The Open is Not Over By Karnivore Kayla

The Open is Not Over

By Karnivore Kayla

Now that my CrossFit Open hangover has officially passed, I have finally stood up to brush off my two-timin’ burpee, dirty knees to say “the open starts now”.

This may be the first year out of the six years I have done The Open that I enjoyed the experience. I thought the workouts were creative, I thought they were good tests, and I didn’t put any pressure on myself like I have in the past because, well, making it further than the open is just not realisitic anymore is it! But to “make it” is not the reason 300,000 people signed up.

Let us take a step back and assess what The Open is…it’s a test to your fitness. Tests can be stressful right? You know when you like, procrastinate and it’s just that much harder? CrossFit is no different. This quote pretty much sums it up: “Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.” The same movements have showed up every year. What can you fit in the frame of a camera? Double unders. Olympic lifts. Wall balls. Deadlifts. Muscle ups. Toes to bar. Would CrossFit HQ leave it up to you to decide if your chin is over the bar or not? No. That’s why there are always chest-to-bar pull ups. What about that awesome hip extension on a burpee? Nope, give em’ a target or an object to leap over. These movements are not partial to The Open, they are CrossFit movements, and movements have standards whether you have a judge or not. Virtuosity defined in gymnastics is “performing the common uncommonly well”. Who doesn’t want to be that person!? I know I do!

So, it’s thursday night and you hear the newest workout has chest-to bar pull ups and squat cleans that match your body weight. Granted you know you’ve only done a real chest-to-bar pull up maybe 4 times in the last year, but you’re determined. You also have never cleaned your own bodyweight, but once again, you know that you have precisely 96 hours to learn the skill and gain the strength AND not be disappointed whatsoever in the placement you get, or I should say you earned.

I get it. The Open is the magical time of the year where modern day miracles happen and everyone gets their first muscle up and PR the crap out of their lifts! I wouldn’t rely on miracles though. This is not the United States hockey team of 1980 beating the Soviets in the Olympics. You get out of it what you put it in to it. From a coaches perspective, I can truly admire the desire to want to nail a skill or achieve a brag-worthy score. Which is why coaches are there. All year round. These movements we see in The Open every year show up dozens of times in the programming. So why does the drive to want to accomplish these movements and skills only last for five weeks? Because the pressure is off? What about next year?

The biggest misconception of The Open that I would like to clarify:

“You do this for a living so it’s easy. I have kids and a job and I’m stressed and busy and  my throats sore, I’ve had a sore throat for a month and a half and this is not an acoustic environment that is suitable to request this from me.”

The response: Thank you for telling me about my life. Sounds like yours is much harder.

The use of “stressed” and “busy” should be shunned from our modern day vocab. Raise your hand if you ain’t busy!!!! *crickets.** This is 100% correct though (oh my god I’m using 100% as an adjective, I’m turning into an electronic device). I coach CrossFit for a living so I can teach people how to move properly and hold their movements to the highest of standards, so they are able to outperform themselves every year. I have these movements and skills down because it’s my job to teach correct technique and be a prime example. That’s what you’re paying for when you step foot into a CrossFit gym.

I have been at the gym all year long. I am there waiting for you to come in and make improvements. But it’s you who has to put in the work. It’s currently April 2016, how much better can you get by February 2017? Probably immensely better than you would having starting your training January 2017. The Open is Open.