The Open – The Good, the Bad, & The Ugly

We are now one week into the CrossFit Open, and as we’ve seen in years past it’s an amazing experience, even more so now that we get to share it with all of our awesome kick ass members! It’s so great to watch folks play with their limits and push past them. While the main focus may be on the workouts themselves, it is not just a test of your physical limitations, it is also a challenge mentally and for our character. The Open is a great reminder of what is important, and what our focus should be on: bettering ourselves and supporting others in our community. So today’s post is about a few reminders of how to be the best possible community members, and not to get too caught up in the excitement the Open brings.

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PRs on PRs
16.1 brought us chest to bar pull-ups which is a new movement for many of us, or an area that needs some work for others (myself included). Even though the workout looked intimidating and daunting, everyone came out and left everything on the floor. A few even got their first chest to bar pull-ups which is INCREDIBLE! For those who were so close you probably hit a PR on the amount of pull-ups you did, also AMAZING! During my first open I got my 1st chest to bar pull up after a few minutes of flailing around. I didn’t even get through the first round, but I did get 8 chest to bars, when I had never been able to do one before. This week’s workout was a humbling one for me, but when I look back on my first go round with the movement, I realized how far I have come and yet how far I still have yet to go. It really is a never ending progression!

Wheelhouse
Since this is THE physical test for everyone in the world, the workouts will vary week to week, which means odds are some will fall right into your strengths or your “wheelhouse.” I like heavy workouts, some may like body weight workouts. Eitherway when one shows up that plays well to your strengths, that is great! However keep in mind that just because it was one you enjoyed and maybe even crushed, this could be someone else’s weaknesses so remember to be respectful of that. If it’s a prescribed number of reps, and you finish before everyone else, then take a minute to recover and then go cheer for the others still fighting through it. That energy is so helpful when you are trying to finish a workout that is not your strong suit, and you are the last one still working. Be there for your fellow athlete! This applies everyday, not just during the open. We all are in this together, if you are the first one done your next priority is to support the others still working, that’s what makes CrossFit so great.  That means save the cleaning up, accessory work, or whatever else until everyone is done… (unless you really need a bathroom break, then by all means please do that 🙂 )

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What does Dave Castro have against me?!

The inverse of a workout in your wheelhouse would be when one shows up that you are pretty sure Dave Castro somehow knew you in a former life, and programmed this workout to make your life hell (in years past I thought this of the 7 minutes of burpees workout). When a workout comes up that you are dreading, or you thought you’d crush but it snuck up on you, THAT’S OK. Get through the workout, recover, then pick yourself up and cheer on your fellow Icehousers. In years past I’ve seen quite a few emotions pop up and some reactions to workouts that weren’t the greatest or the most sportman-like. If that happens, acknowledge what comes up then let it go. Maybe you thought you were going to get to 8 rounds but got 7.5. THAT’S OK! Maybe you couldn’t quite get that chest to the bar. THAT’S OK! Use that frustration as fuel for your next PR, and put together a plan of attack so you are better prepared next time!

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What’s your 16.1?!
This is the toughest part in my opinion because it is such a fine line. Since last Thursday I’ve gotten quite a few texts asking how I did on 16.1, and I know I’ve seen folks ask how someone else did on a particular workout, which is ok… if approached correctly. There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but understanding when that goes from being friendly to competitive is important. I’ve been guilty of being a “Leaderboard Larry” in my past, especially when I was newer and the PR’s came much more often. It is easy to get caught up in trying to be the best in the box, but that is NOT what this CrossFit thing is about. As soon as you are more worried about beating a fellow athlete than just doing YOUR best, you have likely crossed that line, or at the very least flirted with it. The leader board is there so that we can all record our scores, so we can track our own progress first and foremost. We are in competition with the people we were yesterday much more than we are with the person in the lane next to us.

For the record, everyone who asked about my score was super supportive when I told them. We exchanged scores, applauded each others efforts and moved on, it’s great to have such supportive friends. The fact that any of us did 20 minutes of craziness like that is awesome. You should all be crazy proud of yourselves!

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It can be hard enough to want to come workout when you know it’s a doozy of a WOD, especially when we throw a judge to watch every single rep, and extra people yelling and cheering into the mix. As always remember to check the ego at the door. These 5 weeks can be extremely fun, humbling, frustrating, empowering, and all of the above. We are all in this together, so don’t forget to support one another through this crazy journey.

-Coach Shoe


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