5 Lessons the Open Taught Me
What is the Open?
If you are at familiar with the Open, then I have no doubt that you know exactly
what I’m talking about.
And if you’re not… then yes, I understand if you’re thinking “What the heck is
The CrossFit Games that take place mid-summer are to CrossFit what
the Super Bowl is to football.
During the Games, the top CrossFit athletes from around the world come together
to compete for the title of Fittest Man or Woman on Earth.
The process of achieving Games status begins with the Open when, over the course
of 5 weeks, CrossFitters worldwide complete the same exact workout with the same
exact standards as set out by CrossFit headquarters (CFHQ) and are ranked on an
With a RX, scaled, masters and teen divisions, every athlete, regardless of athletic
ability, strength or speed, can participate and see how she ranks against the rest
of the world.
Last year was my first time completing the Open workouts and the following article
is a compilation of my experiences with its workouts.
(To see the actual workouts as they correlate to the lessons, click here.)
16.1 The little engine that could
16.1 taught me that my engine is a heck of a lot stronger than I thought it was.
It taught me what it feels like to push like I’ve never pushed before and that I
can keep going even when my mind says I can’t.
It taught me that that what-the-hell-am-i-doing–there’s-no-way
I have to do is cross the threshold and I’ve won.
16.2 Set a goal pre-workout
16.2 taught me that my double unders must be really awesome, because I totally lost
my rhythm on singles .
It taught me what it means to work hard for the privilege of working even harder.
It taught me that when I set my mind on a goal (make it to the third round of cleans),
my body will follow through and what it means to go into the workout with a rep scheme.
16.3 I finally got a NoRep
16.3 taught me that it’s not just about the pull when it comes to chest to bars, but about that
little pinch of the shoulder blades that will bring the chest forward that extra inch.
And it taught me what it means to get ‘no repped’ .
16.4 It pays to hold back
16.4 taught me that there is such a thing as a workout that I feel confident going into.
It taught me that I can power through despite the pain when I want something badly enough.
It taught me that adding an extra rep to each set is no big deal (ie. 5×11=55 rather than 4×10, 1×8, 1×7=55),
but makes a big difference when it comes to time.
It taught me that when performing a push up, my chest should come forward so that my arms
are directly perpendicular to the floor.
It taught me that holding back a little bit when I have so many reps to do is a good thing, because
not going to failure allows me to take a deep breath and get in another few.
16.5 My body is stronger than I think
16.5 taught me that I’m just plain awesome!
It taught me that the world can throw at me that which I totally suck at and I can still find a way
to make it work in my favor – and beat my workout goal by over a minute.
And that makes me really happy !
The Open 2016
Overall, the Open has taught me that I have so much more in me and I just need to give myself
the chance to let it out.
It taught me the amazing benefit of approaching a workout with a plan, how to implement that
plan and how to share that plan with those around me so they can help me reach my goals.
But most importantly, it taught me about the incredible mind-body connection and how it
applies to CrossFit.
Going to that ‘dark place’ where athletes to go, tuning out every other thing in the world other than
the actual movement in progress, and trusting that my body has the ability to keep advancing is an
experience that I am grateful to have had.