Black Wolf CrossFit is all in on The CrossFit Games Open this year and I want each and every one of you to sign up. Whether it is to truly see how you stack up against others in the world who are your age, or you just want to come hang out on Friday evenings, this is for you. I cannot express how awesome it is for someone who tends to be timid to show up and perform as best they can with the support of a crowd. Quite a few of us go through life rarely if ever being cheered on. I believe it is something everyone deserves to experience.
With that being said, what is this “Open” and why on earth do we have to sign up? Let me give a little background as I remember it from back in the day.
A long time ago the CrossFit Games were attainable. No, not for you and me in our present state. But if you decided that was something you wanted to pursue then you actually might have had a chance to make the cut. Now this was back in 2009 through 2012-ish. In 2011 they introduced the Worldwide Open and it was an amazing concept: Every week for 5 weeks they would announce a new workout that everyone then had to complete under the scrutiny of a “judge” from their local affiliate and then they would submit their scores online and see how they compared to others. Then, after 5 weeks they would take the top athletes from each region and send them to Regionals. From their the top 3 or 5 or 10 or whatever it was each year would progress to the games.
With the involvement of ESPN and the explosion of Reebok, the CrossFit Games quickly grew into a professional sport and in order to get there an athlete must now train (and recover) like a pro. If you have those dreams then absolutely pursue them. But for us regular people, let’s shift our focus back to The Open.
This new Open concept was a huge success and it inspired gyms all over the world to bring people together on Friday nights for those 5 weeks to celebrate each others effort and dedication. The workouts were always manageable (yet always always always very challenging) and everyone was able to take part to some degree. For example, fancier movements were programmed at the end of a round or a chipper so that everyone was able to participate some (you had to do at least 1 rep for your score to count and for your overall score to be valid. A submission of zero did not allow you to see your ranking if I recall correctly). There might have been double unders but you would be able to do the 150 wall balls prior to them…how considerate, right?
And on top of that. On top of programming workouts so everyone could take part in at least some of it, the environment created the perfect opportunity for you to achieve your first of any one of a number of movements. Never managed to get a bar muscle up? Well, just wait for The Open because there is something special that happens on those Friday nights. Even of the very few people that signed up last year for us, we had two or three not only get their first bar muscle ups but then complete mulitple rounds with those new found muscle ups. Same for double unders. Apparently a little pressure really does bring out the diamond in you.
But The Open has evolved as all things should and, beginning last year, there was significant changes made. Now there is a scaled division and that is fitting. This keeps inline with the philosophy that CrossFit is for everyone. And with the sheer number of participants swelling each year (and the barrier for entry only being $20), changes had to be made. The standard division workouts are largely familiar. Some are outright repeats from years past (Unfortunately there is as good a chance as any that we are doing thrusters and burpees in that awful couplet once again). Others introduced new equipment (we rowed starting two years ago I believe).
[Jessi and Julia are signed up. Why aren't you?]
The point is two fold: everyone who is interested should participate in The Open, and it is interesting to observe the evolution of the process. And the best way to observe is to experience The Open for yourself each year.