I’m not going to win the Open. I’m not going to be within thousands of places of a qualifying spot in my division (Masters Men 40-45). I’m most likely not going to be able to do all the five workouts as prescribed. But my point is, who cares about all that?
I know that by grinding through the Open again this year (my fifth time), I am going to learn about myself as a person and as a CrossFit athlete. When it comes time for Regionals, I’ll get a chance to watch real athletes compete and see the best of the best advance to the Games. And that’s OK, that’s fine with me. I’m getting what I want out of the experience.
Part of the thrill is in the pageantry of the Open Announcements. I love watching them, and they are like a prize fight in which two top athletes square off, throw out a score and then every athlete around the world tries to go after their numbers for the next five days. What other sport do you get to watch the best compete, set a mark, and then go out and try to beat it yourself using the same standards?
For me, the heart and soul of the CrossFit season is the Open. I know thousands of people see CrossFit competition as only what they get to watch on ESPN. If that’s your understanding of what it is to compete in CrossFit, then you have been misled. The everyday member (aka the majority) is not going to make it to the Games and very likely is never going to compete at the regional level. For all of us who fall under that category, the Open is our Games.
Secondarily, we have split up our gym into two teams the past several years and developed our own scoring system and leader board. This develops a second level of competition that makes competing more realistic and fun.
Whatever your motivation or reservations are in regards to the Open, I will state this: I’ve never completed an Open and regretted it. It’s not a waste of money. There’s a 100 percent chance you’ll come out on the other end not only knowing more about yourself but also sharing experiences with your friends and the best athletes in the world.
What’s your motivation? Have you done the Open before? What did you like about it? What has stopped you in the past? Comment below.