The confetti has settled, the excitement of the “fresh start” is starting to wear off, and the resolutions are slowly falling by the wayside, taken over by…well, daily life. We all have the best of intentions, but we also all have the best of excuses.
In CrossFit affiliates around the world, though, some of us haven’t given up on those resolutions or intentions. Once a year, for the past seven years, CF affiliates around the globe have participated in the CrossFit Open, and we spend the first few months of the year preparing ourselves.
The Open was introduced in 2011 (named as such because participation is open to anyone that wants to participate) is traditionally held over five weeks in February & March. In past years, a new workout has been released each Thursday night and anyone participating must complete the workout and submit their scores online by Monday evening with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate.
In 2013, CrossFit began broadcasting Open workout announcements live, featuring two or more past top competitors completing the workout head-to-head immediately following the workout description.
Over the past few months, CrossFit Headquarters (referred to as HQ for short) has started making some quiet and not-so-quiet changes: not only in how the Open and the Games will be run, but also how CrossFit presents itself to the general public. One of the changes is moving the timing of the Open to the fall, and 2019 will be unique in that there will be two Open events as CrossFit transitions back to its origins.
CrossFit started as a method to maximize fitness, and despite its controversial reputation, has been wildly successful by those who have taken the time to explore it. As it grew in popularity over the years, it started trending away from general physical preparedness (GPP) and gearing itself toward elite fitness athletes competing on the stage at the CrossFit Games.
While that was going on, though, affiliates all over the world were doing something different. We were helping people move. Move better, move more, or just MOVE. And although no one except our clients were seeing it, we were working with everyday people. College athletes looking to improve performance. Women training through pregnancy. Moms getting back in shape after having a baby. Office workers who sit at a desk all day. Overweight people who decided it was time to make a change. Older people who want to stay mobile and independent in old age.
To some extent, the focus on elite athletes is what drives the negative stereotypes associated with CrossFit. But, those athletes are such a small portion of the number of people in the general population who participate in CrossFit. Saying you can’t do CrossFit because you watch the Games on ESPN is like saying you can’t go for a jog around the block after you watch the Boston Marathon.
And it seems that us “little guys” have finally become a blip on the radar. This year, indications are that the focus is being placed back on improving the overall wellness of the average CrossFit athlete participating in group fitness classes at your local affiliate.
So, how does that relate to The Open? The Open is our chance, as the little guys, to test our fitness. We work hard day in and day out in the gym, not to be better at working out, but to be better at LIFE. To make it easier to do yard work, chase our kids, climb 3 flights of stairs.
Every affiliate handles The Open differently. Some are very competitive, others are more relaxed. Regardless of what your gym does and how they do it, the most important thing is that you join in. Because nothing beats the feeling of fighting against the voice in your head telling you to stop when all the other members of your gym are surrounding you yelling at you to keep going.
We’re guessing (drawing on our past experiences) you will find yourself capable of things you didn’t know were possible, and have a blast while doing it.