It is hard to believe, but the open is nearly upon us again. It provides lots of excitement for a lot of people. However, the open can also cause some people serious anxiety. Whether you are excited, anxious, somewhere in between, or none of the above, I’m going to try to help you all MAXIMIZE your open experience.
First of all, in order for you to maximize your open experience, it would be a great idea to actually do the open. I will start off addressing the people who are either thinking they don’t want to do it or are on the fence. I’m guessing that, at some point, you felt the same way about doing CrossFit. It was this new thing in a new environment with people you don’t know and the workouts were intimidating, etc. But you eventually took that next step and tried it out. So, if you think about it, doing the open at this point would be a much smaller jump than it was to even start CrossFit in the first place. You are already doing CrossFit, you get to do the workouts with your community like any other day, and now they even offer scaled versions of the open workouts. Nothing to be afraid of! Uncommon is a place of growth. Physically and mentally. Will you get noticeably fitter by doing these 5 workouts? No. But I challenge all of you who don’t already plan on participating to consider how big of a step it would be and how much you will grow mentally and emotionally if you jump into this thing with a big group of people that really care about you!
One thing we get a lot from people who want to skip the open is some reference to their current fitness level. They say they’re still new to CrossFit and they’ll try it when they’re in better shape. They’ll say that they’re not as fit as they were last year. They give us a list of the movements that they can’t perform. To that, I would ask, did that stop you from doing CrossFit in the first place? Go to youtube or any social media site and you will find hours upon hours of videos of people performing open wods despite various challenges or limitations. People that are “too old”, “too overweight”, “too weak”, “too new”, “too busy”, people that are LITERALLY MISSING LIMBS…
What separates CrossFit from other places of fitness is the community. Uncommon would not THRIVE if we were just a place for you to improve your fitness. It would possibly still exist. But it would not thrive. Uncommon THRIVES because it is a place where you can build, nurture, and sustain meaningful, lasting relationships. THAT is why the majority of us do the open. You, the person reading this right now, are a part of this community. Our community is what it is BECAUSE people like YOU chose to be a part of it.
Ok. Now that I’ve convince you all to do the open I can bring in those who already knew they were doing it. How can you maximize your experience? The more time I spend coaching CrossFit, the more I think that mindset is the most important thing on which we can focus. The physical improvements are nice but they are limited. At a certain point everyone will reach a physical plateau. CrossFit is new enough that most of you just haven’t spent that much time doing it yet. As a result, most all of you can keep seeing improvements in your times, weights, etc. These are easy (and fun!) things to focus on because it means our hard work is paying off. Focusing on these improvements isn’t automatically a bad thing but, as I said, it is inherently finite. Mindset, however, is something that can always improve.
Just like CrossFit, maximizing your experience with the open is all about mindset. Some people have a low level of excitement about the open and they need to be hyped up to buy into it. Some people have a high level of excitement about it, and not in a good way. Their anxiety makes the whole experience unenjoyable. Just like CrossFit, improving your mindset about the open is about confidence and positivity.
Many of my favorite quotes are from Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England and coach of two Games Champions. One is, “Confidence has nothing to with winning or the leaderboard. Confidence is knowing that you giving your best effort is enough.” So just like any other day in CrossFit, if you just show up and try your best, you will get an amazing experience out of the open.
What I’m about to say is going to come across as perhaps mean or it might sound like I’m being a jerk. I promise I mean this is the best way possible. NOBODY CARES ABOUT HOW YOU DID IN THE OPEN! Now, let me clarify that statement. If you do the open, people will ask you about your scores. Think of all the people you know and talk to at Uncommon. If you told somebody your score/place and it was lower than it “should have been” according to some self-imposed standards, can you honestly think of a single person who would be disappointed in you or think less of you because of that? I bet if anybody at the gym told you their score/place you would just be excited that they did it. It’s amazing how we can be so positive and uplifting to others but not ourselves.
So there it is Uncommon. The open is currently available for registration. I challenge you all to sign up. Be confident that your best is enough and stay positive and you will have an awesome experience.