It’s that time of year again, when we all come together every Friday, for five weeks to support one another in accomplishing herculean-like WODS. Many of us may be veterans to the CrossFit Open, and are seeking retribution, fame, and glory. Others of us are entering the Open arena for the first time, and are likewise looking forward to demolishing the 5 WODS to come. Below is the low-down on what you need to know to prepare for the next few days:
-The Open workout will be announced at 8:30pm by our own Babe Castro.
-After the announcement, some of our athletes will go head-to-head, drop in or view it on Facebook live!!
– Everyone else gets the opportunity to do 19.1 on Friday, as well as during open gym hours.
– You have until the the following Monday to complete the workout (when scores must be submitted).
-All morning classes will run as normally scheduled with the Open workout as the WOD.
-All evening classes will be cancelled and replaced by heats.
-Tim will be posting a spreadsheet for athletes to sign up for heats starting at around 4:30pm to 7:30pm.
Regardless of your relationship with the open, we wanted give you some Open stories and words of wisdom to help get you in the right mindset. We asked some of our very own JPCF athletes to recount their experiences with the Open. You will find that though no one story is the same, there are common themes that permeate their stories. If you are doubtful or unsure as to whether or not you would like to participate in the Open, I have 2 pieces of advice for you. 1) Read our members stories. 2)reach out to any of the (wonderfully talented) coaches to see if we can’t help guide you through the obstacles you foresee. Below are some of the topics our athletes address:
-Feeling like the open is too competitive and discovering that the Open is accessible for all
-Breaking mental and physical barriers
-Receiving overwhelming support from the JPCF community
-Overcoming negative self perceptions
-Trying something new
-Connecting to people outside the JPCF family
-Feeling strong and confident
The open is an opportunity to help build a stronger community within JPCF. We show up to compete and to cheer each other on. I love seeing how strong the JPCF women are as we continue to push ourselves during the 5 weeks. Last year was my first open and I was incredibly intimated. One Friday night, I was doing a particularly hard WOD, and 3 women from JPCF stuck with me the whole time to cheer me on and to keep me going. I did so much better than I expected. I felt supported. I felt strong. I felt like I had found my tribe. CrossFit has also brought strengthened my bond with my older brother, who also does CrossFit. I love that during the Open him and I are doing the same workout at the same time, making the physical distance between each other feel less for a little bit.
I’m a stretch-to-Rx athlete most days of the year. Scaling is something I’ve always done and I’ve come to enjoy the challenge of figuring out what’s right for me. For the 5 workouts during the open, I go for it. Last year that meant I spent 4:25 doing 100 dubs during 18.3, then hitting a new snatch PR a whole bunch of times to overhead squat the Rx weight. The open is an opportunity to try something I otherwise wouldn’t — to see if I can catch some of that open magic I’ve seen so many times at the gym (I’m looking at you and your kick ass pull-up last year Amy!). It’s a time to find the edges and push outside of your comfort zone whether that is digging in to some gross workout or trying a movement you’ve never done before to see if you can surprise yourself.
I’ve never been an athletic person–I was always picked last for teams, and spent entire games hoping desperately that the ball-thing wouldn’t come near my part of the field/court/whatever. The first year I signed up for the open mainly because Tim kept giving me examples of scaled movements that I could actually do. And I had some incredible (to me) accomplishments that first year–finishing a scaled workout by deadlifting my PR weight 55 times, and actually doing overhead squats! Last year Tim asked athletes to volunteer to compete head to head at the gym immediately after the open workout was announced. I volunteered for 18.3–a workout that ended up having pullups (which I didn’t have) and overhead squats at my 1rm weight. When I got my first ever pull-up during that workout the gym erupted in cheers–even from athletes who could do pull-ups in their sleep. I then got 4 more pullups that night. What meant to most about this experience was becoming comfortable enough in front of our JPCF community to try a workout I was pretty sure I was going to fail at. I knew that nobody would laugh at me or think less of me for not having a certain skill or level of ability. As someone who never thought of myself as an athlete this feeling of belonging in a gym was absolutely foreign, and truly exemplifies what the open means to me.
For me, the Open is all about honing my life survival skills — breaking through old mental thresholds of what I think I am capable of accomplishing to what I’m actually capable of accomplishing. This translates into so many life areas for me. It increases my abilities to tolerate and persevere through difficult tasks and life events, and generally gives me a tougher skin. The three years I’ve participated in the Open have continually surprised me in this way, and it means more to me than any place on any leaderboard. I only wish I had participated sooner; during my first two years of Crossfit, I avoided the Open because I thought it was “too competitive” for a guy like me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not doing the Open during my first year is one of my few regrets in this sport.
The open is a fun challenge to see in what new way I might surprise myself by doing better/faster/stronger than expected. Someone always gets their first impossible “patronous” and when I see it happen, I get goosebumps and tears. It’s just the most incredible thing to watch an athlete go from thinking they could never do X, to then doing 10 of that X in a row for the first time. My husband Tim got his first toes to bar during one of the opens and it was the coolest thing. A highlight of a past open was getting first chest to bar pull up! As a giant female, I thought pull ups would never be possible for me. I would literally have dreams where I could do pull ups, and then in the morning be sad that it wasn’t real and would never be real. But I spent Quidditch Cup 2017 working in chaining toes to bar which transferred over to getting my first pull ups. I have honestly never been more proud of anything at the gym as those pull ups–I felt like super girl.
The open is all about community. The first open I was SO NERVOUS that I wouldn’t be strong or fast or good enough. And obviously none of that was true, because they are not lying when they say the Open is for everyone. But so much of that is because how much other JPCFers support each other in this. During the Open there was always so much joy and excitement in how everyone was doing and celebration of everyone’s accomplishments. Being with the community was the best part hands down of the Open and for me really defines it.
Until next time, take care of yourself and I hope you CRUSH your next WOD.