Why the CrossFit Open is Awesome

The latest CrossFit Open workout made a lot of personal history here at CFNH and a lot of PRs as well. On the other side of the coin, I know there are also people disappointed with their numbers and others who did the workout again and such. The interesting thing is how much more excited some people to get low numbers than others were to get high ones. That's where the magic of the CrossFit Open comes in. Take this photo, taken during Caitlyn's 7 rep performance:

Prepare for the Awesome

On first glance, you'll know that it's a picture of our very own Caitlyn throwing some weight above her head and, with me talking about last week's Open workout, you might also realize that's 95 pounds she's holding up there. Here's something that might not be readily apparent. What you see above is a photo of a woman in the process of locking out her body weight overhead. Not only was that more than she's ever lifted overhead, it was the first of four frickin' times she did it. Hell yeah.

I had a number of athletes come up to me Thursday and Friday who were afraid of the weight looming on Saturday. Well, not afraid exactly, but unsure. They had looked through their logs and discovered their last jerk weight was a ways away from the Rx for this workout. Because of this, I got to witness people getting 10, 20, sometimes 30 pound PRs just days before the Open workout.

Two years ago, I was in the same boat as many were this weekend: we had 120 pound overhead squats and the most I had ever done was 65. I spent a couple of days getting a 30 pound PR so I was up to 95, then on Game Day, I finished my 60 bar-facing burpees and overhead squatted my brand new PR of 120 pounds three times. Would I have done that if I wasn't in the Open? Sure, eventually. Would I have gotten a fifty-five pound PR in the span of three days if I wasn't in the Open? Hardly.

This is the true magic of the Open. The put up or shut up. No scaling, no second guessing, no chance to dial things back a little bit. You either do the WOD as it is or you don't move on to the next week. Sure, most people who sign up for the Open don't have a chance to go to the Regionals or the Games, and if you took a couple of steps back and weighed the odds of that one extra rep making any difference in your life other than becoming one meaningless number smaller than we were before, we might not push ourselves.

But we do.

Be proud of your numbers, no matter how humble or seemingly small. Remember that even if you were disappointed with your own number, there's probably someone out there who was psyched to get even half of what you did. To go back to my experience, I was tickled pink at my paltry score of 15 this weekend because I didn't think my shoulder would be able to hold together for one toes to bar. Instead, not only did I get six of 'em, they felt better than the toes to bar I did before the injury. In my mind, I've just won the Open because of that.

So if you're licking your wounds after this weekend (eew), look around the rest of the box. Look at the amazing things people were getting done, all because on some level they had to. If you don't have joy of your own to get you through to next Saturday, use some of ours. If you are filled with joy from what you accomplished, let's hear about it! Tell us your amazing feat from any week of the Open in the comments below. You're not doing it to brag, you're doing it to brighten the days of others. Make your family happy and let us share in your success. With Wednesday comes our last trial, and then the partying really begins. Give us your victories to carry us through to next Saturday.

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