Thoughts on the CrossFit Open

The wait is over!  The 2017 CrossFit Open starts tonight!  This is the 5th year we've participated as the CrossFit Wash Park community, and it's pretty neat for us to reflect on that.  In these years, we've learned some things - one of which is that the Open tends to involve self-reflection for the participants, which tends to involve an emotional struggle with external measures outside of your control (related to ego and expectation).  I'd like to share some thoughts regarding these issues.

For many of you, you are currently the best "CrossFitter" you've ever been.  The work is done!  You should be excited to put the fruits of all your hard work on display, first and foremost for yourself, and to a lesser degree, for the people you care about simply because they are excited to see you shine.  Not for the leaderboard, nor your rank, nor for someone you went to college with who you think might look up your scores.  None of that shit matters.  You are ready, and this is for you! Take a moment to express some gratitude for your health and reflect on all the hours you spent getting yourself to this point.  You should be proud of yourself no matter how the Open shakes out, and rest assured that I sure am!

For some of you, shifting priorities (e.g. job, school, relationships, etc) or things out of your control (e.g. injury/illness/recovery) may have you feeling differently.  To those in this boat, I would like to remind you that LIFE HAPPENS.  CrossFit is a PART of our life, and you are going to have peaks and valleys in it just like you will in every aspect in your lift.  Take solace that during the Open you will be giving the greatest effort you can possibly give each week, even if you think it's not the best you've ever been.  The people that you love and that love you - ie the only people whose opinions should matter to you - they are NOT judging you based on 5 scores that you probably won't remember 6 months from now.  

Among other things, we CrossFit because it helps us get healthy in the long term, because it's fun, and because we get to be surrounded by incredible, inspiring people while we do it.  With near certainly, no matter what issues may have kept you from your best CrossFit self this year, you are a more fit and physically capable human than whenever your CrossFit journey started.  Don't lose sight of that!  I suggest you also take a moment to express some gratitude for your health - whatever you're dealing with, it could be worse! - and reflect on where you were physically the first time you walked into a CF gym.  If you made trade-offs related to training this year, think of the positives in the other areas of life that came from those decisions.  

To those who don't feel their physical best - I'm even more proud of you for taking on this challenge!  It takes courage to perform at less than 100%, and I believe there is tremendous value in doing so.  In no way am I implying you should be taking injury risks to participate, but instead am talking about the emotional and mental value - letting go of external validation (PRs, better ranking than last year, etc) and looking inward for your enjoyment and satisfaction.  This is one of the hardest things to do in life but something I'm confident helps you be happier.

To everyone - remember that your Open scores and rankings are NOT a reflection of you as a person.  You could be the best in the world at {x}, but if you're an asshole, a shitty spouse/parent/friend, and unconcerned with those around you - well let's just say I'm confident that would not be a very fulfilling life.  How you treat and support others, and your dedication and effort in being YOUR best at whatever you do - to me those are much more important metrics to be concerned with, and they have very little to do with your scores in a competitive exercise event!  

So whatever station in (training) life you're in, my primary goal for you is to find enjoyment in the 5 Open Workouts!  Have a strategy, aim to stick to it, push as hard as you can at the end of it, and drink a beer with your friends afterwards!  Learn something, be proud, and celebrate the people around you doing amazing things - I can't wait to experience all of that with each of you!  Now let's get after it  - our first athletes will be kicking off 17.1 in roughly 8 hours!