Over the past five weeks, many of us have committed to some trying tests of strength, endurance and will. And as it comes to a close, I think we should take time to celebrate our successes and the successes of others. Just participating in and completing the Open is something to be proud of. So set aside some time to relax, reflect and really come together with your community and peers to send off another sensational (and sweaty and death-defying and downright tough) Open.
- Have a cocktail (if you’re of legal age). You’ve worked hard. For more than a month, you have tested your body and put it through the wringer trying to achieve personal greatness. So crack open an ice-cold beer. Dine with some wine. Sip a magical liquor mixture. And if you’re not into alcohol or not of age, you still have options: a sparkly cup of Kool-Aid, some sweet lemonade or a crisp can of soda. Let yourself enjoy a little treat to pay tribute to the 2015 Open.
- Take a couple of days off. If you did this final workout right, you might need a couple of days off regardless. After some grueling assignments and some new challenges, your body will bounce back best with a couple of days of rest. And if you enjoy active rest, take a day to hike or swim or whatever. Get out of the gym and enjoy an entire weekend away doing other stuff you love.
- Spend a Thursday night NOT on the edge of your seat. If you’re like most CrossFitters, for the past five Thursday evenings you’ve counted down the minutes to Dave Castro’s Open announcement. Then you watched carefully as the elite duked it out … all the while thinking the workout didn’t look all that bad (trickery). Then you dealt with ants in your pants, intense dreams and continuous distraction until you completed the workout. So today, chill — on the couch, on a deck, at a pub. Relax. Let those ants outta your pants and enjoy a relaxing Thursday night.
- Eat. Then eat some more. When you work hard, you deserve to eat. So do it. And go big or go home. Can’t get enough good barbecue? Round up some fellow CrossFitters and hit some ribs hard. Wanna stuff your face with ice cream? Get it. Snag a gallon at the store, or just hit up a build-your-own shop and load the toppings on until they spill over. I’m a firm believer in eating. And eating for joy is the best reward you can give yourself. Sometimes it’s OK to overdo it — and the end of the open is one of those times.
- Write down your new goals and start training. The end of the Open likely gave you some insight into your strengths and weaknesses. So now it’s time to hit it hard and make some gains before the 2016 Open workout. Some of us struggle with gymnastics, while others have a hard time with heavy weight. Regardless of what it is, make your weaknesses a priority in your next year of training and set goals, including short-term, midterm and long-term. Without goals, we lack guidance.
Congratulations to every single individual who participated in the Open. It’s the one time of year that you get to put yourself on a worldwide platform and push yourself to sometimes unexpected and new levels. Whether you were thrilled with how you did or disappointed in your results, use the lessons you learned to become a better athlete, and even a better person.
Goodbye, 2015 Open. We’ll see you next year.