We’ve been posting gentle reminders on FaceBook recently about signing up for this year’s CrossFit Open. So? Have you? As of today there are 25 Modig Fitness members signed up to “officially” participate, but as long as you plan on working out on Fridays, everyone will end up doing it any way. So why not sign up? Hmmm…you’ve got your reasons, right? Here is an interesting article written by Taryn Haggerstone of CrossFit Pacific Central in Canada that might make you reconsider..
If you do CrossFit (or don’t, but you know someone who does and likes to talk about it) chances are you’re well aware that the CrossFit Open kicks off in a week’s time. For the people who CrossFit recreationally, it is literally a chance to throw down against “the rest of the world” (who CrossFits) and see where they end up, and for the more competitive athletes it’s a stepping stone to the next level (Regionals); either way and no matter what level you’re at as a CrossFitter, it is one of the biggest “community- building events” in CrossFit.
If you are like many CrossFitters, so might have signed up as soon as registration went live last month, but there are a lot of people who were much more hesitant to sign up (or perhaps still haven’t) for a variety of different reasons. Perhaps you:
- think you’re not good enough
- don’t want to CrossFit competitively
- don’t want to pay the $20 (especially since you know you won’t qualify for Regionals)
- aren’t sure you can make it every week (so may as well just not sign up)
- were considering it but since everyone has been so damn annoying about trying to make sign up …. now you’re NOT going to just to spite them…
And in the end it is 100% your decision. But before you make up your mind to skip the 2014 Open, take a couple of minutes to read the following from a fellow CrossFitter. Whatever “level” or “type” of CrossFitter you are (Games, Regional, semi-competitive or recreational) I the Open is something every CrossFitter should experience, at least once.
What’s Your Excuse?
1. “I don’t think I’m good enough to do the Open.”
As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as “not good enough” for the Open. (That’s why it’s called “open.”)
The workouts are specifically designed so that most CrossFitters should be able handle them.
Yes, there are sometimes heavier weights, but typically those come up later and the same is true for the more complicated movements (e.g. muscle ups).
Whatever “level” or “type” of CrossFitter you are (Games, Regional, semi-competitive or recreational) the Open is something every CrossFitter should experience, at least once.
While the organizers/brains behind the Open do their best to make it as inclusive as possible, there are some CrossFitters who won’t be able to do the prescribed weights and movements, and in this case I don’t think it is appropriate for them to do the “full” Open or feel at all pressured to sign up online/pay the fee. I do think that they should be given instead the option of doing a scaled version of the Open workouts (e.g lighter weights, banded pull-ups, etc). Obviously these scores would not be eligible for online submission (since the movements were scaled) but CrossFit is meant to be scalable to meet any limitations/restrictions, so let’s apply that to the Open so that everyone can participate.
You will probably surprise yourself with what you are capable of.
My first Open (in 2012), I had never snatched more than 70lbs before, but in 12.3 with help/coaching from my judge, I PR’d my snatch and hit 75lbs…30 times!
If the weights are near (or are the equivalent of) your best lifts, don’t automatically assume you can’t — give yourself the benefit of the doubt and challenge yourself. It doesn’t matter if the Regional contender beside you is blasting through reps like they’re nothing because it’s your Open. If you get 1 rep at a PR weight (or even if you end up not hitting it), you had the heart to show up and try your hardest. If anyone thinks worse of you for that, give them a swift kick in the…well, you know (except don’t. I don’t condone violence…just untie their shoelaces when they’re not looking or something…help keep their ego in check).
That being said, as an athlete, it is your responsibility to know if/when the weights are near your maxes and make sure you speak to your coach/judge ahead of time. If you are a coach, it is part of your job to know this about your athletes and make sure they are being judged/overseen by someone who can talk them through each rep and ensure they rest between attempts to help reduce risk of injury.
2. “But I don’t want to CrossFit competitively.”
The majority of participants aren’t going to Regionals and for them the Open doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) just about having the best score on the leaderboard.
