The CrossFit Open comes around once a year and it only lasts for five weeks. From the outside it sounds like just five random workouts spread out way too far apart and only 20 people plus national champions will qualify from the open straight to the CrossFit Games. The chances of making it to the CrossFit Games are similar to a young basketball player making it to the NBA. But the Open has dozens of reasons to signup and compete and they aren’t about winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in Madison, Wisconsin. Here are my favorite five reasons to signup!
Competing is for everyone. One of the key beauties of CrossFit is the infinite scaling options. The fittest in the world can and will compete just like the 56 year old that has osteoporosis and hadn’t worked out in 25 years until starting CrossFit a few months before the open started. One of the best things about the open is when people go from saying “no way I can do that. That’s for people like you” to saying “I did that!” Competing is for anyone and every one and every one includes you!
Competing causes intensity. Any competition brings another level out of an individual. You hear professionals say it all the time. There’s something about the bright lights that bring the best out of them. I have done the open every year it has been around (2011). Every year I am pushed in a way that is unimaginable and greater than the previous year, or I have short term memory issues. Knowing not only am I going through this uncomfortable workout but so is everybody at D5 and people throughout the world. That push from everybody around me helps me to be the best possible athlete I can be in that moment. The bright lights and people around cause my intensity to rise and my mental and physical fitness to increase!
Competing brings unity. Group fitness has the incredible ability to bring groups of people closer together. It’s why businesses, teams and the likes will go do ropes courses together or do trust falls. Doing/accomplishing difficult tasks alongside somebody else creates a bond with who you just “suffered” next to. Not many things physically challenge you like the open does and nobody in the world will try as hard at a workout as CrossFitters. Being an affiliate owner/coach I have seen friendships formed and other groups get closer together when going through the open. It’s beautiful. Competing with people makes you friends with those very same people!
Competing leads to motivation. After the open is over there is an unquestionable motivation to get better and to beat yourself next year. Athletes of all levels after a tough loss or a glorious win want to be better. They want to never feel that loss again or feel that win forever. Competition will always open your eyes to what you need to work on. Then the motivation lasts longer than most motivation streaks where they come for a couple days and leave. This one comes and stays for months. The Open is a great opportunity to find motivation to work on new skills, get stronger or just increase your fitness as a whole throughout an entire year. Compete to get motivated!
Competing is fun. At D5 we host an event called Friday Night Lights every Friday during the open. We have a theme of the week, something like cowboy night or superhero. Sometimes we it’s bigger than that and we dedicate it to a friend in the gym going through something. These nights are flat out fun. We do the workout, cheer each other on, blast music and often times go out after. As adults we forget the fun and silly sometimes and these nights give us the opportunity to put underwear on outside our pants or pulling out our nerdy Harry Potter costume. Competing with the friendships you’ve formed in the gym is just flat out fun!