The CrossFit Open is a great test of fitness and for most of our members it is the only competition besides from our annual CFC Throwdown that they participate in. Therefore, everybody wants to perform the best they can. Unlike in our regular group classes, you cannot just simply avoid certain movement or scale anything down in the Open. If you are registered for the Open your only choice is between the Rx and scaled category. Therefore, your weaknesses can get easily exposed, especially if a movement you have been trying to avoid or a movement that you are not able to do shows up.
17.2 was a great workout that exposed different weaknesses. For some of you it was all about heavy dumbbells in Rx category, for others it was more about gymnastics movements like toes to bar, pull ups or bar muscle ups. There was a different challenge for everybody.
We got to see many firsts. Our very own Terka Eriksdottir got her first bar muscle up and even got featured on the CrossFit Games social media platforms! Many members got their first pull ups, toes to bar or bar muscle ups. This is the beauty of the Open. The atmosphere and adrenalin make you do things you did not think were possible.
What often happens after the Open
Unfortunately, after this first success, many people do not develop their new skill anymore. There are different reasons for it – it might not appear in the workouts often enough or if it does there might be too many reps and you are sure you will not manage it. Or you simply know that this movement is still a big challenge and you have enough excuses not to work on it. And then another year will go by and there will be 2018 CrossFit Open and you will realize that you actually have not improved the skill much or at all. Try to avoid this scenario and take your success in the Open as an impulse to develop your newly acquired skill.
What if you did not succeed
I am sure that there are also many people reading this article who were not that lucky and did not get their first rep even though they gave it their all. Trust me, I have been there and I know how much it sucks and how discouraging it might feel. Do not let it knock you down. Set it as your goal and learn how to do the movement. Your success will taste even sweeter if you know that you worked hard for it. Once you reach your goal, do not fall into the trap of not practicing the movement much or ever again that I mentioned above.
Your next steps
There are many movements and skills that you need to master in CrossFit and the Open is a great test of them. So here is what I would like you to do. Wait until the last week of the Open and then take a minute and evaluate your performance. Try to think about if you did as well as you wanted to and what are the areas that you can improve. If it is just about going faster or beating your friend who comes to the 5pm class, it is fairly easy to start with. Try to push harder in the group classes. If it is about getting stronger or getting a certain movement or technique down, try to pick only one movement at a time. Put it on the board and set a SMART goal (It is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Then try to work on it at least twice a week. Once you hit this goal, set another one. If you are not sure about how to approach your goal or what to do in order to achieve, talk to your coach. If your goal is more technique oriented, consider scheduling a private class to improve it.