Why it was important for me to compete in the Open

The Open is over.
Thank you, 6 pound, 8 ounce, baby Jesus.
It’s over.

I started CrossFit 8 months ago (geeze, has it been 8 months already? I feel like I was just in Foundations yesterday). I’ve made a lot of progress since then, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And when the Open came around, I was super hesitant to do it.

Coach Andrew made us write on the white board 3 months prior to the Open if we were going to compete. It went like this:
Andrew: “Hey, Ace, Competing in the Open?”
Me: “Uhhh…well…no. I’ve only been doing this 5 months. I don’t even have a pull-up unassisted, Andrew. I don’t do everything RX’d. I don’t think so.”
Andrew: “You’ve got 3 months. We’re no longer working out. We’re in training. Put your name on the board.”

Gosh. He’s so pushy sometimes.
I found all kinds of excuses not to do it. Everyday, I came up with a new one.
I can’t do all of my workouts RX’d.
I can’t do a pull up.
I can’t clean 150+ pounds.
I can’t snatch.
I hate running.
Whatever.
And everyday of training, Andrew made me do the shiz I sucked at. And it sucked. A lot.

But I got better. A month into “training”, I got my pullup. 2 weeks later, consistent toes-to-bar. 2 weeks after that, PR on my clean. So on and so forth.

And then the Open came.
I was nervous,
and excited,
and terrified,
and hopeful,
and I struggled. But I did it.

I only did it because Coach Andrew had faith in me, but while I was doing it, I realized why it was important that I did.

So here it is:
Top 5 reasons why it was important for me-a relatively new CrossFitter-to participate in the Open

5. So I can test my limits.
I have never experienced situations in which I have wanted to push myself so badly just to beat me. It’s amazing what fear and adrenaline can force you to do.

4. So I could learn just how much I hate Dave Castro.
Every week, I learned just how much of a sadist Dave is. Seriously, Dave? 13.5? A FRANrap? You’re a sick individual. Thanks for making Wednesday nights for the past 5 weeks the most stressful experience of my life.

3. So I could gain perspective.
I had a talk with one of my boxmates that made me realize exactly what CrossFit is: It’s not about being the best. It’s about being your best. Out of all the people that compete in the open, like, 1% are gonna go to the games. The question is: did I beat me?

2. So I could bond with my family.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: CrossFit has the best community out of any athletic endeavor I’ve ever been a part of. And we really bond over shiz that hurts. And hurts a lot. There is nothing better than doing an Open WOD and having people there to scream at you, push you, and encourage you. Oh, and rub tiger balm and put ice packs on you when you’re done because you’re too physically wiped to do it yourself. And the Open has helped me add new people to my “CrossFit Family” (what up, Randi, Kyle, and Gerald!)

1. So I could learn just how much I hate wallballs, snatches, double unders, muscle ups, and pretty much everything else.
The first thing I said after EVERY Open WOD was, “I hate CrossFit. I don’t know why I do this.” And yet, there I was the next day, in the box, rolling out or stretching or whatever. I pretty much hate everything about this sport and yet, I keep coming back because it is so good about showing me what I have to work on. And the Open did that for me. Showed me my weaknesses so I can be better. Let me know what I suck at so I can do it more and make it suck less. Just kidding. All the things I listed are always gonna suck.

Bonus: So I could learn more about the sport I love.
If you know me, or you read this blog, you know that this sport has changed my life. But you should also know that I pay very close attention to the way this sport changes the lives of other people. The Open helped me see-very directly-how determination, dedication, fitness, and whiteboards can change a person for the better. And that’s something I want to keep seeing everyday…’n’ shiz.

So that’s it.
2013 Open is a wrap.

I am super thankful to have participated because I’m totally coming for the 2014 Open. I am also very blessed and excited that my box, Red Stick CrossFit, has a team headed to South Central regionals in San Antonio! Even though it was stressful, the WODs SUCKED, and I felt like death pretty much the whole time, I am so happy that I did it.

I hope y’all did a great job on this year’s open, learned a lot about yourself AND, if you’re in the South Central region, I hope I get to meet a lot of y’all there!

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