On Thursday 2/21 at 8 PM EST the 2019 CrossFit Open will kick off with the announcement of 19.1. The open is an exciting time of year for Crossfitters but if you are new to CrossFit or have never participated in the past you may have many questions. New CrossFitters may not even know what the CrossFit Open is, while veterans may wonder why they should spend $20 to compete in a competition that most of us have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Hopefully, I can answer all of
First, let’s start by answering the most important question:
What is the CrossFit Open?
In technical terms, the CrossFit Open is the first step in an athletes journey towards winning the CrossFit Games. The Open is a 5 week online competition. Every Thursday at 8pm est a workout is released and then athletes have until Monday at 8pm est to perform the workout as many times as they would like and submit a score online. Anyone can sign up. If you perform the workout in a CrossFit gym you can be judged by a certified judge who has taken an online judging course and if you do it elsewhere you can video your workout and submit it for review. This year the top 20 athletes in the world will automatically qualify for the CrossFit Games, Just to give you a frame of reference over 300,000 people entered last years open. So it’s safe to say that most of us have a better chance of winning the lottery than qualifying for the games. To clear up some loose ends if you are a teenager or masters athlete then the goal is to finish top 200 in the world in your age group to take the next step towards the games.
Now most of you read this and say “I don’t need to spend $20 to find out I’m not qualifying for the CrossFit Games.” You would be correct in that thought. Now the question looms “why spend the $20?” As someone has done the CrossFit Open every year I could and will this year even though I will not be able to participate in week 1 (which ensures that I will have no chance to qualify for anything) I would argue that your $20 buys you a lot.
Compete against yourself
First and foremost just like every wod we do is a chance to compete against our former self the CrossFit Open offers the same opportunity but on a slightly bigger stage. Every year I do the open I learn something about myself. I find a skill I struggle with or something new is introduced. I spend all year working on whatever it was I struggled with in the prior year and the open gives me a vehicle to test myself. Nothing feels better than seeing a years worth of hard work pay off and crushing a workout that would have crushed you the year prior. This is very important because it is hard to see progress day to day but when you take a look at the picture over the course of a year you can really see how much you have improved. This stokes the fire for another whole year.
It’s hard to quantify unless you have experienced it but something about throwing down $20 of hard earned money makes these workouts feel more important. Technically they don’t really mean anything but in our hearts and minds they do. This feeling of competition pushes people to try just that much harder and leads to FIRSTS. There is nothing better than nailing your first pull up, toes to bar, or of course the holy grail of CrossFit, first muscle up. Add the fact that most Open firsts happen in front of large groups of people cheering their hearts out and end in hugs, high fives, and even tears of joy and you understand the magic of the Open. I got my first bar muscle up in the 2016 open and will never forget it.
Most importantly The CrossFit Open is about community. Having the opportunity to throw down with a global community is awesome. Last year, while at Disney World I was wearing a CrossFit shirt and a dancer in one of the parades came over to ask me what my score on one of the open workouts was….how cool is that. What’s even more awesome is bringing together the community inside the gym. At CrossFit Amoskeag we host “Friday Night Lights” every Friday of the open starting at 5:30pm. This gives members the opportunity to do the workout on a bigger stage than normal class if they want to. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with members you many not typically see due to different schedule. Members get to bond over the shared experience of the workouts and celebrate all of their hard work together. Many times new friendships are created during the open. There is a magic in the air every Friday night for the five weeks.
So now that you have a better understanding of what the open is, sign up! You will experience all of the wonderful opportunities the 2019 CrossFit Open provides. Finally, clear your friday nights from February 22 – March 22 and come to Friday Night Lights at CFA and enjoy the experience and community. Even if you do not plan to workout that night, come and cheer on your community.