Debunking Reasons Not To Do The Open

"I'm new to CF"

Perfect!  You can look back next year and see all  the progress you've made.  You have no expectations other than to try hard, have fun, and be impressed by what your fellow CFWPers and CFers around the world are doing.  99.99% of them are normal people, doing things that you can also do given time and consistency with training.  Plus, you'll almost certainly have a first in the next 5 weeks.

"I don't like competition"

There can be negative aspects of competiion (namely who it makes you feel, which is something you can control, see below), but very few people actually get to experience "game day" in their adult life, whether at work, with hobbies, etc.  Training in anything requires occasionally taking on an unknown challenge or test. And in particular, there is something amazing and inspiring about physically giving your all at something, no matter the outcome.  The Open is an opportunity we get once a year to do so!  Get butterflies, come up with a reasonable plan of attack, try your best to stick to it, FOCUS on the task at hand, hear your friends screaming their heads off for you, and GO FOR IT!  You're not doing it to win.  You're doing it to test your limits - this is how we grow!

"I'm in worse shape than {insert year}"

You didn't make it to regionals {insert year}, so what's the worst that can happen this year?  Your ranking drops from some number you don't even remember, to some other number you won't remember next year.  Your ranking is an external metric, and out of your control, so you can decide how (or how not) to let that influence your self-esteem (read: don't let it!). I promise that no one but you cares about your ranking in a worldwide fitness race.

For those of us with a few years of the Open under our belts, one of the best aspects in my opinion is that each year you can look back and reflect on the state of your life and enjoy the story that tells!  Maybe you had other priorities this year, got married, started a new job, had a baby, etc and those things were a higher priority than your 1RM clean & jerk, when in previous years that was higher on the list.  Maybe this is the year you dialed in nutrition and you have your best yet!  Maybe you got to enter a new age group and enjoy that!  Maybe the Open is the kick in the ass you need to get back to consistent training again!  There's always a positive - find it and embrace it.

Right now, in February 2018, your fitness level is what it is!  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  Don't let unecessary, self-imposed embarassment stop you from doing something fun with your friends!

"The open makes me feel bad about myself"

This is similar to the last one.  My question to you would be: why?  The open doesn't reflect your quality as a human being.  it doesn't even reflect your overall fitness or level as a CrossFitter!  It is (historically) 4 somewhat similar tests of aerobic capacity ranging between 5 and 20 minutes, and usually 1 with heavy weights.  You're not a bad person or bad athlete because you don't have double unders!  There are many other measures of health/fitness the Open does not directly gauage - your sleep, your 5k time, your 1RM back squat, your nutrition, your strict gymnastics ability, how many free throws you can make out of 100, the max RPM you can reach on the bike, etc.  Don't get hung up on the negative aspects of these tests (or let fear run your life!), such as "i can't do chest-to-bar pullups", or "I have to scale this one" - having a weaknesses exposed is awesome, because it's something you can improve on! 

Instead, have confidence in yourself, and enjoy doing the best you can, with people who care about you cheering wildly!  To reiterate: NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU FOR YOUR SCORE.  

I'll leave you with this, compliments of Teddy Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Now GO SIGN UP!!!!