My First Open
The Open rolled around for the third time since I started doing CrossFit. In the beginning, I was an at-home CrossFitter and sort of limped through a hugely scaled version of the Open workouts, but this was the first year I actually contemplated “competing.”
The buzz starts around January, “Are you doing the Open this year?” “You should do the Open this year.” “Everyone should do the Open.” You hear it at the gym and on all the CrossFit sites. Really? Everyone should do it? Even those of us that can’t do more than one pull-up? Really?
I visited the Open site and studied the workouts from the previous year – a veritable menu of stuff that I suck at. I filled out the registration form probably 10 times before I finally got up the guts to hit the Submit button. And then I was in. I knew I might be in over my head, but I wanted to do it. I wanted to draw a line in the sand and move from not being able to stuff to being able to do stuff. I wanted to set a baseline for myself. My thinking was, if I go in and perform badly this year, next year I can do better. My baseline for last year was not being able to do it at all. And that was one of the things that kept me going this year. No matter how hard the weekly WOD was, I knew I could get a score. I couldn’t say that this time last year.
My heart sank each week when they announced the next workout. First it was double-unders and heavy snatches, then chest-to-bar pull-ups, then deadlifts well beyond my 1RM. Then the thing they call a “chipper” which would have been called “death by everything” if it were on a dessert menu. The chipper featured 50 toes to bar. I had only recently gotten TTBs down – and these needed to be perfect.
At first I felt cheated out of the $20 entry fee. At first I was angry about the lack of scaling for my age group. I’m 47, I’ve had two c-sections, and haven’t had more than four consecutive hours of sleep since I had my kids. I have to do the same work as the twenty-somethings that haven’t missed a wink of beauty sleep EVER. Really?
None of that ended up mattering. Each week, I made a guess of what my score would be. And each week I scored higher than I thought I would. No matter how low my score was, I went home buzzing over what I had achieved. Only making it a quarter of the way through a WOD never felt so good. I got not one, but two C2B pull-ups for the first time ever. I not only set a new deadlift PR, I lifted that weight 20 times in a row. And I got every one of those TTBs in half the time that I thought I would. Every score was a celebration.
There is definitely something about the Open that makes you push yourself to the next level. Maybe it is all the cheering, maybe it is only having one shot, maybe it’s being ranked against the best of the best. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like it has taken me to a new place. I am already looking back at 14.1 thinking I can do better now. And I’m looking ahead to 2015 thinking I am going to kill it. And I will.
Strict Muscle-ups on Rings or Strict False Grip Pull-ups 4 x 3
Push Press 135/95