Small Hinges Open Big Doors…

Alright grasshoppas, I was called out by Wild Bill for waiting so long for my annual CrossFit Open post.
It took me so long because I was trying to find a different and more creative way to say what I have said in similar posts of year’s past.
Last year was possibly one of my FAVORITE Open Series we have had at my gym!
It was not because of the workouts, but largely for the people who MADE THE COMMITMENT to not only do it, but FOLLOW THROUGH with it, I salute you!

It was probably the most diverse range of athletes I have had in ANY of my years doing the CrossFit Open. And it was probably the best attendance I have had through the course of all 5 workouts.
I always preach max participation, but there was something different about last year. The message seemed to resonate more, and I was amazed and humbled by the RISK that people perceived with signing up for the Open, BUT DID IT ANYWAY!
So, while I was racking my brain trying to think of something different to say, I came to the realization that I like consistency too much.
My message does not have to be different or over the top…but perhaps if I change the tone, or change the volume, or flip the perspective…the effect can be the same.
So buckle up, we are about to go from 0 to 100 real quick…
real quick….
real f*cking quick…
I tried to have a greater social media presence leading up to this year’s CrossFit Open to try and help people understand what the Open is about, how to sign up, what to expect, etc. etc.
So I am not going to be redundant with that in this post….y’all should already know.
But on the off chance you don’t know…I posted some videos on Instagram explaining the sign up process, the differences between the RX and Scaled workouts, and what to expect with the Open at my gym.
So again, this post isn’t about that..this post is about something different.
I believe it is time to address the FEAR…the UNCERTAINTY…and the DOUBT that I hear about every year around this time…this year being no exception.
In order to move forward, it is necessary to take a step back for second:
I can count on one hand the amount of times in the past few years someone has asked me in depth questions about my WHY and my reasoning for wanting to own a CrossFit gym, and be a CrossFit coach.
I suppose it is my own fault that people don’t know the specifics of my intent, my focus, and my passion for it all.
I started coaching in 2010, and within the first year I was immediately hooked.
Anything that had to do with CrossFit in Fort Collins was something I wanted to be a part of.
I wanted to be THE coach.
Continuing education, seminars, certification courses…you name it, I did it.
I was very involved with trying to learn everything I could in order to help people enjoy CrossFit as much as I did.

Along the way I become interested in not only being a coach, but also establishing more personal relationships with my athletes.

I wanted to be a CrossFit coach because of the people I would get to interact with.
I’ve heard overused taglines that as a coach you should A. Strive to make the hour clients have at your gym the BEST hour of their day…and B. You should coach your athletes as if their lives depended on it.

I am not naive to say that I fully buy into either of those, but I understand the value of my relationship extending to something beyond coach:athlete with those that come through my doors.

The pursuit of that relationship is what motivates me.
CrossFit by nature is supposed to be different than a regular community gym.
Everything from the vibe, to the structure, to the interactions is what sets us apart.
Yes, ultimately people should be coming to my gym to better their fitness and pursue their goals for a healthy lifestyle, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of the intangibles a CrossFit gym can offer.

There is a reason why I like coaching all of the classes.
There is a reason why I work as tirelessly as I do.
There is a reason why I am always trying to push the boundaries of what I offer at my gym.

That reason is YOU…the people, my athletes, my friends, my #fitfam.
I wonder to myself all the time if there are people at my gym where the time spent IS the highlight of their day. Do I have athletes at my gym that are struggling with something I don’t know about, but use my gym as sanctuary from their struggles?
Lets talk about depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, low self esteem/lack of confidence, and PTSD….I can confidently say that those words accurately describe well over 1/3 of the athletes at my gym.

Let that sink in for a second…

I have spoken with, and continue to work with athletes  OF ALL ABILITY LEVELS who struggle with the above aforementioned things.

I feel this is where I actually EARN my privilege to coach. I believe finding ways to relate to, motivate, and stimulate those athletes is the true measure of my success as a coach, and if I can do that, teaching people how to squat is the easy part.
Working out is a healthy coping mechanism, and I have always vowed to do my best to ensure that my gym is a safe, and positive place.

Enter the CrossFit Open…
I have never seen something elicit so much INSPIRATION…so much COURAGEOUSNESS….and so much ENCOURAGEMENT in my gym.


Enter the CrossFit Open…
I have never seen something elicit so much FEAR…so much DOUBT…and so much my gym.

Where is the disconnect???
There are athletes who literally show up 5-6 days a week…and I ask them to sign up for the CrossFit Open, and they shut down…they get weird…they disappear…they make excuses.
Don’t get me wrong…I understand traveling…I understand not being able to fully commit to the workouts, I even understand not wanting or being able to afford paying to register.
But what I don’t understand is how something that is supposed to be so inspiring, can turn into something so utterly demoralizing for some.

