running our own races. With that in mind, roll up your sleeves, puff out your chest, and do it for nobody else but yourself.
Have questions? Reach out and fire away! I’m happy to be a resource if you’re still on the fence 🙂