In the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to encourage my athletes to sign up for The CrossFit Open. The overwhelming response received has been negative. Let’s be honest here, none of us like to lose. Paying money to have your fitness (or lack thereof) revealed to the world doesn’t sound like a great idea unless you’re Rich Froning or Sara Sigmundsdottir. Nonetheless, your fears are unfounded and here’s an answer to every excuse I’ve heard to date:
“I’ve just started CrossFit, I’ll do it next year.”
“Observable, Measurable, and Repeatable,” you’ve probably heard this phrase a bunch of times from your coach or seen it in HQ literature. This lies at the very heart of the ethos of CrossFit, and it especially becomes relevant during the Open. Essentially, an Open WOD is no different from the workout you do everyday at the gym. The difference lies in the information and ranking surrounding the WOD. You will have hundreds of thousands of athletes’ workout data that you will be able to compare yourself against. This is an incredible tool that you can use to mark your progress. This should be exciting for any beginner, especially because the first year you do CrossFit you’ll see some incredible gains. Imagine repeating 17.1 in six month’s time and seeing that you not only can do it RX but now lie midway in the global leaderboard! Assuming that your goal for starting CrossFit was to become a fitter, stronger, sexier version of yourself, why would you shy away from an event that will give you concrete proof of your undeniable progress in achieving that goal?
“I can’t do muscle-ups.”
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been doing CrossFit for literally ages, and I only got muscle-ups in the past year. Sure, it puts a damper on your overall score–but so what? Since I got muscle-ups, my life hasn’t changed whatsoever. Girls are still repelled by my chat, and I’ve been told from reliable sources that I’ve lost followers on Instagram due to my CrossFit incessant posts. Getting a muscle up is not everything you think it’s going to be. Beware of the poison chalice.
“It’s too expensive.”
Really? You spend over a hundred pounds monthly on your gym membership. You have several pairs of Nanos, Metcons, lifters, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and enough rogue t-shirts to clothe an African village. You’ve dabbled with Progenex (don’t worry I won’t tell your mum). The open is like any other CrossFit-related expense, and it costs the equivalent of a drop-in at any box in the world. You don’t want to fund Castro and his glock habit? That’s noble of you, but then again, you would also have to stop buying all the other Crossfit paraphernalia. Ask yourselves: is a life without CrossFit accessories a life worth living?
“I have an injury to my __________.”
If you’re training everyday with an injury, scaling and adapting workouts around it, I see no reason why you can’t do the Open. I had three hip surgeries and worked out in the Open 3 months after my last surgery. I scaled everything to my ability at the time, but I still showed up. There will be people competing who have real disabilities and would scoff at your excuse. You should never put yourself in harms way for the sake of a workout, and I’m certainly not advocating that. However, there’s a difference between a niggle and an actual injury. If you’re suffering from a broken heart, remember there will be pizza, and pizza is love.
“I won’t be here every weekend.”
If competing every weekend is the be all and end all for you, there are tens of thousands of boxes around the world where you can complete the Open WOD. If you want to travel somewhere and not CrossFit, that’s fine too. For the majority of us, CrossFit is just a fun hobby so missing a workout or two shouldn’t affect your decision to sign up. I don’t think I’ve participated in the full five weeks any year due to work or travel commitments. We might disappoint our Lord and savior Greg Glassman and his prophet Dave Castro, but that’s the risk we have to take.
Whatever your concerns about signing up for The Open, you ultimately need to ask yourself, “What is the downside?” The downside is that you need to take a risk by exposing yourself to the World. However, nothing great was achieved without taking risk. You may surprise yourself with a higher than expected position on the leaderboard or you may realise this is the kick up the bum needed to train more. Maybe the benefit is not physical but social and you end up making a bunch of new friends. No matter what way you look at it, The Open can only be considered a positive experience.