If you have plans the last Saturday in February or any Saturday in March you better clear your schedule. The 2015 CrossFit Open is upon us!!!
I know many people just checked out thinking, “oh no way this isn’t for me, I can’t do pull-ups, pushups, double-unders….” Wrong, Wrong and wrong again, The Open is for you. Before you totally zone me out at least hear me out and let’s see if I can’t persuade you otherwise, please keep an open mind.
Ok first off, what is the Open? The CrossFit Games is a worldwide competition looking to find the fittest man and women in the world. Being the goal of the games what it is, the net must be cast broadly and there must be an entrance into the competition that is accessible for all people. The qualifying process for The Games is two part and the Open is the first part. It is a 5 week worldwide competition, one workout being released each week on Thursday evening and each participant having until Monday evening to submit their score online via the CrossFit Games website. You can complete the WOD at a CrossFit affiliate and have an affiliate judge validate your score or you can submit a video of your workout to be validated by the community. Once the Open is complete the top 20 men and women from each region move on to a three day competition called the super regionals where the top 5 men and women move on to the games.
So with that all said you are now thinking “why would I compete I can’t go to the Games”. True you won’t go to the games this year, or next. In fact if you want to go to the games you will have to make an extremely serious commitment to the point where all other things in life would need to take a back seat to your training efforts. But in reality the Open is about far more than making it to Regionals or the Games, its about comfort zones, belief in yourself and challenging preconceived notions of who we are and what we can and can not do.
I have had the awesome privilege of watching almost 100 of our athletes compete in two different years of the Open. There have been some workouts released that really made my heart drop thinking of the disappointment and struggle some athletes were going to face. The movements were too difficult for them or the weight was too heavy and I knew it was not going to be a pleasant experience for them. As the time came I fully expected people to drop out, no show or have some excuse why they couldn’t attempt the workout, but in Uncommon fashion that never happened. Each athlete was there, maybe with doubt and fear but they stood there and faced it in front of all their peers and embraced the challenge. Because of their choice to face the fear some got PR’s, double-unders for the first time and some people didn’t get one rep. In that, all of them succeeded because even if the bar wasn’t lifted, the hurdle of just trying was crossed and in that effort something changed in them and that change made them better.
Your perspective, your point of view can not change unless attempt something you have never done. It only make sense right? You have to extend yourself beyond what you feel is possible, into the realm of possible failure before you can see what you are truly capable of. When I went through Sealfit Kokoro camp there were times when the feeling of despair and hopelessness was so heavy you literally couldn’t stand up straight. The task in front of you was too big and you could not believe it was possible to succeed. I had many failures in that camp along with many successes but in it I learned a few things that apply here. The first is don’t give up on yourself before you even try. This principle lives in my mind every day now. If failure is an option then good! That means I will know what I am made of, I will find my true limit and in that I can work on the things that will extend my limit for the next try. Too many people quit before they give themselves a chance. Start the practice in the small things like training. What’s the worst that happens?
The second thing is team. You are who you are surrounded by and when surrounded by the right people life looks very different. In Kokoro starting out there were some people there who should not have been there and they knew it. That first day was hard because we didn’t have a good team, we had too many people with the wrong frame of mind and it dragged us down. By Saturday night those people were long gone and you could sense the difference. What changed consciously or not was that we knew the person to our right and left were the real deal. They were there for me, not for themselves and they would do anything to keep me going. I get goose bumps thinking about it. My chance of failure ceased to exist because I had a group of people with the same goal surrounding me. No ulterior motives, no ego’s.
This wasn’t really supposed to be this long but I guess I needed to say it. You have a group of people for this moment in your life that is focused on you and you are focused on them. Use this time as an opportunity to fail but when you fail, fail forward. The SEALS use that term “fail forward” to express that even when things go wrong learn from them, grow and fail forward. You are part of a community that doesn’t judge results alone but instead judges effort, character, grace, compassion and grit. Be part of the community, you might be the reason someone else needs.
For those that are doing the Open and are ready to crush it. They know they are ready and excited for the challenge. These same things apply to you and more so. To take yourself to the place you have to go in an Open workout…its hard. You have to develop your mind, and that only comes through training. The next several weeks leading up to the Open will be some really great workouts. All of these WODs will be built around increasing work capacity in shorter duration efforts and simulating some of what might be seen in competition. Start to practice before each training day, coming into the box focused and with a goal for the days training. That doesn’t mean becoming a hardcore jerk and roid raging on people. That just means taking the days work seriously when it needs to be serious and relaxed when it is appropriate to relax. Your ability to will yourself to another level in the Open will be dictated on your ability to focus your mind in these next few weeks. Pratice your breathing, visualize yourself completing each movement well and with a successful outcome. It sounds silly but these things help, the body will fail and if the mind isn’t ready to pick it up then your done.
So to sum it all up. Our daily WODs will get you ready to crush the Open. If you have a weakness attack it every day.
We will host the Open workouts at the box on Saturday morning. It is an insanely good time with over 75 of us there competing and having an awesome time. I will get the details of all the times, dates and so forth later on this month. Anyways I have rambled forever….stupid espresso.