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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Why I Am Doing the Open

I wasn't going to do the 2019 Open because the 2020 Open is taking place in October 2019. Will we even call it the 2020 Open? Will it be 2019B? With two Opens this year, my plan was to sit this round out and focus on my upcoming Strongman competition. But then I was asked to be a team captain for the CrossFit Identity Open Intramural Competition, and how could I say no to that? This will be my sixth consecutive Open, and I'm glad I'm signed up because it's the last February/March Open we are going to have.

As much as I have loved participating in the Open for the past five years, I have never been thrilled with its timing. I had business travel every single year. I think I may have done more Open workouts as a drop-in my first year than I did at my home box. This year 19.4 falls over my Spring Break, so I will have to do the workout at 5:30 AM on Friday before my flight, but otherwise I am home. I am looking forward to the season changing to October. Hopefully it falls over Halloween so we can wear costumes.

For those of you who have not been motivated to become a CrossFitter from reading this blog, the Open has traditionally been the start of the CrossFit Games season. Everyone can participate, from the very new beginner to the most elite CrossFitters in the world. Performing well in the Open got you invited to Regionals, the competition that qualified you for the CrossFit Games. Regionals are gone, the season weirdly started in back in December with the new Sanctionals, and rumor has it that the CrossFit Games will not be broadcasted so unless you are able and willing to travel to Madison, Wisconsin to watch them live, you are out of luck. The Sport of Fitness might be crumbling before our very eyes, but we can still benefit from the magic of the Open.

Some members of the Grey Leopards. Please note that I already owned grey leopard socks.

Each week, for five weeks, CrossFit HQ releases an official Open workout on Thursday night. All the CrossFitters in the world have until Monday at 5 PM Pacific time to perform the workout and submit their scores online. The workouts are designed to be challenging but doable. In recent years, a scaled option has been offered too, so pretty much everyone can compete. Adaptive athletes can participate by doing WheelWOD's version of the workout. There is something awe-inspiring about thousands of people doing the same movements over the same period of time around the world, pushing themselves and each other to do things they might not have thought possible just months before.

One of my favorite parts of the Open is judging athletes. I get REALLY into it.

The Open gets people to do some pretty awesome shit. I have seen my friends get their first muscle-ups, their first doubleunders, their first handstand push-ups during Open workouts. I got my first toes to bar and chest to bar pull-ups during Open workouts. The community is in full force during the Open. Yesterday I watched my friend and competitive CrossFitter tackle 19.2. She, like many of us, had done the workout before when it was first released as 16.2. (Some workouts get repeated in future years. There is always much speculation about which workout will be the repeat.) Well this year, she worked her way to the 205# barbell, and the entire gym circled around her cheering and screaming while she hit 3 CLEANS THAT WERE 78 POUNDS ABOVE HER BODYWEIGHT. (And yes, I looked up her CrossFit profile to find her weight in order to write that sentence. #creeper.) I actually cried I was so happy for her and proud of her.

This is Lana, named after our teammate who is competing remotely from Hoboken.
Elvira made this phenomenal team sign.

I am really happy that CrossFit Identity decided to implement an intramural format again this year. It's given me an opportunity to get to know some members I didn't know very well, and foster a community within our community. My team is the Grey Leopards. I picked grey as our team color because I hoped it would be easy for people to find things to wear from their existing workout gear. I happened to mention that I would have preferred leopard print as our color and folks ran with it! Now several people are dressing like me at the gym each week and I love it. Remember - life is better in leopard print.

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