Congrats on finishing the open! For the past 5 weeks we have been challenging ourselves to do things we never thought we could. For some of you, this was your first open, and for others of you, it was one of many you get to put under your belt! The Open provides us with one (of many) opportunities to see where we stand when we try our best. We are shown our weaknesses and our strengths, and are supported by our JPCF community to keep trying even when we feel like giving up. It is in this charged environment that special things happen.
As coaches, we are excited to get to see you put all of your training into play. We see how you handle adversity and success. And ultimately, we see the potential you all have and the ways in which we can help you get there. As coaches wanted to share with you some of our observations, reflections, and hopes coming away from the open.
The Open is important to many of us, for many different reasons, myself included. For me, it plays into my competitive nature, but also tests my fitness and allows me to put my own growth and goals into perspective.
But for the first time, I got to experience the Open as a coach: advising, encouraging, strategizing, cueing, and most of all, admiring and cheering you on as you pushed to your limits. We asked you to show up and put on a competition level performance at least once a week for five straight weeks (if not 2-3 times per week!). We asked this of you while you continued with work and family obligations, and the stressors of your daily life, being judged by your peers, and often in front of a room full of spectators.
I watched you all approach these five workouts with zeal, tenacity, and at full send. Many of you broke through your own barriers, PRing lifts, achieving a new skill, perhaps hitting a movement more times than you ever had before, or improving strategy and performance on a retest.
CrossFit improves our fitness, day in and day out, by virtue of us just showing up and doing that day’s work. The Open allows us to showcase that dedication and to appreciate the benefit of what we do every day in the gym on an elevated stage. For five weeks we celebrated our fitness and our improvements. You’ve challenged yourself through the open and set new goals for the year to come.
To say that I’m proud of each and every one of you would be an understatement. Thanks for sharing this experience with me and the rest of the JPCF community. I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for everyone!
If I could keep one thing from the open and translate it to everyday class, it’s the mindset. Athletes strategized with each other and with coaches. They thought about the goal of the workout, their abilities, and how they could maximize their efforts. Athletes paid attention to how they moved (especially in this open) because any inefficient movement meant losing the barbell, or getting no repped. Athletes knew that once that buzzard beeped, there was no turning back–only trying.
I saw athletes dare themselves to try movements or weights they never thought they could do (safely of course!). I saw athletes lift their PR 10 times, do handstand push-ups and pull-ups for the first time, and zoom past the amount of reps they thought they could achieve.
I think if we could approach each training session with the same level of attention to detail, focus, and willingness to try new things, we can lay the foundation for us to truly see how far we can go. This is not to mean that you should approach every workout with the INTENSITY of the open–as intensity is just one of the many factors to our overall fitness that we need to work on. But I am saying that if you approach every workout with intention, positivity and a willingness to view the workout as feedback about your current strengths and weaknesses, you will be one step closer to seeing what you’re really capable of.
Thanks for participating in the Open this year! Over the last 6 Opens, I’ve come to genuinely love the anticipation of the announcements, the strategizing, the support from the community, and the countless times our athletes overcome obstacles and smash expectations. Seeing you all stretch your comfort zones is a big part of what I love about this position. For a lot of folks, we spend the year training for these 5 weeks, and these 5 weeks are the test to see how far we’ve come.
If I had one piece of advice moving forward, it would be to look at this year’s Open, identify two or three of your biggest weaknesses, and commit to working on them this year. Struggling with a movement or a format one year and then crushing it the next year is more satisfying than I can describe.
That might mean a little extra skill work before or after class. That might mean dragging yourself out of bed to make sure you make it to overhead squat day. That might mean coming to Oly on Sundays so that heavy clean and jerk is more manageable next time around.
Chat with us about your goals and how to go about them. And of course, use the Quidditch Cup in January and February, because what could be better than setting goals and getting points for working on them!