My First CrossFit Open

On February 20th, I decided I wanted to  participate in my first Crossfit Open. This was a hasty decision because 1. I’m still new to the sport and 2. I hadn’t been to a box in over a month. I had 48 hours to make up my mind. I decided to commit to the workouts as an unofficial participant. Meaning, I could do the workouts without submitting scores to be ranked. Today, five weeks later, the sense of accomplishment I feel tells me I made the right choice.

Am I really going to do this?

In just 5 weeks of consistently being in the gym, I feel like the allure of CrossFit and the Crossfit Open is starting to make sense. You always hear stories about camaraderie and mental toughness surrounding the CrossFit narrative. I always took those comments with a grain of salt. My years as a basketball player, from 3rd grade until my senior year of high school, left me wanting to be part of a team again but didn’t think it was possible as an adult. ‘A gym is a gym’ was the idea I had in my head but it makes more sense now. My first CrossFit Open showed me a new side of the sport and I’m excited to see how it helps me grow as an athlete. However, like any good sport, the competition wasn’t a smooth ride.

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Okay, it's happening...

18.1 was a well-balanced entry into the competition. I came in with a lot of excitement still running off the rush of even agreeing to these 5 weeks. 18.2 was when I first felt like I was being tested. I didn’t go in with much of a strategy and that was part of the struggle. I did the workout on a Saturday morning after a light on-the-go breakfast aka a banana. I started round one, 1 dumbbell squat followed by 1 bar-facing burpee. I felt confident about my motions up until round 6 where I struggled to get my legs over the bar on my fifth burpee. I ended the workout making it to round 10 of squats with no time left for burpees or 18.2A-1 rep max power clean. As I fell to the floor after the last squat, I felt defeated. At that moment,  not getting to attempt my 1-rep-max clean was a sign that I failed. I sat with that thought for hours. I don’t know how it happened but later that day, on a train ride to the city, I felt differently about my performance. I thought about how I felt like I wasn’t going to make it past the burpees in round 6 yet I got all the way to finishing squats in round 10. Somewhere after that set, my second wind kicked in and my mind and body worked to get me closer and closer to the end. A new sense of accomplishment hit me. 

 Practicing Cleans in Open Gym

Practicing Cleans in Open Gym

I felt myself being tested again when 18.4 rolled around. I’m a fan of deadlifts despite them blowing my back out a few months ago. Loving a movement is not enough to feel 100% after 45 reps. I made it to the second round of 21 deadlifts and everything in my body wanted to give up. I thought about stopping right there. Then, a woman I’d seen just a few times in the gym, walked up and coached me through the end of the set. She stood by me until the end, cheering me on after each rep and even helped me strategize ways to make each lift easier. It sounds simple but in that moment of wanting to give up, her support meant so much. 

Five Weeks Later

It’s only been five weeks but that's 5 weeks of consistency I didn’t have before. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me. I’m proud of the effort and the disciple the Crossfit Open showed me I put in the work and I'm happy to be in a space that promotes becoming the best version of yourself. Getting swole and flexy doesn’t hurt either.