Written by Sarah Loogman
The Open is upon us!! In 28 days, the largest scale fitness event in the world will kick off for athletes all around the globe. For a very elite few, this is the start of the CrossFit Games season, but for the vast majority, the CrossFit Open is a way to measure improvements, set global markers and generally interact and connect with the worldwide CrossFit community.
Misconceptions about this event sometimes obstruct daily gym-goers and everyday exercisers to make the commitment, but here’s our response to your every excuse and why we believe you should register for this worldwide event and get yourself on the leaderboard:
“I’m not good enough.”
Yes, you are. With last years introduction of the Scaled division, the Open has become even more accessible to athletes of every level. Even so, there may be limitations and challenges you encounter in one of the workouts, but your efforts may surprise you when you are called to it. I’ve seen many individuals achieve their first muscle up, first double-under or PR a lift when the spirit of the Open comes around. You may become inspired by other participants and may even inspire someone yourself. Not convinced? Read this testimony from Greg Lambert who placed next to last in his first CrossFit Open.
“It’s not like I’ll qualify for Regionals or the CrossFit Games.”
For less than 1% of those who participate in this event, the Open is a stepping stone to the CrossFit Regionals and for an even lesser few, to the international CrossFit Games. If you’re a part of the other 99%, you are with the majority. Very few competitions in the world allow everyday citizens to share a leaderboard with the most elite and it is this exact quality that makes the Open such a special community event in which we all share. Participating in the Open may give you a greater appreciation for what the best of the business are able to accomplish or it may even open your eyes to your own unfound potential in the sport. Being a part of the Open doesn’t have to imply that you are attempting to or expect to compete among the elite. What it is, on the other hand, is an acknowledgement and tribute to an incredible community of people with a common, underlying goal – to be better humans.
“I’m not ready. I’ll do it next year.”
If you wait until you feel “ready,” you’ll never do it and if/when you ever do, you’ll wish you had done it sooner. The nature of CrossFit is that there will be always something that you can improve on and always something that you feel needs work. If you wait until you feel that you have mastered “that” thing, there will only be something else you’re chasing after instead.
“This is just fitness, I’m not here to compete.”
We agree that fitness does not need to be, and in fact for most people should not be, a matter of fierce competition. There is a fine line between fitness for health and elite level competition and it’s important to recognize your goals and the steps that you should be taking in order to get there. But signing up for and participating in the Open does not mean that you have to stray from your fitness and wellness goals or that you are suddenly expected to accept the greater risks of an “athlete.” The Open sets measurable standards by which to evaluate your current and growing level of strength, conditioning and skill that shows your comparison not only to the masses but also against yourself, year after year. This sort of quantitative data may result in you setting greater goals for yourself and striving for more.
“I don’t have time.”
The Open consists of 5 workouts over the course of 5 weeks, each event with an allowance of four days to complete as many times as you want, wherever you want, whenever you want. Even if you can’t perform these workouts at your local gym, there are permissions to do these workouts even from your own garage gym with a video camera. Watch this video of a guy who did an Open workout on a mountain top in Bhutan with a bamboo stick and stones.
“I can’t afford it.”
Registration for the Open costs $20. That’s one less cup of Starbucks coffee per week between now and the release of the first workout. That’s one less meal that you eat out instead of cooking a meal at home. That’s just a little more restraint on your online Amazon shopping spree or collecting your pocket change over the next few weeks that usually ends up in your vehicle’s cup holder or in the dirty laundry. That’s one less impulse buy at Target or a few less energy drinks on your way to work. That’s not buying your sixth pair of Reebok Nano’s. You get the point. It would take very few, painless sacrifices to financially commit to the CrossFit Open. The small price to pay should be well worthy of the investment you are making into a grand opportunity that is fun, exciting and inspiring in ways that will undoubtedly enrich your life.
“I’m too nervous/scared.”
You’re not alone…we all are. This will be my fifth year participating in the CrossFit Open and I still get a gut check just thinking about it. It’s scary to put yourself out there on a leaderboard and it’s nerve-wracking not to know the events beforehand. But being vulnerable means allowing yourself to discover – maybe the discovery will be about yourself, maybe it will be about others – but you will and it will be worth it. There will be hardships and discouragement but there will be also moments of incredible triumph, pride and a sense of accomplishment. Don’t live your life, or fitness, along the easy path just because it’s the most comfortable – it’s also often very boring. Chase after experience and success of many sorts will find you.
If you think you have another excuse, share with us in the comments and we’d be happy to tell you otherwise! If, however, we’ve already proven your concerns invalid and you’re ready to commit, register for the Open here and let us know, too!