10 Things I Wish I Knew About The Open
The Open is coming, The Open is coming!
For all those who are somehow involved in the CrossFit community know exactly what I’m talking about here. The CrossFit Open, is the most highly anticipated time of year for all CrossFitters, experienced and rookies a like and it starts this week.
On February 26th, the 2015 Open will officially begin and will continue for the next 5 weeks. If you thought CrossFitters were crazy before and never stop talking about CrossFit, just wait until the Open starts. It takes CrossFit craziness to a whole new level. The anticipation of what the next killer WOD could be is on everyone’s mind. Based on what was done last year (recall 14.5 anyone?) I’m scared and anxious to find out what CrossFit has in store for us this year. But isn’t that the whole point of the Open anyway? Scaring us into and challenging us to go beyond our limits and achieve things we never thought we could?
This will be my second year competing in the Open and luckily for me there’s a scaled division this year. When I signed up for the Open last year I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I honestly wasn’t even going to sign up but my coach threatened our lives if we didn’t register so in order to stay alive (for the time being anyway) I registered. At the time I’ve only been CrossFitting for 9 months and knew nothing about the Open or how it worked. I wasn’t one of those people who followed CrossFit before I started. Until the Open I had no idea who Rich Froning was. Gasp! I was such a newb.
I’ve come a long way since then. I now know what the Open is and what it takes to compete. I can also do double unders now and lift heavier then I ever imagined I could, all thanks to last year’s Open. Even though I had an amazing experience competing in last year’s Open, I mean I’m coming back for more so I couldn’t be that bad, that’s not to say it wasn’t filled with many highs and lows. There were some workouts I physically wasn’t able to complete and some I was able to RX. I got my first double under in 14.1 and almost quit CrossFit all together during 14.5 but that’s the beauty of the Open. It pushes you to your limits and then some. I just wish someone told me about this before I signed up. That’s why today I’m sharing with all of you the 10 things I wish I knew About the Open.
1. The WODs are really freaking hard.
I should have known this going into the Open but I was blissfully unaware of how hard the WODs were. Whether it’s the movements, the reps, the weight or a combination of all three, these WODs are no joke. I didn’t even do 14.2. Chest to Bar pull ups and 65# overhead squats. Really? At the time I couldn’t do a pull up without a band and could barely overhead squat the empty barbell. Clearly 14.2 and I were not meant to be.
2. You’ll become super competitive.
I’ve never really considered myself a competitive person (unless it has to do with marathon running because then I have no problem tripping you to beat you) so you can only imagine how surprised I was when I became this woman on a mission after 14.1. I became obsessed with checking my ranking not only for my box but worldwide as well. This surprised me even more because unlike running, I knew I didn’t have a chance to win this or even come in the top 50% in the world but I still checked several times a day where I was placed. Get ready to have the Open page added to your bookmarks for easy access.
3. You’ll do things you’ve never thought you could.
In my opinion this is the best part about the Open. Like it or not you’re going to be doing things you’ve never thought you could before. When 14.1 was released I was immediately discouraged because the first Open workout was a combination of snatches (which I loathe) and double unders (which I couldn’t do at the time). I still showed up and attempted the WOD and you know what, I got my first double under that day! And I wasn’t the only one. Many of my fellow CrossFitters got their first, second and third double under that day as well. After the WOD was over I immediately wanted to be able to do even more double unders so I started practicing like a crazy person. Now I can do 74 unbroken and am on a journey to 100 but I truly believe if it wasn’t for 14.1, I still wouldn’t be able to do one.
4. There’s a good chance you’ll throw up.
7 minutes may not seem like a lot of time but when it comes to a Open WOD it seems like an eternity. The majority of the Open WODs are intended to be short, fast and powerful which means you’ll have to work balls to the wall hard to do well. When you work that hard there is a good chance you’ll pass out or even better be the guy who throws up everywhere, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
5. Getting no repped is the worst feeling ever.
Whenever I talk about the Open I tell the story of how I did 14.5 at a small box in Florida when I was on vacation. Huge rookie mistake. The box I dropped into was super tiny and only had 6 people in the class. Only myself and one other girl were competing in the Open so the coaches there judged us. If the WOD wasn’t bad enough (I have never done 65# thursters at the time) the judge kept no repping me! She kept saying that I wasn’t getting low enough on my thrusters and didn’t count like half of the reps. I was getting so mad I remember at one point I dropped the bar and when she asked me if I was going to pick it back up I told her no. I have never wanted to hit someone with a barbell so badly before in my life. But that’s part of the game. If you don’t have your best friend counting for you there’s a good chance you’ll get no repped.
6. You’ll never think of thrusters the same way again.
Staying on the topic of 14.5, you’ll never think of thrusters the same way again after an open workout. You can almost guarantee there will be thrusters somewhere in one of this year’s WODs and if you thought thrusters sucked before well just wait until you finish an Open workout with them. I am still scared from 14.5. Whenever I see 65# thrusters in a WOD I have flashbacks and nightmares. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
7. You’ll eat a nice piece of humble pie.
3 should have been the only WOD I did well at during last year’s Open. Deadlifts and box jumps are my jam. However it was a whole different story the day of. I don’t know what happened but I had some kind of mental block and I was struggling with deadlifting 135#. I seriously couldn’t even pick up the bar. I remember looking over at my friend who was counting for me and was like “Mel I don’t know what’s wrong with me I can’t do this”. I started to panic. Eventually I calmed down but that’s the last time I go into an Open WOD all cocky.
8. You’ll be everyone else’s biggest cheerleader.
Yes, the Open is a competition but at some point you’ll find yourself being everyone else’s biggest cheerleader. CrossFit is a community of kick ass people who do thrusters and burpees for fun so why not root for them? Especially if you’re competing at your own box. These are your people. Cheer them on! I was more excited for others kicking ass and taking names in the WODs then I was about myself. And let’s be real it’s fun yelling at other people to keep moving and not to quit.
9. You’ll want more.
It’s crazy but once the Open is over, you’ll want more blood, sweat and tears. The Open is magically like that. It will kick you when you’re down but only to make you want it even more.
10. You’ll count down the days to next year’s Open.
Believe me. You will.
Now that you’re mentally prepared to crush the Open, it’s time to make sure you’re physically ready as well. WODShop is your one stop shop for all your Open needs. From hand grips to post WOD nutrition, you can get it at the WODShop!
This article was written by one of our very own WODmob Sponsored Athletes, Nicole Kiernan. Make sure to follow her blog, Runs & WODs, for her personal experiences in running and CrossFit, weekly workouts, tips on how to be a stronger you!