The Open means something slightly different to everyone and yes there are people gunning for Regionals — that is, people who need to take each workout seriously because one rep can be the difference between qualifying and watching from the sideline. However, the majority of participants aren’t going to Regionals and for them the Open doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) just about having the best score on the leaderboard. For the “general CrossFit population,” the Open is a chance to challenge ourselves, have fun and get a taste of competitions (maybe for our first time) in our own gym with people who care about us cheering/screaming us on — essentially, the Open is about Community. When I did the Open for the first time in 2012, it wasn’t the workouts that blew me away (though they did knock me on my ass); rather, it was the people involved and the fact that I could go into a gym I’d never been to before filled with folks I had never met and still feel welcome as they cheered me on.*
*I signed up for my first Open because my sister found an affiliate near my University (where I was finishing my degree) and emailed them to see if her baby sister could come out and do the Open workouts with them. They (not surprisingly) said, “Of course!” following which my sister emailed me to let me know I should sign up for the Open and was I a S or XS shirt size.
3. “I don’t want to/can’t afford to pay the $20.”
CrossFit is expensive, so I can understand why people may be hesitant to pay more money (I’m pretty sure my sister had to lend me $20 so I could sign up that first year… oh broke student life, how I don’t miss you), but the thing is $20 is the equivalent of not eating out once or maybe twice, sacrificing a few smoothies or making your own coffee at home for a week (i.e. not that much). And if you really don’t want to/can’t afford to pay the $20, you can still come out/judge/do the workouts and be part of the experience. You just won’t be able to submit scores online — not a big deal.
4. “I’m not sure if I can commit to all five weeks, so I may as well not sign up.”
I have yet to meet someone who regretted doing the Open, but I have talked to people who, mid-way through, regret not signing up.
Okay. I apologize if what I say next offends anyone… but I honestly think this is one of the stupidest excuses ever. It’s like saying, “Oh shit, I missed Monday’s workout! Guess I’m just going to skip the rest of the week and start again next Monday.” Technically speaking, yes, if you miss an Open workout your scores wont be “valid” and you won’t be eligible to advance to Regionals; but if you miss a workout (for whatever reason), chances are you’re not doing the Open to get to Regionals anyways. If there is one week that you don’t make it in for the WOD, it doesn’t mean the other four weeks were “pointless” and that any of the improvements you made no longer counts and the memories disappear. It just means you missed one WOD.
5. “I was considering it… But everyone trying to convince me has gotten so annoying that I’m not going to just ’cause…”
This I can definitely understand — maybe not in the context of CrossFit for me — as there have definitely been times when I’ve refused to do something simply because someone was pushing me to do it (I can be a tad bit pig-headed). But the thing is, I can keep my stubbornness in check and realize that these people aren’t out to piss me off/make me look like an idiot/(insert any other evil ulterior motive here) but rather just trying to share something they really enjoy… and I almost always end up having fun. Let’s say that this year you do the Open and in the end decide it isn’t for you. That’s perfectly okay, because now you know from experience; when next year’s Open rolls around, you can not sign up and when people ask why you can tell them you did it and it’s not for you and leave it at that.
So far I have yet to meet someone who regretted doing the Open, but I have talked to people who, mid-way through, regret not signing up.
Still Have Doubts?
Will the workouts suck? Yes….It’s CrossFit.
Will there be points mid-workout when you ask yourself what you’ve signed up for and question your sanity? Probably, at least I know I do all the time.
And will there be skills or weights you can’t do? Maybe, but there’s no shame in trying and failing. Failure is what helps us grow (as people and athletes). It’s the people who refuse to try (and fail) that get left behind.
The Open is a chance to challenge ourselves, have fun and get a taste of competitions (maybe for our first time) in our own gym with people who care about us cheering/screaming us on — essentially, the Open is about Community.
The final Open workout of 2012 was an ascending ‘Fran Ladder’ (3/3, 6/6, 9/9) but instead of regular pull-ups it was chest-to-bar, and I couldn’t do them (regular, yes….chest to bar, no). In the end I scored 3 reps on that workout (though not from lack of trying). Yeah it sucked, but my judge still cheered me on the whole time. I’m glad I did it, especially because since then I’ve gotten so much better. If I’d let the fear of making an idiot of myself stop me from signing up that year, I’m not sure I’d be doing CrossFit now; it was sometime during those five weeks that I knew I was “hooked” on CrossFit.
If, after reading this, you’re still not convinced (or maybe you are even more pissed off and convinced you’re NOT doing the Open), more power to you — it’s a free country. Personally, CrossFit has been a life-changing experience for me (yeah yeah, cliché I know, but it’s true) and I’m SO glad that someone (my older sister) managed to convince me to do it. So if even one person I talk to/who reads this changes their mind — or at least reconsiders the idea — then I’m happy.
By: Taryn Haggerstone
(Source: www.tabatatimes.com, “To Do or Not To Do (the CrossFit Open)…that is the Question”)