It is that time of year again. I’m sure you are well aware of the “buzz” that is going around the gym right now. It’s OPEN season! The CrossFit Open brings CrossFitters from all over the world together to test themselves against one another in an effort to find the fittest among them. With this kind of introduction, you might think that the Open is only for elite level CrossFit athletes. This is NOT the case! In the early days of the Open if you could not do a workout Rx then you just did not get to log a score. This was very discouraging for a lot of athletes. However, recently CrossFit HQ has made changes that make the Open manageable for everyone. With the introduction of the “scaled” category last year as well as some changes to the age divisions (which makes me a Masters athlete this year, let’s not talk about it), suddenly you really have no excuse not to participate!
Not only has CrossFit HQ done their work to make the Open more fun and accessible, we at CFC are really working hard to make it a special experience for all of our members. If you were around last year, you saw the epic battle between four dedicated teams, led by your coaches Dora, Zuzka, Ryan and myself. The team aspect brings something different to the competition. None of us are going to be the top of the leaderboards in the worldwide Open. However, in our gym competition everyone has the chance to have a moment of glory. Whether it’s being the top man or women in the gym for the Rx category, the top in the Scaled category, or winning the Team Spirit award, everyone can have their moment.
The Open also allows participants a unique opportunity to experience competition in a safe and relatively stress-free way. While many of you may not aspire to be CrossFit competitors, the experience of competition is something I believe everyone should have. You never know what your competitive side might bring out of you! The Open consistently brings “firsts” for those who participate. Whether it’s first TTB, first DU’s in a WOD, PR’s in a Clean and Jerk or pushing harder than you thought you could, the environment of competition pushes athletes to a different level. Who knows? You may even discover that you ENJOY competing!
More specific to our gym, this competition will be a great way to get to know a group of your fellow members. Many of the participants from last year still have a very strong connection to their team and their teammates. Going through an experience like this with a group of people who are supporting you the whole way is a powerful thing. Teams tend to pick times where they can do the WOD together in groups so that they can always show their support for each other. Friendly rivalries develop between teams and that extra push just adds to the competitive nature. Not to mention the added fun of costumes, tattoos, face paint, silly outfits, smoke machines, custom t-shirts, trash talking and…oh yes…the parties.
For the CFC team challenge the scoring works like this. Every athlete on a team that does the workout AND logs their score in the games website each week earns one point for their team. The three RX men and women with the highest scores will earn three points each. The highest scoring man and woman in the Scaled category earn two points each. One team is awarded the Team Spirit award each week and that is worth five points. Open workouts are published early Friday morning our time and we will rush to set up the gym to accommodate the workout in time for morning classes. The idea is that everyone will do the workout during classes on Friday. We will make sure everyone has a qualified judge and the teams make sure that the environment is always fun (learn to expect the unexpected!). The more judges we have, the smoother the process will be. If you haven’t already done the CrossFit Judges course, you can find the course at oc.crossfit.com. Remember that your scores MUST be submitted to the games website games.crossfit.com no later than Monday at 5pm our time each week.
If you are still asking yourself if you should participate the answer is “YES!”. Even if you don’t have Double Unders, or pull-ups. Even if you feel like you can’t lift very heavy. Even if you feel like you don’t have the endurance yet. The scaled division is meant to be manageable for even the newest of CrossFit athletes. As I mentioned already…there are really no excuses left. The Open is a chance for you to push your limits! Your team and the coaches will support you every step of the way.
Each team brings something unique to the table and each team captain had some strategy in their mind when they drafted their teams. Whether it is performance, friendship, party animal potential or just all-around fun each team member adds something to their team. Believe me when I say this is an experience that you do not want to miss. Congratulations and best of luck to all of you who took that leap and signed up this year. Whether it is your first Open or your fifth, something exciting will come of your participation. Be ready for anything in these next couple of months as teams try to out-do each other both in performance and team spirit. Let’s go Unicorns, Wolf Hearts, Inmates and Chalk Monkeys…bring on the competition!