5 Reasons You Should Sign Up For The Open!
Your coaches believe in you. I would hope that as members committed to CrossFit, you believe that the trainers have prepared you to….wait for it….DO A WORKOUT SHMEEEHHHH. Unlike the good ol’ days when you signed up for the open and there was one category to sign up for (RX aka as prescribed)…
2011KayBay: “Hold up, I can’t do dubs tho.”
CrossFit: “Tough luck, kid.”
2011KayBay: “So I spent $10 to whip myself in the forearm for 10 minutes?”
2011KayBay: “ight then, I try!”
…now you can choose to do ‘Scaled’ which officially means there are zero reasons as to why you can’t participate.
Person: “I can’t do muscle ups.”
2016KayBay: “Do scaled.”
The trainers are the best resources you have because we know how to scale every movement whether it be for an injury, limited range of motion, or breaking down a movement for progression purposes. I recall having one of the most atrocious front squats known to man photographed on the front page of the Sports column in a newspaper. Do you really think I would want you guys to look like I did? Probably not, in fact, the goal here is to give you the short cut so you don’t have to struggle for years trying to figure out why you can’t for the life of you stay back in your heels on a front squat after the 10-years worth of volleyball cues of “stay in your toes!!” Trust that your committment to perfecting your movement, the dedication to the programming you have stuck with, and the cues you have received have prepared you to perform well.
Going there is intimate. If I’m in pain, that guy over there is in pain, so we’re all in pain. Mano y mano. A bond is created when we are chipping away at the same task. If I have completed an 18 minute AMRAP, I know where it starts to hurt. If someone has completed an 18 minute AMRAP before me, they can tell me where I need to begin to push. This honestly sounds like I’m writing about childbirth (holla mamas!). But I have not birthed a human, therefore I would not give tips on what to think about, or what to do whilst giving birth. I have done lots of extreme exercising, however, and the people I have created relationships with were the people out there who have done the work before me, after me, or right next to me. We could give tips to each other on how to be efficient, we could laugh about it afterwards, we can relate. The ones out on the sidelines yellin’ “Pick it up!!” with a chili dog in hand were about as motivating as shaving my legs in the winter.
You could kick your past-self in the face. 2016 Kayla is more flexible, more coordinated, more powerful, faster, and mentally and physically stronger than the 2011 version. How do I know this…not by the scale, not by photos, but by scores. Would I pay $20 to input a score on the interwebs that I can revisit for years to come? I would, and I did. The Simon and myself took it upon us to write down every single open workout and place them in a hat, and we randomly draw one every now and then to retest ourselves. We can go back through old leaderboards to compare our scores and what do we find? By not being afraid to challenge our past scores and believing that we have put in just enough hard work, we continue to become more fit every year.
Strengths and weaknesses are identified real quick. How do you even know what you’re good and bad at until you are put under pressure? What if you’re actually great at a movement you hate doing? You’re bound to be better at some movements than others, but who are you to be the one to identify them? Competing (because that’s what it is, a worldwide competition) exposes your weaknesses so much so that you might actually feel nudie during a workout, and it doesn’t matter who you are, naked CrossFit is not sexy. The exposure is so demoralizing that you might actually consider practicing that weakness so that it doesn’t make you feel like a blockhead when it shows up in future workouts to come. The 2011 Open exposed more weaknesses than strengths for Kayla. Week by week she accepted to be slapped in the face by an AMRAP only to become better. The first photo is an overhead squat (I think…I can’t tell because it looks so much more like human garbage), which came up as a movement in the 4th workout in the 2011 Open. There were 30, 90lb. overhead squats to complete. I completed 20. I bet about 0 of them counted because I didn’t get my hip crease below my knee crease, I couldn’t even snatch that weight at that time, and there was a potential fatality when I almost launched my bar into the crowd. Needless to say, I sobbed tears of embarrassment afterwards. Then less than 2 years later, Kayla can overhead squat 160lb. for 5 reps with exquisite form, showing up the boys at the Chico State Wrec…but how?!?! Because there was no way in hell I was going to look THAT ridiculous ever again.
Your movement is held to the highest of standards. There’s this thing called a ‘Judges Course’ that anyone who wants to judge has to take. There’s a good reason for it too. Have you ever counted or known someone to count like this?:
“1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10!”
or how about like this:
“5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30!”
The folks who are running the CrossFit Games understand that they can’t always rely on you to hold yourself accoutable. *Enter Judge*. Now hopefully, the judge wants to hold you to the same standard that a coach holds you. This does not just mean counting correctly, this means that the movement is completed correctly from start to finish in order to count. Here are some simple examples:
-Toes to bar means toes make contact with the bar.
-A squat (any squat) means hip crease below knee crease, and extension of the hips at the standing position.
-A burpee over a bar means jumping over a bar with a two foot take-off.
-Chest to bar pullups mean chest makes contact with the bar.
These standards should not be anything new or anything you haven’t seen. I mean, the movement is in the name. If you need further explanation on what to expect, see https://crossfitwest.com/2014/03/open-kayla/. The Open is the ultimate test to your CrossFit life. CrossFit is an investment, straight up…Is it working for you? How do you know? How will you know until you have been challenged to face your weaknesses and strengths, while being held to a high standard competing alongside your friends and collegues, knowing with all the time you’ve dedicated to becoming fitter that hopefully you are better than you were a year ago being judged by the coaches who have given you the tools to succeed…
Prove your movement, and be proud of what you can accomplish.