Brave Little Toaster….Anyone?….Anyone?!?!
Fine…but now that I have your attention…
“It is that time of year again…”
I have said that a number of times in the past few weeks.
While most of my athletes, family, and friends know what that means, there is always a handful of the aforementioned that do not.
“Time for what?” some will ask me…
To which I reply, “The CrossFit Open!”
To which they will ask, “What’s a CrossFit Open?”
This is where it is hard for me to NOT break out the soap box and bombard the poor unsuspecting noobs with a timeline of events, a CrossFit Open history lesson, and a handful of other knowledge bombs to answer their question.
“Well now, grasshoppa,…let me tell you about the CrossFit Open…..and more importantly, why you should do it….”
Like I said, sometimes I try and give a short answer, and try not to go over the top with my information and persuasion…but as you are about to find out…I am like the Pringles guy of the CrossFit Open, especially if you have never done it before…you can’t just ask me what it is, and not expect me to unload with the stories, fun facts,…and maybe a dose of peer pressure…
So saddle up…we are about to get inverted….
…Ok not really, but it sounded cool…
Anyone that knows me knows that I can talk A LOT about CrossFit…sometimes to the point of overwhelming, boring, and perhaps annoying my audience…
Every year since the inception of the CrossFit Open in 2011, I have prepared a “letter” to my athletes on WHAT the CrossFit Open is, and WHY they should do it.
This year I sat for what seemed like an eternity in front of my computer…looking at a blank word document with a blinking cursor…eating girl scout cookies…contemplating my approach to this year’s letter…
What kind of approach should I even take this year? We already have 5 years of CrossFit Open competition under our belts, how will this year be different?
Should I try and be nostalgic about previous years so people understand how great of an opportunity this is?
Should I try and be funny?
Should I be Shia Labeouf aggressive and tell people to “DO IT”?
Should I not even write a letter and let my seasoned athletes compose testimonials of their own to help influence the masses?
“Give the people what they want…” is what I was told…so here we go…you get all of it…
:::Puts Down Girl Scout Cookies:::
So WHAT IS the CrossFit Open?
In a nutshell, it is an online CrossFit competition that ANYONE can choose to participate in. It is the first step in the CrossFit competition hierarchy to make it to the BIG SHOW…the CrossFit Games (The stuff you see on ESPN).
That is the gist of it, but the nuances of this competition process have changed over the years.
Rewind to 2009…there was NO OPEN…There was simply REGIONALS and then THE GAMES.
In order to get to regionals, all you had to do…was sign up…the first 100 men and 100 women to sign up competed at regionals, and the top 3 went to the games in California.
I was there at the 2009 Regionals…and it was not pretty…
….Dem Shox Doe…
In 2010, the interest in CrossFit had grown to where a just-sign-up for regionals was no longer sufficient. Thus SECTIONALS was born. So it went SECTIONALS, then REGIONALS, and then THE GAMES.
The problem with sectionals and regionals in 2010, was each section and region was allowed to make up their own qualifying workouts in order to get athletes to the games. There was scrutiny that some sectionals and regionals were harder to qualify in than others.
See For Yourself:
In 2011, the concept of Sectionals was replaced with THE OPEN. It was promoted as a 6 week STANDARDIZED competition in which athletes could compete anywhere, and post their scores online to be ranked with the best in the world. All of the workouts would be the same for everyone worldwide, and the top athletes would meet at the regional level where again, all of the workouts would be the same for everyone.
This was HUGE….
So huge in fact that the website created to facilitate the Open could not handle the amount of volume it was receiving and kept crashing when athletes logged in to see the workout announcements, post their scores, or check the leader board. This first CrossFit Open actually lasted 7 weeks because of the website malfunctions in the first week, thus giving athletes a week extension to complete and post their 11.1 workout score…and I cannot tell you how much I hated 11.1…mainly because I had no idea how to snatch, and I was still learning how to do double unders…there is video of it out there somewhere…if anyone finds it, I apologize in advance… please don’t judge me…I was a train wreck…
Check out the old school website:
In 2012 a new website was made to better facilitate the volume of athletes wanting to compete in the Open. Instead of 6 workouts, there were now 5. Standards became more specific, and the workouts became seemingly more technical. The presentation of the workouts even became more extravagant.
In 2013 and 2014 we saw the numbers of registered open participant’s sky rocket. New rules for workout submissions, video submissions, judging standards, team standards, and individual’s standards came about. Essentially, the Open became more strict, and harder to qualify for the next level.
