Eyes wide (CrossFit) Open



Well it came and went in a FLASH! The 2014 CrossFit Open closed out on Monday at 5 PM and ended a five-week anxiety filled max effort attempt at my first ever Open. Being relatively new to CrossFit (late April will mark one year) I had never had to opportunity to go through an Open nor experience the weekly excitement around each new workout announcement. Besides being tired and a little sore, the 2014 CrossFit Open taught me several invaluable life lessons.

First, a little about the CrossFit Open format. Every year since 2011, CrossFit headquarters has organized a five week long process at determining the best athletes from each region. The world, yes the world, is broken up into different regions. There is the Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Mid Atlantic, Australia and Europe to name a few. Each week a new workout is posted for five consecutive weeks. The workout is announced on a Thursday and every athlete that has singed up to participate in the Open will have to complete the workout and submit a score by the following Monday at 5 PM PST.

The workouts consist of everything that embodies CrossFit. Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy are all in play. Some workouts will place more emphasis on those skills then others but you will need to be a well-rounded athlete to excel in the Open and hopefully make it on to Regionals.

My well roundedness is a bit lopsided right now and that became very apparent during the Open, but we wont dwell on that. I didn’t have any aspirations of being a Regional level athlete but I was very curious as to how my performances would compare to others in the world. And while my initial intensions were slightly more egotistical, I’ve come to respect and view the open, CrossFit, my community, and myself in a whole new light.

With the anticipation of each announcement I felt a stronger and stronger bond with the CrossFit community as a whole. It was awesome to think that collectively as a world community we would be performing the same workouts over the same period of time; all sharing in the same agony, excitement, relief, and joy that each passing workout would bring. To me this brought a sense of togetherness with the entire CrossFit community, something that had been previously reserved for just those that I trained with or I knew personally.

Physically I found that I was pushed to try new movements that I had never tried before and work at a level I didn’t think would be possible. I had to learn to “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Even though I dined on humble pie with every workout, I found strength in my weakness and pride in my strengths. I have the ability now to step back and look at my future training in a whole new light but most importantly look at myself with a new sense of accomplishment and excitement.

I don’t have any grand ideas of standing on the podium being crowned the Fittest Man Alive at a future CrossFit Games, but I have come to realize that everyone carries a different podium in their heart and so many of us have stepped up and accomplished more then we ever thought possible. To us we stand on our own podiums and that is exactly why I feel so strongly about CrossFit. It gives us all a chance to win individually even if we never make it past the CrossFit Open!

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