Why I love the CrossFit Open: 16 minutes

Today is the beginning of the CrossFit Open: a worldwide community event where gyms and athletes all over the world do the same workout every weekend for 5 weeks and compare their scores - it’s a little like CrossFit Christmas. 

My first Open was 2014, 6 months after I started CrossFit (or really any kind of fitness endeavor other than almost-jogging). The last workout (called 14.5, because it was workout number 5) was 21 thrusters at 65 lbs, then 21 bar facing burpees, then 18 of each, then 15-12-9-6-3 etc. It. Was.Terrible. I couldn’t breathe, the thrusters were impossible and every burpee was a struggle. I kept getting confused about the reps, my judge got bored and started looking around for other things to do. It took me 37 minutes (and seven seconds), which is years in CrossFit. I still remember exactly where I was in the gym, what I was wearing, and how it felt. I’d already cried once during The Open because I couldn’t do an overhead squat, but 14.5 took it to a whole new level…

Flash forward to 2016 and the announcement that 16.5 would be a repeat of 14.5. I'd now been CrossFitting for 2 years. In that time I'd lost quite a few pounds and gained even more skills, muscle and confidence. I was excited to repeat the workout and see how I’d do (and a little nervous - it was miserable, after all). You know what?! It turned out to be a perfect way to see how much I'd grown. Which, it turned out, was about 16 minutes. 14.5 took me 37:07, 16.5 took me 21:57. In two years I'd knocked almost 16 minutes off of the workout. There are lots of ways to measure progress - but not all of them make you feel awesome the way that repeating this workout did!

Judging slip from 16.5 - and 16 fewer minutes!

Judging slip from 16.5 - and 16 fewer minutes!

The slip of paper with my 2016 score still hangs In my office. It's a reminder to me of what can happen if you stay consistent, put in the work, and just keep going

I am so excited that The Open starts today! Who knows what awesome things I'm going to do this year!? Who knows what awesome things YOU are going to do this year!? I can’t wait to find out and to cheer everyone on! Maybe I'm secretly hoping that 19.5 will be 14.5 so I can knock a few more minutes off of that score... but only maybe (‘cause, I mean, thrusters…).

Happy Open, Jet City!

Is CrossFit for me?

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I've been that person on the treadmill, flipping through People magazine. I show up, “work out” and leave and nobody noticed if I’d skip a day. Looking back it’s no wonder that I never got the results I wanted. So I got brave and tried CrossFit and discovered that CrossFit is the Cheers of the work out world - where everyone knowns you name. A friendly and accepting place, where everyone is an athlete, and everyone’s attendance, participation and progress matters. Is it physically hard? Yes, and some days I am sore. What I would tell someone who is thinking about CrossFit is that it can change your life in amazing ways. I’m stronger and have better flexibility, but what I didn’t realize when I walked in the door is the friends I would make and how important our community is. I’ll never treadmill alone again. 

So imagine for a moment you took that first step and walked into Jet City? Then what???

  1. Don't worry about being the new kid. Someone will walk up to you and get the ball rolling. You are not alone.
  2. Say something to your coach.  If you don’t have your “A” game, or are feeling intimidated, let them know. There is always an alternative. 
  3. Stronger than yesterday. Really, each work out is an investment in yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Be healthy for the long hall. 
  4. Stretch it out. Dedicate some extra time in or out of the gym to stretch, your body will thank you.
  5. Celebrate every victory, reinforce the positive, and keep on keeping on because the CrossFit journey is worth it!