In 2015, the CrossFit Open continued to evolve…fewer qualifying spots, super regions, and harder more complex workouts were the highlights…
”MUSCLE UPS WERE EVEN AT THE BEGINNING OF A WORKOUT INSTEAD OF AT THE END LIKE IN YEARS PRIOR!!! THAT DAVE CASTRO IS A JERK!!!”
However, this was the first time the Open offered scaled divisions, and a teen division for competition….which in my opinion was a positive step in the right direction for the “sport” of CrossFit.
This brings us to 2016…
It is that time of year again…Open Season…
5 Weeks of online competition will commence FEB 25th…That is THIS THURSDAY, PEOPLE!
The first workout will be announced Thursday evening, and athletes around the world will have from Thursday evening, when the workout is announced, until the following week’s Monday evening to submit a score for validation.
This format will continue until all 5 workouts are completed, and the top athletes and teams in each region are identified.
So what does this have to do with YOU?
Well, simply put, as your coach, fellow athlete, and friend…I WANT YOU to sign up!
While admittedly the growing trend of the CrossFit Open HAS become more competitive…and maybe even more INTIMIDATING to some…in my mind, the way we do business as a gym during this time, has not changed.
The Open is a MAGICAL time in my mind.
And I am not talking about the pull-a-rabbit-out-of-my-hat and “hocus pocus” you are Rich Froning kind of magic…the magic I am talking about is intangible.
This time of year is a great time for getting athletes outside of their comfort zones, it is a time for trying new things, it is a time for PRs, and if competing IS your cup of tea, it’s time to show the world what you are made of…but more importantly, it is a time for COMMUNITY.
Perhaps you missed the tidbit that this is a GLOBAL competition….everyone that does CrossFit…and has access to a computer, can do these weekly workouts, and post their workout results online to see how they measure up…Take a minute to fathom that…at some point…in any given week….EVERYONE in the world with a vested interest in the CrossFit Open will be doing the SAME workout…
Food for thought: while the number of participants in the Open grows staggeringly bigger every year…only the top 2% of those registered athlete participants will make it on to the highest level of the competition…but there are literally THOUSANDS of people that sign up for the Open..so what does that tell you??? Hint…hint…even though it is continually evolving…the Open doesn’t get fueled by the top 2%…
While the CrossFit Open is a time of great opportunity, it can also be a time of great stress, and disappointment…I get it…I have seen it…I have experienced, and have dealt with it on the levels of a gym owner, a coach, and an athlete.
But I feel it is extremely important, that even though the Open HAS THE POTENTIAL to be all of those aforementioned things…that is NOT what the Open is about…the top 2% is NOT what the open is about…I make a big deal out of the open, and encourage everyone to participate because in my mind, the CrossFit Open has MORE POTENTIAL to be about YOU. It is another step in your measurable progress, your limitless development, and ultimately your commitment to yourself that you make on a daily basis (whether you know it or not) JUST BY STEPPING FOOT IN MY GYM…This is an opportunity to be a part of something that is WAY bigger than YOU, but can be catered specifically to YOU…so why would you NOT want to be a part of that?
For the next 5 weeks, our Saturday morning classes will be replaced with the Open workout. This will be our day to run the class like a competition, and allow athletes to complete the workout in a class environment.
If an athlete cannot make this class, they can get with me ANYTIME between the deadlines to complete the workout, but Saturday will be our formal day to complete it. So not having time to do the workouts is NOT a valid excuse…I will make time for you to do it, and cater to you anyway I can so you can be successful and get the most out of your Open experience!
“Lets get it on!!!”
Registration is $20 and this will give you access to your personal athlete profile, and allow you to be a part of the Wild Horizons team.
EVERYONE that signs up will be on the team…that is just how we roll.
YES the CrossFit Open has amped up over the years, YES, you can expect the workouts to be challenging…but this year I say forget your uncertainty, forget the fact that you are a noob, forget your fear, forget the stress, forget the fact that it is a competition…who cares!?Embrace the vibes, embrace the community, embrace your current athletic ability, because whether you have been with me for 2 days or 2 years, you are an athlete…and I WANT YOU TO JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to represent with me. As a gym, as a family, as a community, we will get through it together…and THAT is what the CrossFit Open is about…and no matter how competitive it gets, we won’t lose sight of that.
Sign Up Here…Sign Up Now…
JUST DO IT!
I apologize if the title was mis-leading…this post has nothing to do with wiener dogs…it was just meant to get your attention…but if you still want wiener dogs, here you go: