The Open came to an end on this past Sunday and it leaves another year in the books here at Vitality. We got to see some great performances and watch people PR on some lifts that they didn't think would be possible. To me, the Open is much more than an opportunity to compete, it is an opportunity to measure your progress. It isn't quite as simple as, “Last year I finished 3,540th place and this year I am 4,569th so I must be less fit than last year”…I have heard this from a few people and the simle answer I can give them is that there were less than 25,000 competitors last year and over 70,000 competitors this year which means there is close to 3x the amount of people so a simple comparison from last years standings will not suffice. I would argue that more important than where people finish would be answering a couple of the questions below:
DON'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE LEADERBOARD NUMBERS
1. Did I have fun?
This whole concept of CrossFit needs to be kept in perspective. The bottom line is that it needs to be something you enjoy. As soon as you stop enjoying it, it will then become a chore and it won't take long to figure out why you can't keep working out and fall back into the daily grind of life and quickly lose the fitness you have worked so hard to attain. The reason that we do CrossFit is so that when we are 70, we can still lace up the gloves with our cocky grandkids who think we can't keep up with them. Newsflash…..times are changing, age will no longer define what we are capable of, it will just be a number that tells us how many candles we have to have lit on our birthday cake. Nobody will remember what your score was on 12.5 or that you weren't able to string your T2B together, the reality is that isn't what is important. What is important is that you became a little more comfortable at being uncomfortable and this will result in a higher level of fitness which will in turn help you lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. I have been training for nearly 10 months in preparation for Regionals this year. There are many times that I am getting ready for a workout that I know I won't enjoy, however, I love competing and the competition part of it is very fun for me. Because of this, it makes it easy train day in and day out. Whether you are training for something specific or just overall health, make sure you are very clear WHY you do what you do so that when it gets tough, which I promise I will make it very tough for my athletes, you will have no questions as to why you do what you do.
2. Did I get better?
Did you find yourself hoping that there were movements that didn't come up during the Open? Double-Unders, Hand-Stand Pushups, Heavy Loads, etc. Hopefully there were less worries this year than last year about what would come up with the programming. If this was your first year competing in the Open, write down those things that came up and you didn't enjoy and make it your point to get better at them. The biggest part of the Open in my mind is the mental decision to push yourself to an uncomfortable spot. It is very easy to stay just outside of going to that place that is very uncomfortable and makes you feel a little vulnerable. Don't be afraid to push yourself and see what happnes, odds are, you are going to be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Were you able to handle the nerves prior to the workout? This is VERY common and anybody that competes in any sport has the nerves. If they tell you they don't, they are lying to you. The difference is being able to work through the nerves and not have them affect your performance. It is an impossibility to get better at these things without Competition.
3. Did I learn something?
Everytime I compete I end up learning something. Whether it is something as simple as eating a sweet potato post workout instead of a protein shake or if it has to do with how to better pace a workout. There is always something to be learned from competition and it is important to reflect and objectively look at the things you did well and the things you didn't do very well. For Vitality, I think the majority of people learned about what they were capable of and how to better pace workouts. These are two very important realizations in which without, it is hard to be an efficient CrossFitter.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
I would love to see more participation next year during the Open! We had a great group of close to 80 athletes compete this year for Vitlaity and I think there were a bunch more that were on the fence and decided not to do it. I will take the blame for this as I should have made it more clear how/what the Open was and why everyone should sign up. Next year we will do a better job as coaches in spreading the word. We will also be putting a video together that has a panel of people who completed the Open this year and what their thoughts were on it.
REGIONALS (May 4th-6th) Maryland
Vitality will be sending a team to represent the box on May 4th. Each region sends the top 30 teams (Vitality finished 8th) to compete for 3 spots. Top 3 head out west to California for the CrossFit Games. I am going to be competing for one of the 3 individual spots against the top 60 men in the region. Jess finished inside the top 60 (40th) but will not be competing this year. Our team will be Zack(finished 21st and will lead our team at Regionals), Paul Klein, Lou, DJ(alternate), Pam K, Candice, Ginny, Duana(alternate). I am excited to see them compete at Regionals and I think it will be a great experience for everyone. Michael Baker will continue coaching the team up to Regionals and has done an awesome job in getting them prepped to this point.