Just another workout
This will be my third year doing the open. In 2011, just a couple weeks into crossfit I performed on video my open workouts. Thank god those videos are hard to find because my form and technique looked atrocious. I was part of the big fish little pond scenario. I was pretty strong at the gym I was at and thought that I could start CrossFit and clean house. I was quickly humbled. I have since then had the opportunity to work out alongside games athletes and have learned very quickly where I stand.
In 2012 I performed at an affiliate. It was a great experience. I didn't know much about gaming the leaderboard and just did each workout once. We qualified for regionals, i was ecstatic. The weeks leading up to regionals was not as fun as I thought. The workouts at regionals were hard, and we did several of the workouts every week. I started to get burned out and it really took the excitement out of the workouts. We went into regionals with expectation of doing the best we could. We were happy with the results and glad it was over. I took almost a month off training after regionals.
In 2013 was my first year competing owning an affiliate. We were new with a lot of inexperienced athletes. I really wanted to qualify for regionals my first year open. I worked very hard, performing most of the workouts 2-3 times in an effort to get the highest score possible. Being the top guy in the gym meant that my higher score had to carry to difference for the lower scores. This was stressful, by week 3 I just wanted it to be over. It wasn't fun anymore. When we qualified for regionals we knew we couldn't meet the minimum work requirements for ones of the workouts on day 1 so we would be disqualified. This was actually a relief and training for regionals was pretty stress free. We were going to go to regionals to have a fun time. I even took the 2 weeks before regionals off training to relax. We went to regionals with no expectations or stress. It was a great experience, everyone was smiling and having a great time.
Fast forward to 2014 and the gym has tripled in size since the same time last year and I no longer have business partners to help carry the workload. I also have my little Mikko to take care of. This year I decided that I was going to not redo the workouts and treat them as an everyday workout. So far this has been the most enjoyable open experience for me so far. I do the open workouts on friday morning with the rest of the class. No special preparation, no re-dos, no waiting for strategic tips, no excuses. I just warm up and do the workout and forget about it. A lot of people in the crossfit sphere have been doing the workouts 2-3 times to try and get the best score. This is nice, but when it comes to regionals, or anything that matters, you don't get a second chance. Do it once and be happy with what you gave it.
What did I learn? Competing with no pressure is a lot more fun for me. I have no delusions of making it to the games, I am in the sport for fun and helping people get in the best shape of their life. I don't want it to negatively affect my family life, or the time I have to spend with them.
People don't realize the sacrifice most of the top athletes make. People struggle with next to no money, long hours of training, constant injury. You want fame? Crossfit has a few top athletes that are recognized outside of people who crossfit. Most other professional sports athletes are recognized by people who have never played the sport. Years after retirement they can still charge money to sign memorabilia. You want money? If you get first place as an individual you get a cheque for 250,000$. You would make more as a benchwarmer for any professional sport. If you are in it for money and fame, you chose the wrong sport. Crossfit at its core, supposed to be improving the life and fitness or its participants. CrossFit as a competitive sport is just as unhealthy as any other professional sport. The average age a NFL player retires is 28. This is because the constant expected high level of performance is not maintainable long term and all the injuries add up. Remember, these athletes have all the benefits money can buy. Daily massages, ice baths, personal chef, numerous world class coaches, and most important an OFF SEASON.
I keep doing it every year and keep improving despite more people signing up every year and me getting older every year. This is just a little post I thought I would put out. Too many people take the open more seriously than it should be. This is supposed to be for fun, just treat it like just another workout.