The 2019 CrossFit Opens are well underway and each week has been a new adventure. For you non-CrossFit people, the opens are the qualifiers for the CrossFit Games which is CrossFit’s “superbowl.” Each Thursday for 5 weeks, a new workout is released and athletes have until the following Monday to complete it and submit their scores.
My favorite part of the Opens is that everyone, no matter their ability level, is able to participate. Although I will never have any business actually competing in CrossFit, it’s awesome to track your individual performance and see how you improve each year. For example, in 2017 I was in 78,000th place worldwide and in 2018 I was in 44,000th (see what I mean, no business completing)!
Each week, hubby and I wait anxiously for the workout to be announced. And then I spend the rest of my time leading up to actually doing the workout thinking about it. I even had a nightmare about 19.1 (the first workout this year) where I couldn’t lift the wall ball!
This year, our gym is hosting an intramural competition during the opens which is taking the competition to a new level.. our teammates are relying on us to do well! There are 4 teams and whoever ends up with the cumulative best score wins.. bragging rights mostly.
So with the Opens in full swing, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about why I love CrossFit and all it’s given me.. because it’s a lot.
Mental strength: Thinking back to high school running, I was mentally weak. At the faintest discomfort I would give up. If someone who I didn’t expect to be faster passed me, I would complain that my knee or hip hurt and stop. I was a whiny teenager who didn’t know how to handle things that were physically or mentally difficult. Although simply maturing improved this phenomenon, CrossFit is mostly to blame for changing me. I’ve realized that my mind will tell me to quit 100 times over before my body will actually give up. I battle my mind and run a little faster, add an extra 5 pounds and pick up the barbell one more time before the clock runs out. And like hubby says, “it’s hard no matter what” so I may as well push myself. I’m now comfortable being uncomfortable.
Friendship: Hubby and I have met some of the best people at CrossFit. Unlike the regular gym we used to go to where everyone is cliquey and rude, CrossFit people have always welcomed us. The first week we started we were already getting invited to parties! There is something about working out until you feel like you’re going to die next to someone going through the exact same torture that bonds you.. it’s a special thing that can’t be created elsewhere.
A slap of reality: There will always be someone faster or stronger than me. The end.
The okay to fail: I used to hate being bad at things.. okay, who am I kidding.. I still hate being bad at things. BUT, I’ve learned that the only way to get better is to fail because otherwise I’d never step out of my comfort zone. So, whenever they’re in a workout, those handstand push ups that are the bane of my existence get attempted. When I’m feeling good, I add a little extra weight to the barbell. And a lot of times I fail.. and sometimes, I surprise myself and succeed.
Confidence: For me, confidence is something that has increased with maturity and will likely always be a work in progress. But CrossFit has showed me that my body and mind are capable of things I never imagined possible. It’s a great feeling to be able to look in the mirror and like what I see.. to be able to walk around my house naked and not feel embarrassed of my body.
Strength: When I started CrossFit, Ben and I did so at a regular gym.. we were those people in the corner doing weird stuff like clean and jerks (my form was god awful) and wall balls. Back then, we’d get our workouts online and I scaled EVERY SINGLE THING because there was no way I could lift as much as those “CrossFit girls.” When we joined an actual CrossFit gym, all that changed. Now, I have coaches who teach me the right way to lift and tell me when I should be pushing myself farther. It’s crazy how much of a difference lifting the correct way makes!
The ability to not give a f*ck: When we first joined our gym, I spent so much time comparing my performance to everyone else’s. This became an unhealthy habit because I often attempted to lift weights that were too heavy and risked hurting myself.. all in an attempt to be at the top of the leaderboard for the day. S.T.U.P.I.D. So stupid. I finally got over myself and realized my only true competition should be me.. my own scores, my own speed, my own weights. I stopped giving a f*ck what everyone else was doing and realized it’s okay if I can’t lift the weights as prescribed. It’s okay if I need to scale a workout. Now, my goal each day is to get the best workout I can without risking injuries and possibly break some of my own records along the way!