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2015 CrossFit Open: Do That Which You Fear

Published by on January 13, 2015 7:18 pm

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by Janice Marie Ferguson

January 15 is the first day you can register for the 2015 CrossFit Open. For those who are new to our gym and to CrossFit, this is a worldwide, region-wide, state-wide, local and gym-wide CrossFit competition all-in-one, happening through the month of March, that you can all participate in from the comfort of our gym, or anywhere in the world, and for the low, low price of $20. Don’t wait! Buy now!

For serious, though. I dare you to accept the challenge to do something that puts you outside your comfort zone. You will not regret it. Last year, we had nearly 30 of our 40 members (at the time) sign up to participate. It was a great experience for the gym. Of course, I may have threatened, guilt-tripped and/or strong-armed them into it. I probably won’t go to the lengths I went to last year because I’m too busy harping on other things; like your wall ball form. But, it should be noted: I don’t know of one Bandit who regretted doing it. Besides, you will be doing the workouts anyway as part of our class programming each week. If you need to know more about “The Open,” you can go to the CrossFit Games web site, games.crossfit.com, or read this: What is the CrossFit Open?

New for the 2015 CrossFit Open ?
1. There’s going to be a scaled division! This is very exciting. For every workout released, there will be a scaled version. This means nearly anyone can still log a score and leaderboard themselves to oblivion. Although, I don’t recommend it. Leaderboarding is bad for your health.
2. The addition of the teen division will let our Bandit teens in on the fun.
3. Each year, the numbers of qualifiers for individuals decreases. It was 60 in 2012 and 2013, then 48 in 2014. Now, this year, it’s only 20 per region. Gone are the days of casual CrossFitters making it to Regionals. Those days have been moving out quickly, but this year’s changes have hammered the final nail in the coffin for the “bro-repped” Regionals athletes.
4. This year, they will be recognizing the “Fittest” in each state, too. Maybe one of our Bandit competitive team athletes will get a chance to bring home that honor to our gym?

I Hate to Love the Open. Or, Maybe I Love to Hate It? 
I’ve been doing the CrossFit Open since 2011. In 2010, the qualification process was in-person at something called a “sectional.” I remember being a skeptic when CrossFit HQ revealed their revolutionary, and controversial, “online” qualification process: The 2011 CrossFit Open. There was so much trouble with the launch of the Web sit and the leaderboard that they gave us two weeks to submit scores for the very first workout: 11.1. Today, online qualifiers are the norm for high-level CrossFit competitions like the East Coast Championships, The Fittest Games, and Wodapalooza.

Since the first Open in 2011, I’ve seen a lot of changes in CrossFit on the whole. And, while I absolutely despise love the process, I have learned a lot about myself over the years. I wrote my hesitations about the CrossFit Open last year: I Don’t Really Want to do the CrossFit Open, Either. This article was shared amongst CrossFit gyms and CrossFitters across the country. In fact, it shows the post has nearly 17,000 views on my blog stats. This proves that the fear and dread AND love and hate we have for the CrossFit Open is not something we’re alone in experiencing.

Brief history of JMF vs CrossFit Open
In 2011, I fought my heart out for a disappointing 61st place finish in our region. You had to be 60th and below to get to Regionals. Read about it here: (Redemption).

Then in 2012, I MADE IT!!! Such a rewarding moment, for all my hard work and sacrifice to pay off, but then there was an immediate let down, as I fell apart at Regionals. Read about that here: (Outlook>Outcome).

Then comes 2013, and I’m ready to get back, stronger and better than ever. BUT, I broke my hand in week two. For some reason, as devastated as I was, there’s no therapeutic blog entry to document how I felt at that time. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t type with my hand in a cast?

Moving on to 2014, I was relatively healthy, and ready to work for my spot at Regionals again. I made it past the deadlift workout that I feared, (Punching the Deadlift in the Face) and stayed in the running all the way down to the very last workout, and then, you guessed it, another crash. The last workout of 2014 (burpees and thrusters) was excruciating on my back. I could barely move through the burpees. Every jump was like a knife stabbing and twisting my low back. It felt like Regionals 2012 all over again. Bye, Bye Regionals 2014.

So, here we are. 2015. It’s staring at us square in the face. After a string of injuries throughout the rest of 2014, I’m in the same place in time that I’ve been in for the past four-five years–taking on the CrossFit Open. I don’t even know what my goals are for 2015 because I’m still crossing my fingers and praying for the day that I’m able to run again. But, I’m going to do the Open. I have to. Through all the highs and lows, participating in this process has been challenging and rewarding, and I will d0 it as long as I’m able.

How in the World Does this Apply To You?
Many of you may look at my personal experience with the Open, think that we are different, and that none of this applies to you. You’re wrong. It’s true that ninety-eight percent of our Bandits do not share similar desires or goals to qualify for the CrossFit Regionals. Heck, I may have completely given up on the goal myself. Who knows? But, what I do know, is that we are EXACTLY the same. Our goals may be different. But, we are ONE. Every CrossFitter in our gym, and across the world, has something to prove, no matter how “good” you are at CrossFit. We prove to ourselves, our friends, our family, our coaches, our teachers, our gym, and the list goes on. People all around us look to us for hope and inspiration. That’s a heavy burden. So, when people tell me they have “nothing to prove,” I don’t believe it. We have everything to prove. Every day, we prove our discipline, our progress, our mental toughness, our will, our power, our strength, our minds, our fight. Every day.

Speaking of “good.” You don’t have to be “good” at CrossFit to do this. The definition of “good” is very relative. Many are unable to comprehend there’s multiple levels of being “good” at CrossFit. When we went to the OPEX athlete camp, (Are you an Athlete or a Coach?) it was obvious that I was lacking in several key areas in comparison to two other Regionals competitor friends of mine in our state. So, do I honestly think I am “good” enough to make Regionals or to have that as a realistic goal for 2015? No. I don’t. I haven’t put in the work or effort to deserve that outcome. And for the first time since 2010, I am OK with that.

But, that’s not going to stop me from laying it on the line every week in the Open. Expose myself. Be vulnerable. Most people are afraid of being vulnerable. They don’t want to expose their truth. Weak. I’m not going to be afraid of the truth. I’m not weak. So, that’s why I have to do that which I fear. There’s this self-imposed  need , no, it’s actually a “want,” to perform a certain way, and achieve a certain level of “winning” in the eyes of my gym, my friends, family, the local area, our state, and even region. I want to prove that all the belief my family and friends have in me, and all the time and support they have invested in me hasn’t been for nothing. Will I measure up to what I think all those people are expecting? Why. do. I. even. care? And why do you? You probably have the same fears. I told you. We are ONE. The truth? No one expects anything more from us than the best we have to give, and to stick to the fight to keep working to be better individuals. That’s it.

Forget about those fears. Sign up for the Open. I dare you. No. I double-dog dare you. Do that which you fear.

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