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Why I Competed in the Crossfit Open {And Why You Should Too!}

06 October 2014

The Crossfit Open is the first and only Crossfit competition I've ever done.  It's a worldwide event that takes place in Feb/Mar every year.  A workout gets announced every week for five weeks, you complete the workout at your own gym with a judge watching you and keeping score, then you submit your scores online.  You get ranked against all other athletes worldwide.

So Why Compete?

I competed mainly because of the amazing camaraderie of my gym.  We did the workouts each Saturday and made it into a really fun atmosphere.
What I learned in the process is what an incredible opportunity it is to stretch yourself and test the bounds of your fitness in a safe environment.

Every single person in our gym hit PR's, completed a movement they've never done before, and pushed themselves beyond their perceived limitations.


Power snatching for workout 14.1

Double Under jump roping for workout 14.1


Excuses Not to Compete:

I cannot lift the weights required.
I cannot do some of the movements.
I'm not where I want to be--I'll wait until next year.

Here's the thing--you never know.  You don't know what the workouts will be when you sign up.  I thought for sure there would be at least one workout where I wouldn't be able to handle the weights, but there weren't.  If there's a movement you cannot do, the Open is a perfect time to try.  I had never done Chest to Bar Pullups before.  I did eighteen in workout 14.2...surprised the heck out of me.  We had members PR their first overhead squat of 65# (or 95# for men.)  In one workout, I did fourteen deadlifts at 185#, even though my one rep max is only 200#.  It's the best feeling in the world to have people cheering you on, and to use that energy to do something you didn't think you could.

As for waiting until next year...again, you never know.  One of our best female athletes couldn't compete this year because of a non-injury health issue.  I won't be able to compete next year because I'm due to have a baby at the beginning of March.  I had no clue when I signed up this year, that I would be pregnant next year...so the point is, don't wait for the "perfect" opportunity.  It may never come.  Just sign up and have fun.


in the background, doing chest to bar pullups for workout 14.2 (the woman in the foreground PR'ed her OH squat)

Doing overhead squats in workout 14.2
I don't have any photos of me doing this workout
No photos of this workout either...even though I was crazy enough to do it twice.  I got one of the Top 3 Female scores in our gym (and again was completely surprised by my performance.)

burpees over the bar (a movement belonging in special circles of hell)

I think my final ranking after the five workouts was something like #1,500 for females in my age division.  Whatever it was, I was really happy.  It's funny because the rank was so bad, but I performed so much better than I anticipated.  Even though I went into it with trepidation and some feelings of inadequacy, I completed the competition feeling proud of myself and so thankful that I did it.

Every person in my gym, regardless of fitness level or age had the same reaction after the Open.  For that reason, I really encourage you to compete.  I'd been doing Crossfit for just shy of a year when the Open started, as a point of reference.  So the only exception I'll make to my statements if that if you're brand new (less than 6 months Crossfitting), then I can understand wanting to wait a year.  But of course, it all depends on your level of fitness {and how adventurous you are!}



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