by Coach Rob Sinclair
This is an exciting time of year in the CrossFit community. Why? You guessed it- it’s “Open” season.
But what is the Open really about? If you listen to or buy into the hype, you might hear things like, “It’s a worldwide competition…”, or “It’s a way to measure your progress against how you did last year…”, or even, “It’s a way to push and challenge yourself alongside the best in the world…”
We want to offer some perspective, both on these ideas and on how we see the Open for you- our amazing CFSG community.
“It’s A Worldwide Competition.”
Sure, there are some people who are in the Open to compete. After all, this is the first event in a series of 3 where the fittest in the world are asked to prove it through 5 workouts after which the top 15-ish athletes in a given territory and category are then selected to move on to a regional level of competition. From there, only a handful (top 3-ish) will move on to the world championships of fitness, The CrossFit Games.
But does that mean that everyone else should treat it like a competition? Not necessarily (but we'll come back to why in a minute).
“It’s A Way To Measure Your Progress Against How You Did Last Year…”
Is it though? For most of us, 'progress' in this case makes us think of faster times and heavier weights, or more Rx's on the board than last year. But here's the problem with that mentality: progress is a moving target.
Firstly, are the same number of people competing as last year? No. Even if there are, are they the SAME people as last year to whom you’re comparing yourself. We're willing to guarantee that’s not the case. So even if you placed 87,000th last year, it doesn’t mean that if you place 86,000th this year that you are any fitter or have made progress. It’s not the same. Don’t let that be your benchmark for this past year having been or not been a success.
Secondly, are you doing the exact same workouts as last year? Nope. At MOST, you’ll see one workout repeated from a previous year, which CAN be a cool measure of your progress if you look at your personal score (your time or your reps, not your rank) from last year.
Finally, RX’ing more workouts is no greater an indication of your progress than your change in rank with different workouts and different people.
What we're really trying to say is it's not fair to compare apples to oranges.
“It’s A Way To Push and Challenge Yourself Alongside The Best In The World…”
Yes, this can be true, and this is the closest to the mark that we feel gets acknowledged. However, sometimes this mentality also gets taken to an extreme. We see people pushing themselves in unhealthy ways, attempting weights or movements that they never would in a normal class, or compromising movement quality for the sake of a few extra reps, risking their long term health and performance… for what??
What We Believe About The Open
Here's the deal. We love the spirit of the Open and we really hope that you join us in participating this year... but we want you to participate for the right reasons. We don’t want to see you fall into the traps of the hype and end up frustrated, hurt, or both. We want to see you set yourself up for success, both with realistic expectations and with your long-term health and fitness in mind. For us at Solid Ground, this is what we believe the Open is all about:
The Open is a community event. It brings us together to share in the challenge of a workout (just like any other class!), but with the knowledge that the WORLD is sharing the challenge.
The Open is a great benchmark. We can use it to give us feedback on our strengths or opportunities for improvement over the coming year.
And it’s true, there IS something cool about doing the same workout as the celebrities we see on TV (and in our gym- GO VELLNER!).
But ultimately, we see the Open as another chance for you to exemplify the philosophy of our family here: that quality movement, humility, and hard work are the cornerstones of creating real functional fitness, and a life fully lived. And that your long term health and vitality are what matter most.
So join us for the 2018 CrossFit Open. Whether it's your 1st or 5th year competing, we encourage you to use this as an opportunity to give you feedback on your training and guide you on what you want to work on in the coming year.
We're looking forward to seeing you in your regular Friday classes to share these exciting challenges with your fellow athletes and the rest of the world!
P.S. You can register here --> Register for the 2018 CrossFit Open.