Have you lost your LOVE for the Open?

The Open is like Marmite, you either love it or you loath it.

My perspective has changed over the years and I have equally loathed and loved the Open for various reasons.

This year I made the decision to LOVE IT!

For some of you, it’s an annual check-in of how you’re progressing in your fitness journey. You enjoy the thrill of seeing what you’re made of and testing not only your fitness but also your will.

For others it’s a stressful 5 weeks full of uncertainty and chaos. Affiliate owners experience sleepless nights trying to figure out logistics and for some of the elite athletes, it’s the first check in to see if all their hard work in the off season has been worth it.

I also have come to recognise that there are 4 camps who participate in the Open.

1. The ‘Newbie’ camp. It’s your first Open and you still don’t have a clue what it is and what it entails. My advice to you guys is get involved. With the introduction of the scaled division there no excuses to join in. You’ll meet new people and achieve things you didn’t realise you could do.
2. The ‘Craic’ camp. You’ve participated in 1 or more Opens. You are looking to throwdown with friends, not concerning yourselves about the outcome, where you finish and what others may think. Not defining yourself as a person based on a fitness score.
3. The ‘All in’ camp. You guys are the Elite, the top 10 athletes in each region who will cruise through or the next 11-100 athletes who are going to kill yourselves, physically and mentally for 5 weeks to make it to Regionals. You take The Open extremely seriously and rightly so. The competition gets harder every year and just a handful of reps could be the difference in making it or not.
4. The third camp I see emerging is the ‘Out’ camp. You guys have participated in a few Opens if not all of them and have decided this year, “I’m out”. It’s you folks that I want to focus my attention on and maybe pursued you to still participate.

The ‘Out Camp’ have typically had a specific goal every year going into the Open. Maybe it’s to make it to regionals or the games as an individual or as part of your Team Roster. Maybe you’re a Master aiming for the top 20 spot??

As time has gone on and life progresses you may no longer be in a position to compete at that level anymore. Age, babies, work and simply the growing pool of competition are all reason for you not being in a position to ‘compete’ this year. You’ll say to yourself;
“Oh the Open, it’s going to interfere with my training, I don’t want that stress”.

I completely get it! I’m in this camp, I’ve been to 3 Regionals and last year was aiming to make it for a 4th to no avail. I was in the ‘All in’ camp and tried to balance work, family and training for one final year. But a Megan, Barney, Jasper, 2 gyms, a fitness racing business have meant my priorities have changed.

That being said, I am still going to participate in the Open in 2017.

My reason??

For me, there is not many better way to bring the box and the wider community together. The whole community supporting each other, whether your goal is to make it to the games, beat your training buddy or just meet new people.

The Open has been stressful for you in the past, but that doesn’t mean the Open has to be stressful.

It’s how you approach your mindset that will determine the outcome of your experience.

Instead of putting yourself under pressure, just view it as another workout! You train 4-7 times a week and this is an opportunity to throwdown with people you might not normally do so. Who cares if you don’t finish as high as you did last year? You’ve got your dream job that demands more of your time now and a puppy who keeps you up all night. So of course you’re not going to do as well. That’s ok, have some perspective and enjoy the process.

I hope this has made you look at the Open in a different light, you don’t even have to sign up but at least join the rest of the community in coming together! Either that, or sit on the fence and just watch from a far….

Good Luck to everyone competing in the 2017 CrossFit Open regardless of which camp your in.

Bring it on Castro.