The open. Is. OVER.
How did you do? Did you PR everything? Crush every workout? Beat every number set out before you (by you)? Remember, your value as a person rides on this. Were you bitterly disappointed after every week (or just one) that you didn’t set the world record for that week?
However you responded just depends on your expectations heading into it. It took me a few weeks this year to accept that myself. I’m a bit torn on this myself. If approached by someone who was very unhappy with their performance I would advise to simply not be. It doesn’t matter. It’s just five workouts.
But I am bitterly disappointed with my open performance. I wanted to write this on Tuesday, the day directly after the open. I got maybe the first three sentences and stopped. My attitude didn’t make sense. Why was I upset? I had to evaluate.
What were my expectations coming in? I had initially been dismissive of the open. Been there, done that, yadda yadda. I lied to myself. I obviously cared about my placing much more than I let on.
After week two, a post from one of our members really struck me. It was very well said, hit the nail on the head and applied to so many of us. This member didn’t do as well as they wished on the second workout. Incredibly sad about the outcome but in a moment of growth asked “Why should I expect to be better at this movement? We haven’t worked on the movement basically since the Open the year before so how could they legitimately expect to be better at it? Crossfit magic? The joy of the open?” Not placing high in that weeks wod doesn’t diminish the work and effort that you put into it.
It was unreasonable to be demanding improvement on something that you didn’t work on. This post stuck with me though I didn’t think about it at the time other than being stupidly proud of them for writing it. (I still am btw if you happen to be reading this) Two more disappointing weeks go by for myself. I’m supposed to be an example for my athletes and I am completely letting them down. What the hell is happening???
So the open is now over. I begin this post and immediately don’t like where its going. There’s something about putting words down in front of you. When they are honest and YOURS, it really helps you look at yourself. That’s what I did. I stopped writing and just went and sat in a quiet room to think. I had the same problem as the member posted about. I was demanding improvement in my Open placing when I didn’t work on it. The five weeks of the open provide a pretty damn good snapshot of your current fitness, giving ample examples (ha) of what your weaknesses are. What were mine over the five weeks? Did I work on them?
Week one: Dumbbell snatches and burpees over a box. Snatch weight was negligible and burpees are burpees. Box jumps have never been an issue. But I was time capped on this wod. Back locked up.
Week two: Toes to bar, dumbbell front rack lunges, dumbbell cleans (reverse curls. whatevs) and bar muscle ups. That last movement got a lot of people. But again, not a weakness of mine. Failed one rep at the very end. Yet didn’t get as far as I expected heading in.
Week three: I was repeatedly told my bread and butter work out. Squat snatches and chest to bar. I’m a big fan of squat snatches. Chest to bar, not a strength but I can do them consistently. Again, not as far as expected.
Week four: repeat of 16.4. I have a direct comparison now. Deadlift (strength) wallballs (blah) calorie row (I do ok) and hspu (bread and butter again). I did 10(?) reps worse than the year before. That’s it. I know I’m terrible now.
Week five: Thrusters and double unders. I’m not in the thrusters for days category yet, but there is no excuse for me not to do these damn near unbroken. Double unders should be. I was 2-3 minutes slower than I thought I should be.
So lets break this down. (This is all what went through my head) No specific movement killed me. BURPEES DID So why did I di….. oohhh. That’s it. Capacity. DUH. I’ve spent the last year focusing on improving my olympic lifts. When there isn’t enough time for me to do my lifting plus a class in the day, the class is what gets cut. I spent the last 12 months skipping cardio and expected my cardio to improve. What a dope. Week three, bread and butter, right? yeah, if you didn’t have to do 98 chest to bar pull ups to GET to the snatches. I was gassed. Stupid.
So the moral of this overly long recap of my open? I want you all to do what I did. Break it down, week by week, see what your weaknesses are and then WORK ON THEM. You have your snapshot, your reference point. Be honest with yourself, set your goals or adjust them where needed, then smash them.
You can not, I repeat CAN NOT, rely on classes to take care of your specific weaknesses. The classes are the foundation, the general physical preparedness. Here’s some fun math for you. 53 weeks in a year. A common way of programming is having a rest day or skill day in the week. If we do a skill day every Thursday for the year, you’re getting maybe 5-10 minutes of work on that skill. If we assume that you do the same skill every week (which you wouldn’t be) that comes out to 4.4 to 8.8 HOURS of work in a YEAR. One hour a week of working with a coach on personal training is already to the low-end of that year mark.
How much do I ramble? I’m proofreading this as I go and still I somehow manage to have big diversions in my line of thought. What I think I set out to get across with this is The Open doesn’t matter. But it does. It’s a pretty good test of your current fitness level and has enough of a mixture of movements that you get to see some weak points. Whether we intend it or not, the intensity does get turned up for the open workouts. Its amazing seeing the people push who otherwise never would. There really is no other time like it. It is also irrelevant in that it IS the first step in a season of competition, but only for <%1 of us. This gives you a general look at your fitness but the number, the ranking worldwide/regional/in your gym is the part that doesn’t matter. If you finished 26204th instead of 26158th in the world, does that make you less of a person? I reacted like it would. It doesn’t. At all.
so what are you going to do about it? Me? I think I have a pretty honest evaluation of where my weaknesses lie. I’m going to work on them like hell until July 28th, my next milestone event. Then a re-evaluate and new plan of attack. Need help? Contact me. Contact your coach. Be harshly honest with yourself. Don’t forget that this stuff is hard to do alone though, find someone to hold you accountable.
Stay hungry. Find your suck and embrace it.