What’s Your “Open”?
As I am writing this we are exactly 30 days away from the start of the 2017 CrossFit Open. For those of you unaware of what exactly the Open is, it is a five week worldwide competition in the starting phases of finding this years “Fittest On Earth”. The CrossFit Open has exploded in popularity over the incarnation of the format in 2011. A few numbers for you statistics nerds. In 2011 there were roughly 26,000 participants, 2012: 69,340, 2013: 138,619, 2014: over 209,000, 2015: over 273,000 and in 2016: 324,307 participating from 175 countries.
I have been fortunate enough to have participated in every single one. I’m here to say that this year will be my worst performance to date and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve joked in recent past about being able to do a handstand push-up and essentially being a regionals athlete. To a degree this was true. If you look back to open scores from years past and compare them to now it’s truly amazing to see how the sport has progressed. Also, if you’re wondering why the hell Castro repeats workouts, data, beautiful irrefutable data. If the top score was 100 in 2012 and 200 in 2017, guess what? People got fitter.
I digress. CrossFit was and will always be a part of my life. The difference is to what degree. Striving to get as high up on the leaderboard is no longer a priority. A combination of lack of time, over 30 and the immense amount of competition coming out of the woodwork every year has definitely stifled any want or desire to push myself to its limits. Call it washed up, lazy, cynical, jaded, it doesn’t matter to me. What has really happened is what has become more important in my life. I’m not here to knock on the people who are striving to reach the pinnacle of fitness, I have tremendous respect for those who do. As a mediocre athlete at best I know how hard it was to get to my personal peak, I can’t imagine what it now takes to get there.
Okay, back to the point. What used to be the only thing that mattered has drifted possibly out of the top ten important things in my life. The CrossFit Open is something I used to train all year for, the culmination of 365 days of literal blood, sweat and tears. At the time qualifying for a male regionals individual was pretty much the greatest accomplishment of my life. But times change, two a day lifting and metcon sessions has been replaced by meetings on how to strengthen our community. 4:30 AM alarms to workout have been switched with fundamental sessions teaching people the foundations in which someone can change their lives. Focusing on only my abilities has changed to elation watching someone conquer a new skill or make a new PR. What has really happened is my personal Open has shifted. What I focus on and what keeps me motivated has shifted. Triumph has become a community I care so deeply about, something that has slowly become such a massive part of my life I cannot imagine living without it. Watching our family grow, seeing those people overcome obstacles which previously thought impossible is my Open. I have found a best friend that I want to be with for the rest of my life, she is my Open. To become a better man is my Open. Becoming a leader is my Open. Seeing our members filled with confidence in which there was a valley of confidence is my Open.
CrossFit has taught me so much about myself, how to handle myself in life and completely changed my view on the world. How to work hard, take no shortcuts, how to prepare and tackle problems. I’ve been fortunate enough to put them into real world use. It is far beyond a fitness lifestyle, if you allow it can change the way you view the world around you.
Where do you come in? My question to everyone ( 6-7 people tops) is: What is your Open? Do you have a career Open? A education Open? A familial Open? A relationship Open? What keeps you motivated to better yourself? What makes you work as hard as you do?
So when undertaking these upcoming five weeks keep in mind that just because you may not do as well as you think you should or could does not mean you’re failing. It just may mean your Open is different.
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