The Open

It’s that time of year….again….!  The CrossFit Open is upon us in about a month – for the second time in 2019.  This will be the first year of the new CrossFit games format and schedule – a worldwide Open series in October, then 16 sanctioned events globally throughout the year, culminating in the CrossFit games in August 2020.  This new format also comes with new categories and new rules in terms of who and how to qualify for the games – exciting stuff for some, but what does it mean for our community?

To be honest, the changes in the new format are only really going to affect high-level athletes, and countries where the sport is still growing and there are very few athletes.  For the rest of us, these changes just allow us more chances to be spectators at events and compete in the worldwide Open in October instead of February. 

The Open is a chance to become part of the global CrossFit community, and although we’re the MOST proud of our community at CFB, this is a cool opportunity for all of us to be involved with HQ programming and see where we sit as an athlete in our own category against the rest of the world.  There are all kinds of details that we’ll talk about in the weeks to come, as well as during the Open itself, but for now let’s just think about what participating in the Open is for each of us.

Speaking from experience both as an athlete and a coach, the Open can be a time of tremendous stress and anxiety.  We put pressure on ourselves to “do something we’ve never done” just because it’s “in the Open”.  The reality is, most of us are probably not going to get anywhere near the CrossFit games as an athlete.  I’ve been lucky enough to train alongside Games athletes and they are basically from another planet – the efficiency of movement, coordination, stamina, output and strength are just on an entirely different level. 

The good news is, most of us have a “regular” job and don’t need to make a living exercising the fastest – we get to save that for a hobby.  The Open is really a chance to test yourself versus a previous version of that same athlete.  We talk about this all the time at the board and when we’re taking scores – the only one that matters is YOURS.  Have you improved your strength since last year?  Maybe you’re a bit faster than last year?  Have you improved to an RX athlete?  Can you do a further progression of a gymnastics movement?  Any and all of those questions – along with a thousand more – are great reasons to participate.  This is not a time to take chances that will result in injury just to Rx a workout or “try” something for the first time if it’s unsafe or unrealistic.  This is not a time to kill yourself during our Friday Night Lights event and then not be able to come in to the gym for the next 6 days just so you can place 35,689th in that workout.  It’s not a time to do more than one workout in a day or re-do the same workout 5 days in a row. 

What this is for all of us who are currently members at CrossFit Bradford, is a chance to come together and cheer each other on during our Friday events, and have some fun with competing against a previous version of YOURSELF.  We are not going to qualify for the CrossFit games or win $1 million if we beat the person next to us in class.  If this is your first year of participating in the Open, you get to just have fun with it and focus on getting a good workout each day, then look forward to next year when you can do it all over again and see how much you’ve improved. 

The pressure we put on ourselves and the nervous energy during the workout announcements and Friday night events can be good things – as long as we use those feelings for positive actions.  Let’s encourage and support our team-mates and ourselves.  Forget the negativity as you walk through the doors.  This is exercise.  This is good for us.  This is supposed to be fun.  Stop “leaderboarding” every 5 minutes and just enjoy the time to measure your improvement, sweat with your community and set some goals for next year. 

Until next time, keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. 

See you at work.


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