The open, it may surprise you.

I wan’t to take a moment and share one of my favorite experiences about the CrossFit open, on a personal level. I have competed (loose term) in every CrossFit Open and in 2011 I was extremely active in racing half Ironmans. CrossFit was used to augment my training to help with my swim, bike and run after I found it in 2008 while deployed. I knew it had advantages in all aspects of improving fitness, what I did not know was its ability to expose a weakness. Workout 11.3 was released and the workout was a 5 min AMRAP of squat clean and jerks at 165#. For 5 minutes I couldn’t get a single rep, fight and try as I might, it was well beyond my max. I felt defeated at the time but even then I didn’t realize it would lay the ground work for what, and who I would become over the next 5 years.

You ask the average person on the street who they think is fit, and odds are they will answer “Those people who do triathlons.” Here I was, not a great, but average age grouper with a 1:22 half marathon time and I could not stand up with 165# on the barbell. I’m the kind of person who if someone tells me I can’t, I do. If I shouldn’t, I try harder. This was my new focus. Something I was bad at.

Fast forward with years of getting hammered into the dirt under loads considered light and silly by most, I scaled, I worked and I stayed focused. Today as I was warming up, (something that every time I have 165# on the barbell I do), I smiled and felt my chest stand tall, knowing that the long hard road led to an accomplishment I am still proud of 5 years after the fact. I now warm up with 165# for squat cleans, I snatch over 165# and still carry my cardio efficiently. I had a hole in my physical fitness I was totally unaware of, and adapted to this weakness over time and became better for it. All because of the CrossFit Open.

You may have to scale the open, you may not be able to finish a workout. This is what is beautiful. It is the worlds largest benchmark where everyone is a part of your journey. Your scores will be forever logged on the site for you to go back and look at, smile at, and be proud of. You can set personal goals, pull ups, handstands, or a weight on a lift. Its not about making it to regionals, or doing everything prescribed. Its about committing to your self-improvement and taking pride in that journey. You never know where you will end up. In 5 years, you may just surprise yourself.

-Russ

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