Why the CrossFit Open Matters

CrossFit can be intimidating. Competing in CrossFit even more so.

But with Thursday set to unveil 2017’s first CrossFit Open workout, it’s important for everyone —from your 75 year-old-grandfather to back-to-back Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir — to remember that the Open is just about YOU.

Yes, you. You debating on whether to sign up, or ashamed to admit you may be doing scaled or wondering whether you’re stronger than
your friends (or even yourself at this same point last year).

It’s about you because no matter how hard you work or strong you are there’s nothing you can do about anyone else’s position on the leaderboard or max clean and jerk weight.

You may be trying to make it to Regionals as a team or go head-to-head in an inter-gym competition, but the only thing you have control over is your own performance for the next five weeks.

How far can you push yourself? How far have you come?

The competition aspect has a way of bringing out another level in us. It’s not always fun.

Fitness is incredibly personal, frustrating, nerve-wracking and humbling.

It’s not always fair. In a lot of ways, it mirrors life.

And that’s exactly the idea in the CrossFit Open: you don’t know what’s coming but if you dig deep and have prepared all year, you just may surprise yourself.

Do you have a weakness? Chances are it will get exposed.

Do you cheat your reps? Yup, that will come up too, provided your affiliate holds the standards. (And if it doesn’t, you really need to take a closer look at where and why you’re doing CrossFit in the first place.)

You’re signing up to stay accountable, to commit to five workouts you have no idea about ahead of time.

You’re in to get a spot on that leaderboard, no matter how far up or down from the top it is.

You’re taking a chance to prove to yourself that you can do it, that you can push yourself just a little more than last year, that you’re just a little stronger, faster or more conditioned for pain.

I’ve seen miraculous things happen over these five weeks.

Working moms take on scaled weights they were previously scared of, athletes with no muscle-ups all of a sudden banging out seven to start a workout. I’ve seen people with no business bettering their score willing a better performance from just a few days ago.

But most importantly, I’ve seen people shatter what they thought were their limits and bring groups of people together, shouting, screaming and demanding one more rep before time expired.

I’ve seen what the Open can do to you.

It can get you to believe in you. And, no matter what level you’re at, nothing matters more than that.