Over 500,000 people signed up for this year’s CrossFit Open…the top 1% is considered the “elite” athletes, and make it to the CrossFit Games…so who do you think the other 99% is made up of?
You don’t have to be great, you don’t have to be good, you don’t have to be OK. That’s not what this is about. There is really no reason to be so hard on yourself over something like the Open.
I have seen the ugliness that the CrossFit Open can bring out in some. But again, I am a firm believer that my gym is a safe environment, and there is legitimately NOTHING to be afraid of. Why? Because as a leader, a coach, a friend…I’VE GOT YOUR BACK.
And this isn’t my first rodeo…
When it comes to the CrossFit Open, I am similar to
Michael Jordan in the finals….
Tiger Woods on Sunday….
Muhammad Ali in his prime…
Michael Phelps in the Olympics…
Tom Brady when the big game is on the line…..
…errrr..nevermind that last one…sorry Patriot’s fans…too soon?
For those of you that don’t speak sports…I am like:
I am not comparing my athleticism as far as my athletic performance in the open with those phenoms…the comparison is in my preparation and dedication to my athletes.

I am especially talking about the effort I put into the Open.

I am talking about how if you are an athlete of mine, I’ve always got your back. It does not matter if you have been with me for 1 day, or 1 year, I have your best interests in mind.

I want to see you succeed…but more importantly I want you to understand it is OK fail.

I feel like this is the root of why so many people get negative around the open, or chose to avoid the open:
The fear of failure is too much.

Feelings of inadequacy or coming up short of some preconceived (made up) standard that only exists in their own mind is what cripples people.

I acknowledge that it exists…I am trying my best to understand and accept that it is there…but at the same time…I am asking people to TRUST me…trust the environment that I have worked hard to foster. Put the fears, the doubts, and the feelings of inadequacy to the side.
One of my favorite sayings as of lately has been: “Small hinges open big doors.”

One of my selling points for the CrossFit Open year after year is that it is what CrossFitters do this time of year…if you come to CrossFit every day and work out…why would you miss this opportunity to work out on a bigger platform…being a part of something bigger than yourself….

But in all honesty…the CrossFit open is a small hinge.

It has the potential to excite and frustrate, motivate and humble, reward and hurt, build up, and break down…but like I eluded to earlier…it’s perspective…it’s about personal growth…it’s about trusting the process.
That is why I take it so seriously. (Again…not seriously in the sense of my own athletic performance, but serious in how I prepare my athletes and try to make the CrossFit Open a positive experience).

The effort I am asking for is a two-way street.

I am not expecting 2-way in the sense that I will meet you part of the way, or even halfway, I am saying I want to be there ALL OF THE WAY.

All I have asked for and will ever ask for is that you just show up, take a risk, take a chance, act like you care, and celebrate your failures just much if not more than you will celebrate your success.

The journey together to find success is the intangible that I seek.
The CrossFit Open is a small hinge, but it represents opportunity, and more importantly, it represents a chance for growth.
Sorry that got into the feelz….but it had to be addressed.
There is nothing to be afraid of.

I’ve got good news and bad news…the good news is:

18.1 is a 20 Minute AMRAP of T2B, DB Hang Power Clean and Jerks, and Calorie Rowing…

The bad news is:
18.1 is a 20 Minute AMRAP of T2B, DB Hang Power Clean and Jerks, and Calorie Rowing…
It’s all about perspective, and attitude.

I took a few athletes through the workout today, and the biggest takeaway has been GRIP and TRANSITIONS.

If your hands are already jacked up, this workout WILL NOT do them any favors.

Shaving hands the night before might be a futile effort, but if you aren’t going until Monday, it might be worthwhile to trim down your callouses.

If you know you are prone to ripping, it might behoove you to bring tape or other hand protection. There is a new rule that states you may either wear hand protection OR tape your pull up bar…doing both is NOT permitted this year.
I will do my best to help people with hand rips, but my supplies are limited, so plan ahead.
2010-04-21 17.22.16-1
There have been some good rowing charts and strategy videos posted.

As always, The Outlaw Way typically is one of my favorites.

The heat list was published earlier today, and I will be running athletes through this workout from 9am-1pm. The doors open at 8am on Saturday for those in the first heat who wish to arrive early to warm up.

Any judging help, especially for the earlier heats, is greatly appreciated.
Max Muscle is our week 1 sponsor, and will be on site with free samples and goodie bags for all participants this Saturday.
Jared’s daughter will also be in the house selling girl scout cookies…so bring a $5 bill or 2 and get some cookies to go with your protein shakes!
I will also be available on Sunday from 9am-12pm if anyone wants to do the workout then.
The deadline for the workout submission is Monday at 6pm, so I will be available all day Monday as well to take people through the workout last minute!
To end this lengthy post on a much lighter note…for those that know me, they know that I like to joke around…trash talk…and troll both in person and online…
I am pretty good at it…
…So good at it in fact…I can even troll myself with no shame…
Check out these flashbacks of me circa 2011 for the very first  CrossFit Open….