The CrossFit Open is great fun but I personally think it’s about 2 workouts/weeks too long.
With all the hype – Castro certainly makes sure you get value for money as he releases a clue on the Wednesday before the Friday morning reveal which builds nerves and anticipation and fear and wondering – it can all feel a bit all encompassing. I realised this week that I’m feeling a bit of Open fatigue because I had started to forget what regular CrossFit was all about, and I was definitely missing it. With the Open it has felt to me like I’ve spent half the week waiting for the WOD, and then the other half recovering from it. For me, there is a lot of pressure on the one WOD and after 3 weeks it is possible to forget that normal CrossFit isn’t like that.
One of the reasons I really enjoyed 18.3 is because there were zero expectations. I only went in to do 1 rep, and I knew that I would go no further than the second set of skipping so I had 14 minutes to do 200 skips and 20 overhead squats which even for me meant that I could take my time, joke with my Coach about not doing the Muscle Ups for fear of embarrassing him, and generally have fun. And it’s not that regular CrossFit is EASY because it so is not, but it is a little less pressured. You push harder to put your best on the whiteboard, but it doesn’t feel as important. Some days you are at maybe 75% and that’s OK, because turning up and being 75% is better than not turning up and being 0%. You don’t get that with the Open, it feels as though you have to give 100% which is tough (for me anyway) because what if you’re just not up for it? And with all the hype and activity it generates, the world can seem smaller and as though it revolves purely around this one WOD a week. You know sometimes when you’re ill and you feel like you’ll never breathe normally again, well sometimes the Open can feel like that.
So I had a bit of an Open strop, but then I came across a different perspective. The Open is not the thing. The year that you’ve trained before the Open – in the fun, inclusive, ‘relaxed’ way that you have – is the thing. The Open is just a point in time at which you measure yourself to see how successful your training in the past year has been, and where you might want to look next year. Already, just 3/5ths of the way through I’ve realised that I’m 2 workouts up on this time last year – this means that I am willing to try more new things and that I can do more. I’ve realised I’m 6000 people fitter than I was last year. And I’ve decided that I’d like to put toes to bar on my goal list for next year. It doesn’t really matter how well you do in the Open because it is just a reflection of what effort and time you’ve put in during the year. For me, because I’ve only been really consistent for the past 3 months I’m super chuffed with where I seem to be landing, and I’m excited about next year because if I can make so much progress with only a few months of really consistent training, I want to see how far I could get with a full year of consistent training.
So we measure ourselves and we take the opportunity to make new friends and new connections and learn things, about ourselves and our comfort zones and our abilities, but then we get back to the normal old, happy, familiar, fun, inclusive Crossfit and we start working for next year.
18.4 – come on then.