As many of you may know, last week was the beginning of the CrossFit Open. The Open is a 5 week worldwide competition. Anyone who does CrossFit, no matter where you do CrossFit, can compete in the open. The workouts are posted online, in quite a dramatic fashion, and then you have about 5 days to complete the workout, scored by a certified judge. I saw an infographic yesterday stating that over 209,000 people participated last week in the competition. All of these people are vying for 20 spots in the CrossFit Games, held this summer. It’s really pretty amazing.
So, I’ve been CrossFitting for a couple of years. I started as a 31 year old who thought she was in shape, and I am now a 34 year old who is in better shape, but is very aware of her weaknesses! My gym, the amazing 918 Crossfit, has about 50 people competing in the Open. I am one of them. I’m not last, but I’m certainly not first.
The day our gym had chosen to complete the open workout came, and it was snowing and icing. My family came first that day. I couldn’t make it to the gym. So, I went in on Monday and completed it that day. I grabbed a friend to score (not judge) me, grabbed my rope, and set up my barbell. One of the elements of this workout is certainly one of my weaknesses. Double Unders…. they hate me. Honestly, it’s mutual. So, for those who may not know, a double under is jumping rope. Basically, you are swinging the rope twice and jumping once. It involves a lot of cardio. Not one of my strongest aspects. So, 3, 2 1… Go. I’m in. Double unders all the way to 25. Sweet! I can’t breathe, but I got there. Four more, done. Now on to the barbell. This part is good. I can do this. 15 snatches done. I went slowly, trying to strategize. Fail. Round 2 came, 30 more double unders. I tripped over the rope 750 times, and finally got my 30 reps. Crap. Barbell, faster this time. Better. Round 3 and 30 more double unders. Slow, but we got there. Barbell, again. Wait, I only have 30 seconds left. Ok. Fast. Last rep completed as the time expired. Done. Sweet.
Those of you who do CrossFit understand that moment the workout ends. Exhaustion and pain flow through your body. So tired you don’t know what to do with your legs or your arms. So, as I laid on the ground, trying to breathe, the doubt began to come. Crap, I only got 135 reps. That’s not great. It’s not awful, but it’s not great. I begin to ask some of the other competitors around me what their scores were. 200’s and 300’s. Super. Defeat. More pain. But, wait. I did it. Not everyone did. I’m not great, no. I’m never, ever, ever going to make it to the games. This is know. For a fact. So, I’m going to bask in the glory of completing the workout.
That’s the beauty of the Open. As I stated earlier, I saw that over 209,000 people participated. Only .1 percent actually get in the games. The average reps for women who entered scores worldwide was 180. The girl who won the event got 472. We are comparing ourselves to superhuman athletes. These people who do nothing but train for the games, all the time. That’s not what I do, nor is it what I want to do. It’s great for them, not for me.
So, now what? We move on to 14.2. Chest to bar pull ups (pull ups where your chest touches the bar instead of simply getting your chin over the bar) and overhead squats. Overhead squats, sure! Chest to bar pull ups, nope. If anyone has some big boobs I could borrow, I would greatly appreciate it. I may as well be a man. True story. Unfortunately, I don’t have the arm strength they do. So, boo. But, I’ll do it. As many as I can. That’s the point of the Open. Only a handful of people will achieve the goal of the games. I am cheering so loudly for them. My goal is to do the best I can, and work on my weaknesses (there is a LONG list). I’m going to complete 14.2, be happy with the minimal reps I get, and cheer on my friends, one of who is ranked 9th in our region!
This is the beauty of the Open. It’s not to win, not even to win in your gym, it’s to push yourself past your comfort zone. Hell, let’s face it, that’s the point of CrossFit.