What’s up??? Happy Snow/Ice Day… which means that Anderson is shut down. I don’t really see what the big deal is though. But I get it. Safety first. Shoutout to the brave souls who showed up to the gym this morning. And now I’m just sitting here at Mama Penn’s, enjoying a warm cup of coffee and a toasted biscuit (holllllaaaaa) between classes.

OK, so you’ve probably been hearing about this little thing called The Open! Sign ups went LIVE last week, I do believe. And someone told me the other day that we are now officially under 6 weeks away from the start of the five week long, worldwide competition. 

We’ve been talking about it just a little bit in the gym for the past month or so, ya know, just to give everyone a heads up. The workouts this cycle have been geared towards getting us prepped and ready. And shoutout to Nick for programing these workouts, because if you’e ever done the Open before, you know that preparation is key. 

Some people – or a good bit of people actually – have been asking about The Open. I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost 5 years now, so sometimes I just forget that not everyone knows what it is. It’s a lot of fun. That’s what it is. And it’s something that you definitely want to be a part of. 

Here is a short video about it: 

But in case you’re like me, and you skip over videos sometimes 🙂 the Open is a 5 week long, online competition, in which HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of different people from ALL OVER the world UNITE by competing each week in the exact same workout – whether in CrossFit affiliates with a judge (usually someone in the gym) or random garage gyms (with a video of themselves). It’s about more than just a competition though. The community behind it can’t be beat. But more on that later.

I didn’t sign up for the Open my first year of CrossFit because I thought there was no way I could do the workouts. I was scared. First of all, I was wrong. And second, I had some serious FOMO as I watched all of my friends do the workouts while I sat on the sidelines.

Each of the 5 workouts is accessible to everyone, so, no reason to be scared. If you can’t do the workout that week as prescribed, there is a scaled version – just like a normal day in the gym, right? There’s something for everyone – whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for a day or for 10 years. The workouts are still challenging if you do them right – even for the fittest out there. 

Besides the community and seeing how much you’ve improved from the year before, The Open exists for a few other reasons. First of all, while everyone does the Open “for fun,” for a very, very small percentage of the people out there, it’s an opportunity to make it to Regionals, which is the next step in the CrossFit Games season. Only a small number of people from each region qualify for that, which is about .02% or something, so they say. For example, last year there were like 11,000 + women in the Southeast region alone who competed. Only 20 made it to regionals. 

But just to reemphasize the FUN part, no matter what, the Open is a great way for each of us to see how far we’ve come from the year before, and to compete against our friends and other like minded people.

My favorite aspect of the open (right up there with the community) is to see what we are actually capable of doing. You and me. There are stories every year of people doing things they didn’t know they could do. For some, this looks like simply just being brave and signing up. For others, it may look like getting your first toes to bar, box jump, or muscle up. Two years ago, I was able to clean a weight that I had never done before. And I did it multiple times. It definitely wasn’t pretty, but I fought through each rep with all I had. Each one of my friends has surprised themselves in one way or another at some point during the Open.

Personally for me, I’m just going to do my best this year (same as every year, I guess). I’ve already been preparing myself to not get frustrated if there is something I can’t do well – or even do at all. Right now, I’m just counting down the days until I can do a for real box jump, and I’ve been trying to get my right leg stronger. My doc told me a couple of weeks ago that I should definitely be able to compete, but that I have to be ok with not being able to do certain movements well, or at all for that matter. So, my mindset is wayyyyyy different than last year, which is a GREAT thing. Because to be honest, I put too much pressure on myself last year, and it kinda just wore me down. So, here’s to having fun, doing my best, and celebrating the great community of people around me.

If you’re contemplating about doing the Open, but you haven’t made your mind up just yet, you should just do it. Duh. At our gym, everyone will do the workouts in class on Fridays, so we’ll all do it one way or another 🙂 Might as well just go ahead and sign up. We’re also going to have shirts made, and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS will be going down with fun things planned and fun people stopping by for each week – including Kill Cliff, Lululemon, and Athleta. And last, but not least, we’ll be split up on to teams, which gives us that extra motivation to show up and show out for those gym bragging rights. 

 Sign up, pay the $20, show up to do the workouts, have a judge count your reps/score, and if you want to, see how you compare up against your friends in your gym, city, state, region, country, age division, and ultimately the world. It’s all about getting better, HAVING FUN, and surprising yourself with what you are capable of. And what better way to do that than alongside your friends? You can sign up here. 

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography

 photo by Josh Wilson Photography

photo by Josh Wilson Photography