Nervous about competing in The CrossFit Open? Lighten up! These guys have!
Coaches Series: Why I’m Doing the Open, Part 5
In our fifth and final series of posts Nicole describes why she is (still) doing The Open.
Why I’m Doing the Open: Nicole
As CrossFit has grown, the competitive aspect of CrossFit has become a sport in itself. Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit once wrote that “men will die for points” and that statement, in many ways, laid the foundation for what would become the CrossFit Games. But the heart of CrossFit has never been the CrossFit Games – it’s a fitness program that has the unique, tested, and proven ability to deliver world class fitness to male, female, young, old, stumbling uncoordinated individual, and natural born athlete – it delivers to all.
After swimming in college I turned to running, not because I saw it as a challenge, but because I was scared shitless to become the graduating classes before me who had put on 10-15 pounds immediately after finishing college. Swimming 2-4 hours a day wasn’t plausible after college (or desirable by then!) so the efficiency of running seemed like a good option. I became “a runner” and slowly ascended up the mileage ladder running 5-6 days a week and logging 50-70 miles. But something didn’t sit well with me and my exercise plan when I thought about it and the long term. How long could I sustain this? My body was always beat up or injured and how could I sustain this through my entire life? If I couldn’t run at some point in my life, how would I stay “fit” and lean without running 70 miles a week!?
And then I found CrossFit. While I loved it (and died for points) for the challenge, I had a very real sense that I could do this thing called CrossFit throughout my life.
I’m doing the CrossFit Open because CrossFit will always be a part of my life and it will always take care of me – through my competitive years, through years of working out 4 hours a week, through injury and crisis, through run down stints of my life to grooving parts of my journey, as a parent, a grandparent, and a wife. In a similar way that Eric and I promised “through sickness and health” to each other, I have done the same with CrossFit.
I do the Open each year to celebrate my accomplishments over the past year, learn of weaknesses, to be with my people, and to reteach myself what I am capable of. We all need this reminder each year.
As a coach, that’s what I look for in my athletes every day – what can they do, for them, in their world, on that day – not in comparison to any other person at the shop.
Over the past month I’ve heard many reasons from our athletes why folks don’t want to sign up for The Open. Some of those reasons include:
– What if I can’t do the prescribed weights?
– I don’t want to have to post my score and have my friends that CrossFit in other places see my place
– I’m just not as fit as last year, I don’t want to embarrass myself
– What if there’s a movement I can’t do?
– What if my spouse beats me?
– I don’t want everyone watching me during the workout (Come on, really? Don’t flatter yourself.)
– This stuff gets me really nervous and I’m just not sure I can do it for five weeks
– What if I mess up?
– What if I can only do one rep?
– Sometimes my double-unders are “there” and sometimes they’re not. I’m just going to wait until next year when I’ve really got them.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I have the exact same fears each and every year. Don’t believe me? Call bullshit? This year I have the exact same fears because I’m three months pregnant – and I’m STILL doing The CrossFit Open because CrossFit will ALWAYS be a part of my life.
Do the Open. Do it for yourself and for no one else.