Well it’s that time of year again.  It’s time to set our sights on the most exciting three weeks on the CrossFit calendar, the CrossFit Open.  The CrossFit Open, or just “The Open” as it is commonly called, is the very first step on an athlete’s journey to the CrossFit Games.  For three weeks CrossFit HQ will program a new workout every Thursday and we as a global CrossFit community will attack this workout together.  There are three options available to perform the workouts: RX (for the experienced CrossFitter),  Scaled (for the novice to the sport), and Foundations (for the very new CrossFit athlete).  It doesn’t matter what your experience level is, we have you covered.  But why should you do the Open?  If I don’t have any intention of competing at the CrossFit Games, what is in it for me?  Well, a lot really.  

A high-level CrossFit coach once said, “The CrossFit Open is your annual physical.”  Why did he say this?  It’s simple when you look at it in context.  By performing the Open workouts, you will get a good test of where you stand physically across broad time domains, across different metabolic pathways, and how well you can utilize multiple energy systems.  In simple terms you will see how fit you are right now.  Or in even better terms, how healthy you are right now.  Will these workouts define who you are as a person? Absolutely not, but they can show you who you are as a person. Are you someone who pushed outside their comfort zone?  Are you someone who backed down from the challenge?  The Open will push you outside your comfort zone and it will challenge you.  This competition will help you outline your training as you enter the coming year.  Did you struggle with your conditioning?  Were you not strong enough?  Did you have trouble with body weight movements?  By using this worldwide competition we can see where we are as a community and what specifically we should be working on to be the fittest human beings we can be.  It is easy to get stuck focused solely on our strengths and not attack our weaknesses.  Failing over and over again on social media is not sexy and it doesn’t bring the attention that our strengths do.  But if we fail to attack them we only discover where our limits lie.  

I often tell people working out is easy but how you work out tells me so much about you as a person.  Am I talking about how well you perform? No! What I am talking about is if you avoid doing something as simple as exercise, what else will you avoid?  If you only put in a partial effort into a simple workout, what else are you only putting a partial effort in?  And if you cheat at a workout, what else are you cheating in life?  The reality is no one cares when you finish, we only care that you finish.  No one cares how well you performed, we only care that you stepped outside your comfort zone and performed.  It has become very popular these days to play motivational speeches over your workout posts but I often see the people who love to work out post these which to me is ironic.  If you love to workout, it isn’t motivating to me that you continue to workout.  I’m more impressed by the person who hates to workout yet comes in the gym day after day and pushes themselves to be better.  To start or end their day making themselves 1% healthier.  Will you let a simple workout defeat you or will you rise to the challenge and overcome it?  Imagine what you can accomplish if you overcome something you were afraid to do.

As we prepare to kick off the next three weeks let’s set goals for ourselves.  Let’s make it a point, whether you signed up online or not, to attack each week with intent.  Let’s intend to overcome the challenges of these workouts together and push each other to be better than we were yesterday.  Let the challenge of the Open inspire us this whole year to be healthier and grow stronger together. And when the challenges of this life beat us down, use the memory of these three weeks to remind us that we can overcome those challenges one rep at a time. 

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