It’s that time of the year again! We are just days away from the start of CrossFit’s 2019 competitive season. For some, this is the culmination of a years’ worth of training and sacrifice for a chance to make it to the Crossfit Games. For most of us, it’s an opportunity to be inspired by the sport’s greatest, while enjoying the heightened sense of camaraderie with not only our own box, but with affiliates and athletes around the world.
What can you expect during the CrossFit Open?
For every individual who feels a sense of excitement and anticipation around “Games Season”, there is an equal contingent of folks with a sense of apprehension and uncertainty they may not have felt since their very first CrossFit session. Admittedly, there’s a lot that changes during these workouts. Athletes are assigned judges, people may experience the heartbreak that comes with a true “no-rep” for the first time, but mostly the sense of competition is palpable in the air.
Don’t worry! Your Box didn’t transform over-night, but everyone has stepped it up a notch. This is the one time a year where everyone looks at their performance through a more critical lens, and as such, this can be one of the most informative periods you can have as an individual athlete.
While CrossFit HQ and many others have continued to downplay the importance of the CrossFit Games as a major component of the CrossFit culture, I would like to present the five reasons why I believe athletes should continue to commit themselves to the CrossFit Open.
What is the CrossFit Open?
What is the CrossFit Open? The Open is a chance for Crossfit athletes all over the world to compete in a standard set of workouts and to be ranked globally against their peers. One Open workout is released each week, for five weeks. Hundreds of thousands of people compete in the CrossFit Open, most of whom have little interest in competing in the top tiers of the sport. Despite this fact, these workouts remain a core activity of boxes large and small around the world.
In true CrossFit fashion, the global Crossfit community gets together to tackle the same set of workouts that are designed to score athletes down to the rep. That score is then used to calculate your rank on the leaderboard.
The structure of the 2019 Crossfit Games has changed considerably from previous years. Checkout CrossFit’s official website for more information about the Open and the Games. Click here to register for the Crossfit Open and participate in the leaderboard.
Just to be 100% clear, when I say, “Commit to the 2019 CrossFit Open”, I’m not necessarily implying paying HQ the $20 necessary to get on the leaderboard. Rather, what I’d like to communicate is that I believe there is tremendous benefit in committing to attacking each of the 2019 Open workouts to the best of your ability.
Now let’s get to the rationale…
#1 Commitment is Golden
Anyone who has set fitness goals understands the effect of committing to and accomplishing those goals. This is a 5-week commitment, at the end of which you’ll have something unique to show for it. You’ll have gone head to head with thousands of athletes around the world in the most accessible fitness competition on the planet.
Call to Action: Tell yourself that for the next 5-weeks you will compete in the CrossFit Open, then give it everything you’ve got. And don’t forget to reward yourself at the end.
#2 Benchmark Everything
The Open workouts often become benchmark workouts that Crossfit affiliates can come back to periodically to measure improvement. These workouts are written so the average athlete couldn’t possibly hope to finish them. Don’t let that discourage you! They’re written that way for a global fitness community that has to be pushed to their very limits as a way of creating separation.
This is a chance for you to log a place in CrossFit history as having attempted some of the most grueling workouts on the planet. Scale where you need to, log everything, and know that you’ll see these workouts in the future as part of your long-term development.
Call to Action: Log your results for every Open workout, whether on the official leaderboard or personally.
#3 Push Yourself
I firmly believe that anyone contributing to their own fitness is, in their own way, aggressively attacking their goals.
That said, I feel the need to ask for a bit more during this time of year. These workouts weren’t designed to be easy, and it’s important to walk in with that mentality. Get the right amount of sleep, eat a good pre-workout meal, and come prepared to give it everything you’ve got. This is your opportunity to set a standard for yourself that your able to improve upon not only this year, but in the coming years as well.
The best part of this is you don’t have to go at this alone. You are (or could be!) part of a CrossFit community. There has never been a better time to lean on your coaches, friends, and fellow athletes than now. Draw strength from them and give them strength in return.
Call to Action: Find someone in your box to hold you accountable during this Open season and ensure you do the same for them.
#4 Connect with a Larger Community
Currently, there are over 1500 individual CrossFit affiliates worldwide. Guess who else is doing the Open right alongside you? That’s right! You’re part of a much larger, global Crossfit community!
Personally, I do a lot of traveling, and make a point to visit other Crossfit affiliates. I feel at home when I walk into a box in any given city and tell them I’m from Perpetual Fitness in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m consistently welcomed with open arms and receive the same treatment from Los Angeles to Berlin to Bangkok. The Open is a chance to relate to those that pursue fitness and wellness worldwide. Enjoy the fact that you have a shared experience with someone in practically any country you can think of and build on that as you go.
Call to Action: Take a look at the CrossFit Leaderboard and cheer someone on, from your gym or otherwise, find someone to support.
#5 Get Inspired
Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir, and Josh Bridges. These names may mean nothing to you now, but watch these athletes compete one time and you may have a new appreciation for what is possible when it comes to the sport of CrossFit.
I believe what the Crossfit Games athletes signify goes far beyond what any individual athlete can bring to the table. They embody the sacrifice that excellence requires, the mastery of a craft, and most of all, an unwillingness to compromise on the pursuit of one’s goals.
If you watch the coverage of these athletes, past and present, and it doesn’t get your blood pumping in some way, then something has clearly missed the mark. These top athletes have just been through the same workouts as you. You lived what they lived! I truly don’t believe there’s a more genuine way to connect with a sport or a professional athlete than this.
Call to Action: Find a top athlete to root for! Enjoy this season by becoming a fan of one of the best and following them through their journey, it’s truly inspiring.
Conclusion: Have Some Fun!
Enjoy it! Have fun, challenge yourself, connect with your box, your community, and your sport. Appreciate that your part of something much larger than yourself and your box. The Open may not be your ticket to the CrossFit Games, but for most us, it’s our ticket to connecting with the global CrossFit community, and that, is something truly special.